15 Important Appointment Setter Skills and How To Improve Them

April 4, 2024

Some of the most important appointment setter skills are:

  • Sales skills
  • Lead qualification
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Listening skills
  • Objection handling
  • Phone etiquette
  • Product knowledge
  • Organizational and time management skills
  • Technical proficiency

An appointment setter is a professional who contacts potential clients to arrange meetings for sales teams. They help businesses expand by finding new prospects. Skilled appointment setters typically work as independent contractors or for a private company in industries like IT, construction, manufacturing, and finance. An example of an appointment setter is Richard Yu who is the founder of the Setter Certification Program that teaches skills on objection handling and outbound calling.

Appointment setting is hard because it requires patience, effective communication, and the ability to handle rejections. According to a study by Zippia, there are only 17,965 appointment setters in the United States, and their unemployment rate has increased to 17.10% in 2023. This means that the role is becoming more competitive. Many appointment setters also fall victim to MLM scams or aren’t given a base salary by their company.

In this article, we look at the 15 essential appointment setter skills and provide tips on improving them. We also talk about whether appointment setting is a legitimate job and if it’s a lucrative career. Plus, at the end of the article, we will introduce a different and more profitable business model than appointment setting.

1. Sales Skills

Sales skills help you understand what customers need and show how your product or service can help. You can talk to customers better, handle objections, and make them interested throughout the sales process. This is important for setting up more meetings.

How to Improve Your Sales Skills

  • Active listening: Pay close attention to what your customers say for good relationship building. Understand their customer persona so you can respond with solutions that match their needs.
  • Know your product or service: Know everything you're selling including its key features and overall value proposition. The more you know, the better you can explain how it helps your prospective customer.
  • Practice your pitch: Keep practicing how you talk about your product or service. This is part of refining your sales presentation and applying effective closing techniques. You can try a consultative selling approach to avoid sounding too salesy.

2. Lead Qualification

Lead qualification is filtering prospects to those who are most likely to become customers. This helps you book more qualified appointments. Appointment setters usually work with a sales representative to identify marketing-qualified leads (MQL) and sales-qualified leads (SQL).

How to Improve Your Lead Qualification Skills

  • Study your ideal customer: Learn what your prospect looks like, including their needs, preferences, and pain points. Consider using the "BANT" framework to evaluate their Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing.
  • Ask the right questions: Find out if your prospects fit your ideal customer profile and if they can benefit from what you're offering. It helps to know if they’re a decision maker with the authority to make purchasing decisions.
  • Analyze past successes: Analyze your sales funnel to see at which stage most prospects convert into customers. You can also use lead scoring to prioritize prospects based on potential value.

3. Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Excellent communication helps your prospective client understand what you're offering. It also helps you to build trust and make a good first impression, which makes it easier for prospects to agree to a meeting.

How to Improve Your Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Adapt your communication style: Don't just wait for your turn to speak. Paying attention to the prospect’s point of view helps you respond more effectively and demonstrate your emotional intelligence.
  • Be clear and concise: When contacting prospects through outbound means like cold emails or Facebook DMs, keep your messages simple and to the point. Avoid using complicated words or long sentences that might confuse them.
  • Active engagement: Show your prospect that you’re present and interested in the conversation. You can apply mirroring language and positive framing when addressing their objections.

4. Customer Service Skills

Customer service means providing an excellent customer experience. It involves meeting customer needs to ensure satisfaction and loyalty. Addressing queries promptly, offering personalized solutions, and following up build trust and credibility with customers. This also improves the reputation of the company you represent.

How to Improve Your Customer Service Skills

  • Practice empathy: Put yourself in your client's shoes to understand their perspectives and feelings. Showing empathy builds a deeper connection and encourages prospects to learn more about your offer.
  • Learn to handle objections: Develop problem-solving skills to address client hesitations or concerns. You can use a feedback management system to learn from objections and continuously improve your approach.
  • Always follow up: Follow-up strategies like sending a quick thank you email are great for checking in with clients post-interaction. This shows your commitment to client needs analysis so their concerns are fully met.

5. Listening Skills

When you have good listening skills, you can understand what a potential customer needs and wants. This understanding helps you give the right answers and information. It shows the customer that you care about what they are saying, which can make them more interested in setting up a sales appointment. 

How to Improve Your Listening Skills

  • Give your full attention: Focus on the person talking. Don't get distracted by things around you or think about what you'll say next. 
  • Don't interrupt: Wait for the person to finish talking before you respond. Interrupting can make it seem like you're not listening. This also helps your conversation feel more consultative rather than telling the customer what you want them to do.
  • Summarize and ask questions: After they finish, summarize what they said to show you understood. Ask questions if you need more information or clarification. 

6. Objection Handling

Knowing how to handle objections means you can turn a "no" or "maybe" into a "yes." When potential clients see that you have thought about their concerns and have good answers, they are more likely to set up an appointment. It's key to convincing customers and making them confident about your service or product.

