How to Set Appointments Over the Phone: 16 Tips (+ FREE Script)

April 13, 2024

To set appointments over the phone, you should:

  1. Do your research
  2. Find the right prospects and collect their contact information
  3. Pre-qualify and warm up your leads
  4. Outline an appointment setting message or script
  5. Call your target clients at the right time
  6. Start the phone call by introducing yourself
  7. Ask if the potential client has the time to talk
  8. Personalize your sales call
  9. Explain why you’re calling
  10. Communicate the value of the appointment
  11. Gauge the interest of your potential customer
  12. Ask good questions
  13. Prepare to handle common objections
  14. Confirm the appointment’s date and time
  15. Schedule the appointment with the sales team
  16. Strategically follow up with the client

Appointment setting is arranging a specific time to talk or meet with a prospect on behalf of a sales rep. Appointment setting over the phone is when you cold-call potential clients to schedule a meeting. These meetings are to promote the product or service being offered by a company’s sales team. 

The benefits of booking sales appointments over the phone are direct and immediate communication with the client, quick responses to their questions or concerns, and a higher chance of conversion. Phone-based appointment setting can lead to a better client relationship and more sales. However, setting appointments over the phone has challenges like potential misunderstandings and uninterested prospects. According to Service Bell, it takes 8 cold call attempts to reach 1 prospect.

In this article, we'll cover how to set appointments over the phone. We’ll talk about effective strategies for engaging potential clients during a call and the best practices for follow-ups. I include a sample phone script you can use when setting appointments with prospects. I’ll also introduce a more profitable business model than traditional phone-based appointment setting.

16 Tips to Set Appointments Over the Phone

1. Do Your Research

Research involves learning about who you're calling and what industry or business they’re in. Knowing your prospect helps create a more targeted conversation because you already know their buyer persona, pain points, and desired solutions. Using sales data helps by giving you details about their purchasing history, previous interactions with your brand or company, and responses to other sales approaches. According to Zippia, sales reps who use advanced sales analytics are 1.6 times more likely to exceed their targets.

2. Find the Right Prospects and Collect Their Contact Information

The right prospects are those who fit your target audience. Your goal is to get their contact information, like a phone number or email address. You can use professional networking tools like LinkedIn or business directories. Sales prospecting and preparing a list of qualified contacts beforehand makes the appointment setting process easier. It also helps to maintain good sales territory management if you’re targeting prospects from a specific area or location.

3. Pre-Qualify and Warm Up Your Leads

The best way to set up quality appointments over the phone is to pre-qualify your leads based on lead qualification criteria like income, authority and purchasing power, geography, and timeline. You can also use a lead scoring method to rate your leads from 1-100, with 100 being the highest chance of buying intention. Warm up your leads once you’ve narrowed down your list. According to the Annuitas Group, nurtured leads tend to spend 47% more compared to those who buy immediately. You can warm up potential customers with a friendly email or a message on social media.

4. Outline an Appointment Setting Message or Script

Outlining your appointment setting message or using a cold call script ensures that you cover all key points while still allowing room for natural dialogue. A good sales script isn't a monologue. It should include questions that engage the prospect and show that you're interested in their needs. According to Cognism, using the right B2B cold calling script can boost your success rates to as high as 10.01%. Your script should be a mix of informative content about your service or product and engaging questions that invite a two-way conversation. 

5. Call Your Target Clients at the Right Time

Strategic timing can improve your contact rates. So you need to pick the right time and consider time zone differences when calling a prospective client. LinkedIn suggests that the most effective times for cold calling are from 10 AM to 12 PM and again from 4 PM to 6 PM. It's during these hours that prospects are more open and willing to engage in conversation, making it easier for you to create a significant connection. 

6. Start the Phone Call by Introducing Yourself

The way you introduce yourself in a phone call can set the tone for the entire conversation. It's important to start with a clear and friendly introduction that includes your name and the company you represent. This not only establishes your identity but also gives the call a context, making it more likely that the prospect will stay on the line. A good introduction is concise, professional, and tailored to the prospect, showing that you respect their time and have a specific reason for calling. 

7. Ask If the Potential Client Has the Time to Talk

After introducing yourself, you should ask your potential client if they've got a minute to chat. This shows you care about their time. People like it when you respect their schedule. By asking if they can talk, you're letting them decide if it's a good time, which can make them more willing to listen to what you have to say. It's a simple thing, but it starts the call off on the right foot and shows you're thinking about them, not just your sales pitch.

8. Personalize Your Sales Call

Personalizing your sales call builds rapport and shows the potential customer that you understand who they are. Forbes reported that 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that offer personalized experiences. Marc Wayshak of Sales Insights Lab recommends mentioning “personalization fields” like the prospect’s location, job title, company name in your phone script. This makes your pitch more relevant and compelling.

9. Explain Why You’re Calling

It's good to get straight to the point after asking the prospective client if they have time. Let them know your reason for calling, like introducing a new product, setting up a meeting, or upselling on their previous purchase. Be polite and respect the client’s time. Calls with a clear purpose are more likely to lead in direct sales. 

10. Communicate the Value of the Appointment

When you're talking to someone about setting up an appointment, it's important to let them know what's in it for them. Tell them how this meeting can help their business, like showing them a product that can make things easier or a service that can save them money. It's all about making them see that this appointment is going to be valuable for them, not just for you. 

According to GetVoIP, 96% of customers are more influenced by cold calls that show how the products or services being offered will benefit them.

