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5 Appointment Setting Tips for Designers

Posted: September 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Articles, Business | No Comments »

The thought of getting on the phone to land an appointment with a corporate decision maker can make you sick to your stomach. The beauty of design work is that you can tuck yourself away for hours in your corner of the world, behind your computer and with limited interaction with people. But think of all the work you’re missing out on if you don’t pick up the phone and get proactive about appointment setting. Your competitors are doing it, and it’s what you need to get higher paying gigs. Here are some tips to help you overcome your fears and land more appointments:

Tip #1 – Do It Every Day

Try to make at least two calls every day. The routine will help you hone your skills and chip away at any fears you have about talking on the phone. The truth is, you’ll need to do a lot more calling to increase your chances of getting past the gatekeepers, following up after you leave voicemails and getting through to someone who has the authority to hire you. When you incorporate it into your daily schedule, you’ll get more comfortable and make more calls.

Tip #2 – Use a Calling Script

Write a short script that you’ll use for every call. This includes a script for leaving voicemail. The script should include:

  • A one-line hook:  “I can increase your web traffic by 500 unique visitors immediately.’
  • One question to get them thinking: “Are you losing customers just because the website is hard to navigate?”
  • Ask for an appointment: “I’d like to schedule an appointment with you to show you exactly how I can help you.”

You can share the script with employees or anyone you hire to set appointments for you.

Tip #3 – Research Leads Beforehand

The last thing you want to do is try to research contact information and prospective corporate managers to call while you sit down to make your calls. It’s too distracting and you waste more time that way. Set aside time beforehand to input all of your contact information in an Excel spread sheet or customer relationship management software.

Tip #4 – Keep Detailed Notes

Take brief notes when you hang up the phone on your conversations. Include the date, whether you left a voicemail or spoke with someone, who you spoke with and the outcome. You’d be amazed at how valuable those notes will become when you go to do a follow up call. Your memory will fail you in the middle of a conversation or when you go to call a lead again. Rely on your notes instead.

Tip #5 – Follow Up

Few people get sold the first time on anything, and you’ll find the same thing to be true when it comes to appointment setting. You should follow up with everyone at least four times until you get an appointment. This includes calling them, leaving messages and sending emails. Calling and sending follow-up emails counts as one time. There’s no getting around it, making phone calls and speaking to people is crucial to setting appointments.

The purpose of the call is to get a decision maker in the corporation to say yes to an appointment. It’s not to sell them on your services. At the same time, you may get one shot on the phone to do so. For instance, if you get a vice president on the phone who insists that you make a pitch, go for it.

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