How to Improve Your Objection Handling Skills

  • Understand the underlying concerns: Use Root Cause Analysis to identify the real reasons behind customer objections. You can read books like “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Andrew Carnegie to learn about human persuasion.
  • Develop a solution-oriented approach: Focus on offering solutions that address the client’s specific objections. This shows your commitment to meet their needs.
  • Refine your reframing techniques: Learn to present information in a different light that might be more appealing to the client. This can make something that they perceive to be negative into a positive.

7. Phone Etiquette

Phone etiquette creates a professional and respectful impression. This makes clients feel valued and listened to. It helps build trust and increases the chances of setting multiple appointments. Proper phone etiquette also involves using positive communication through words and phrases that are constructive rather confrontational. For example, instead of saying "I don't know," you might say, "Let me find out for you."

How to Improve Your Phone Etiquette

  • Practice clear articulation: Speak clearly and at a moderate pace. Ensure your words are easily understandable, avoiding slang or overly complex language. 
  • Schedule calls at appropriate times: Be considerate of the client's time. Ask them for their preferred times and conduct your outgoing calls then.
  • Manage interruptions respectfully: If you must interrupt, do so politely. Give the client enough time to express their thoughts without feeling rushed.

8. Product Knowledge

Having good product knowledge means knowing each detail of the product or service you are talking about. Good product knowledge lets you answer questions easily and explain how it can help the potential client. This level of expertise allows you to tailor your pitch to their specific needs and pain points. You can provide factual and convincing responses that can overcome doubts or reservations. 

How to Have Better Product Knowledge

  • Study product materials: Regularly review product manuals, brochures, and online resources, especially for B2B appointment setting. This will help you understand the product's features and benefits.
  • Understand customer feedback: Review customer testimonials and feedback about your product. You will learn real-world applications and satisfaction levels.
  • Analyze competitor products: Research your competitors’ products. This will guide your approach to making your product stand out from the competition.

9. Organizational and Time Management Skills

Organizational and time management skills set appointments without conflicts. Good organization keeps track of client information and increases productivity. A disciplined approach improves the rate of successful appointments and improves the reputation of your service. Tools like Google Calendar for scheduling and tracking client interactions can streamline the process.

How to Improve Your Organizational and Time Management Skills

  • Use a planner or digital calendar: Keep track of your appointments and tasks with a planner or a digital calendar. This helps you see your schedule and plan your time.
  • Organize client information: Keep a well-organized client database with tools like HubSpot or Airtable. This will make it easier for you to access client information.
  • Implement time blocking: Allocate specific blocks of time for different activities. Have times for calls, following up, and administrative tasks. 

10. Technical Proficiency

This involves knowledge in appointment setting tools such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and scheduling software. These help manage your appointments and keep track of customer information. This makes your work more efficient and accurate.

How to Improve Your Technical Proficiency

  • Regular training on CRM software: Participate in training sessions for CRM software to stay updated on features and best practices.
  • Explore email management tools: Learn to use features of email clients for efficient organization, such as creating folders, setting rules, and using templates.
  • Stay updated on new technologies: Regularly update your knowledge on new tools and technologies relevant to appointment setting. It helps to enroll in online courses for appointment setters

11. Scheduling Skills

Good scheduling avoids conflicts and maximizes available time. It ensures clients are contacted at convenient hours for successful appointment scheduling, especially if you're calling from a different time zone. Scheduling software like Calendly allows clients to pick their preferred times within your availability. This can significantly increase conversation rates and create more productive conversations. 

How to Improve Your Scheduling Skills

  • Prioritize appointments wisely: Determine the importance of each appointment and prioritize them in your schedule to manage your workload efficiently.
  • Develop a reminder system: Implement a system to send out appointment reminders to clients. This reduces the chances of no-shows and maintains punctuality.
  • Allocate a buffer time: Include buffer time between appointments to handle any delays or preparation for the next call.

12. Emotional Maturity and Professionalism

Professionalism and emotional maturity create a good impression and build trust with clients. You learn to maintain respectful communication throughout the sales process. Tools like LinkedIn for professional networking, and incorporating strategies from renowned sales methodologies like SPIN Selling, can enhance your ability to engage with clients on a level that respects their needs and boundaries.

How to Improve Your Emotional Maturity and Professionalism

  • Practice emotional regulation: Work on controlling your emotions, especially in stressful or challenging situations. Stay composed and respond thoughtfully instead of reacting impulsively.
  • Maintain professional communication: Always use appropriate and respectful language, regardless of where you talk. Ensure your tone remains courteous and professional.
  • Exercise patience: Be patient with clients, especially when they have numerous questions or concerns.

13. Adaptability

Adaptability is the capacity to adjust your approach in response to changing circumstances or client feedback. This is important because every client is different, and what works for one might not work for another. Being able to adjust your methods helps you handle each client in the best way possible. 

How to Improve Your Adaptability

  • Stay informed about industry trends: Keep up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry and adapt your approach accordingly.
  • Learn from feedback: Actively seek and use feedback from clients and supervisors to improve your methods and approaches.
  • Develop crisis management skills: Prepare for and practice handling unexpected challenges or crises calmly and effectively.

14. Persistence and Patience

Persistence leads to eventually securing appointments. Patience is crucial for dealing with different client behaviors and responses calmly. These qualities ensure that appointment setters can effectively manage challenges and wait for positive outcomes.