11. Gauge the Interest of Your Potential Customer

When you're on a sales call, telling if the potential customer is into what you're talking about is important. This is where you need to use your best listening skills. Pay attention to how they react, the questions they're asking, and their tone. Are they showing signs of excitement, or do they sound like they'd rather be doing something else? Calls where you adapt to the customer's interest level are more likely to result in successful appointments. If they're keen, maybe move forward with scheduling that meeting or providing extra details.

12. Ask Good Questions

Asking good questions is about getting the potential customer to talk and share what they need or want. The right questions can help you understand their problems and how your product or service can help. For example, instead of just talking about your product's features, ask them what challenges they're facing. This consultative selling approach makes the conversation more about them and less like a sales pitch. Asking insightful, customer-centric questions can increase your success rates significantly.

13. Prepare to Handle Common Objections

Getting ready to deal with the usual "but..." or "I'm not sure" on a sales call is important because people usually have doubts. How you answer these worries can make a difference. According to LinkedIn, on average, a salesperson encounters about 10 objections daily, and only around 27% of them are skilled enough to effectively handle these objections. Say someone's concerned about price, you could chat about how much value they'll get in the long run. Being good at this means you're not just selling something, you're helping them out. 

14. Confirm the Appointment’s Date and Time

Confirming the appointment's date and time ensures that both parties are clear about the meeting and reduces the chances of misunderstandings or no-shows. After talking about your product or service and seeing their interest, you can smoothly transition by saying something like, "It sounds like our service could help you with [their need]. Can we schedule a quick call or meeting to discuss this? What day and time work best for you?" This approach is respectful and shows that you value their time. 

15. Schedule the Appointment with the Sales Team

Scheduling the appointment with your sales team helps everyone stay on the same page and ready to meet the client. Once you've got a yes from your potential client, coordinate with your team to find the best time. Use appointment scheduling tools like Square, Calendly, or Google Calendar. These tools let your team see available times and help avoid double-booking or scheduling conflicts. Sales automation software can send out automatic reminders which reduces the rate of no-shows by 40%, according to LinkedIn.

16. Strategically Follow Up with the Client

Strategically following up and giving appointment reminders to a client helps ensure they remember the meeting and feel valued. This means staying in touch to keep their interest piqued. By sending out three follow-up emails, you can potentially boost your success rates by more than 80% according to Sopro. You can also use this opportunity to provide additional information or resources related to what you'll be discussing. 

14 Appointment Setting Tips to Schedule More Clients

The appointment setting tips you need to schedule more clients are to personalize your emails and compliment the prospect on their content or recent business milestone. Research the prospect to make your first phone call to set up an appointment with someone. Knowing their background helps you understand the prospect’s interests and needs. Prepare a cold call script with your introduction and the call's purpose, and suggest a time for the appointment. To deal with phone anxiety, practice regularly and prepare your talking points in advance.

Example Phone Script for Scheduling Appointments

Here is an example of a phone script for scheduling appointments:

"Hey [Prospect's Name], it’s [Your Name] here from [Your Company]. How’s your day going? I was just looking into your company and noticed [something specific about their business]. It got me thinking, our

might be something you’d find useful, especially since we’ve helped similar businesses with [specific benefit]. I’d love to chat for a few minutes and share some ideas. How does your schedule look next week? I can make time on [two specific dates and times]. Let me know what works for you!"

How to Ask for a Meeting by Email

Start with a friendly greeting and a brief introduction or connection reminder to ask for a meeting by email. Clearly state the purpose of the meeting and why it’s beneficial for them. Include specific topics or questions you’d like to cover. Be concise and direct about what you’re hoping to achieve. Suggest a couple of specific dates and times, showing flexibility. End with a polite closing and a note of thanks for considering your request.

Here is an example of an email script for scheduling appointments:

Subject: Quick Chat About [Topic/Project Name]?

Hey [Recipient's Name],

Hope you're doing great! I'm [Your Name] from [Your Company]. I've been checking out your work in [specific field or project], and it's pretty awesome.

I've got this idea about [specific topic or project] that could be a win-win for both of us. How about we jump on a quick call to talk it through? I’m free [provide two specific dates and times], or let me know what fits your schedule.

Thanks a bunch for considering. Looking forward to possibly working together!


[Your Name]

What Are Creative Ways to Get Sales Appointments?

Some creative ways to get sales appointments are sending personalized video messages to stand out, creating interactive online invites, sharing industry case studies, and sending unique gifts to your prospects. You can also start a YouTube channel or podcast to promote your offers and build an online presence. Having a website or social media page with relevant content shows your authority and credibility as an appointment setter. 

How Local Lead Generation Surpasses Appointment Setting in Earning Potential

Local lead generation surpasses appointment setting in earning potential because it offers a more scalable and autonomous business model. While appointment setting relies on active, ongoing effort to secure individual client meetings, local lead generation uses digital assets that continuously generate leads with minimal maintenance. This approach creates a more stable and predictable income stream compared to labor-intensive appointment setting over the phone.

In local lead generation, you create and optimize websites or digital platforms that attract local business leads. When these assets reach a high ranking in search engines, they can passively attract leads for extended periods. This contrasts with appointment setting, where success depends on the volume of calls made and the effectiveness of each interaction. Appointment setters struggle with fluctuating income and the high demand for personal involvement.

Local lead generation focuses on capturing high-quality, local leads through a more targeted marketing strategy. With local lead gen, you're tapping into a market that's closer and more receptive, which can lead to better conversion rates and higher profits. A single lead gen asset can earn $500 to $2,000 per month when you rent it out to local businesses looking for fresh leads. Consider local lead gen if you’re looking for a better way to make money online.

Follow Me
Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}