How to Be More Persistent and Patient

  • Develop a follow-up routine: Establish a systematic approach to follow up with potential clients.
  • Learn from successful colleagues: Observe and learn from colleagues who excel in appointment setting. Incorporating their techniques into your own approach.
  • Practice resilience: Embrace rejection as a part of the process and use it as an opportunity to learn and improve your approach.

15. Empathy

Being empathetic means understanding and sharing the feelings of a potential client. This helps you connect with them. An empathetic approach makes the potential client feel heard and valued. A personalized strategy boosts customer satisfaction, since they are more likely to commit when they feel understood and appreciated.

How to Be More Empathetic

  • Ask open-ended questions: Encourage clients to share more about their needs and concerns by asking open-ended questions that invite them to express themselves.
  • Tailor solutions: Provide personalized solutions that address the specific needs and preferences of each client, demonstrating that you've taken their individual situation into account.
  • Respond with understanding: When you reply to the client, show that you understand their feelings. Use words that are kind and show you care about what they're going through.

What Does an Appointment Setter Do?

An appointment setter makes outbound calls to potential clients. This role involves cold calling, where the appointment setter initiates contact with potential clients to introduce them to the company's offers. 

Their goal is to set appointments for the sales team. This demands communication skills, as the appointment setter is typically the first point of contact between the company and prospective clients. Through generating leads and scheduling appointments, they play a crucial role in driving the company's sales efforts and business growth.

What is the Difference Between an Appointment Setter and a Remote Setter?

The difference between an appointment setter and remote setter is that a remote setter schedules appointments online. An appointment setter may need to meet prospects or sales reps in person if they work for a company.

Appointment setters typically operate within a more traditional setting like an office. They use phone calls as their primary tool to secure meetings for sales representatives. In contrast, remote setters leverage digital communication methods, such as email, social media, and video conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype, to arrange meetings. They can work from anywhere in the world.

Traditional appointment setters might focus on local or regional clients. Remote setters have the advantage of reaching a global audience and expanding the potential customer base for the business they represent. This geographical flexibility offered is valuable for companies looking to diversify their client portfolios or penetrate new markets.

Is Appointment Setting Legit?

Yes, appointment setting is legit because there are over 17,965 appointment setters working in the US. There is also a growing demand for this role since it offers flexibility and the potential for commission-based earnings. Some appointment setters report making up to $10,000 per month. 

However, there are red flags like unrealistic income promises and lack of base salary in some. It's also prone to scams from fake companies or MLM pyramid schemes. While the barrier to entry is low, you need to invest in pricy appointment setting courses if you want to succeed.

Luke Alexander from Dayton, Ohio is the founder of Closer Cartel. He explains that appointment setting is a legitimate career that can make $3,000 to $37,000 in a single month. He also says that there is a "dark side" to the industry. While the role itself is not inherently a scam, certain industries or companies may offer less reputable or lower-paying opportunities.

Franck Koomen shares that appointment setting is a legit and valuable skill, especially for online coaching and consulting businesses. He explains that legitimate appointment setting involves a straightforward exchange of services for payment. This differs from pyramid schemes that rely on continual recruitment without providing genuine value. Frank is the CEO of Appointment Masters and lives in Utrecht, Netherlands.

How to Be a Good Appointment Setter 

To be a good appointment setter, you need to practice your sales and communication skills. These will help you understand and meet customer needs. Have lead qualifications to identify potential customers. You need customer service skills to handle client questions and listening skills to understand their needs. 

Other important skills include objection handling, phone etiquette, product knowledge, organizational and time management skills, technical proficiency, scheduling skills, emotional maturity and professionalism, adaptability, persistence and patience, and empathy. 

James Pollard from Delaware, USA and Founder of The Advisor Coach shares that it's more effective to call during the "off hours" if your target customers are decision-makers and executives. He cites a statistic from the Kellog School of Management that calling between 8 and 9 a.m increases your chances of reaching people by 164% than in the afternoon. Based on his experience, James shares that 30-50% of setters confirm appointments with their prospects. You need to confirm the appointment the right away and focus on prospects who are more likely to say yes.

A strong appointment setter resume should highlight relevant skills. Mention any previous experience in customer service or sales. Tailor your resume to reflect the requirements mentioned in job listings. Demonstrating a clear understanding of the job qualifications sought by employers can make your application stand out.

How Local Lead Generation Surpasses Appointment Setting in Earning Potential

Local lead generation surpasses appointment setting in earning potential by offering a more scalable and diversified income source. While appointment setting is a legitimate job, it has limitations, such as reliance on fixed appointments and requiring a full-time commitment.


If you want to make passive income online, the local lead gen biz model is a much more profitable option. It works by creating and ranking websites for local services like tree cutting or plumbing. Once the website ranks and attracts potential clients, you can refer them to local businesses in your area.

Local lead generation allows you to create multiple passive income streams because you're not limited to the number of appointments set. You can create multiple websites and earn anywhere from $500 to $3,000 a month from the continuous flow of leads generated. If you're looking for a more profitable way to make money online, consider the lead gen business model.

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