Selling products or services to B2B buyers is an entirely different ballgame than selling to consumers. Research shows that it takes an average of six to eight touches to generate a sales-qualified lead (SQL). In other words, a prospective buyer must interact with your B2B company at least a half-dozen times before he or she is ready for a sales pitch. And even then, you'll have to convince the prospective buyer to make a purchase.
You can improve your B2B company's sales process by leveraging appointments. After identifying a prospective buyer, you can ask him or her to make an appointment to discuss a potential deal. Appointments can prove useful in nurturing prospective buyers through your B2B sales funnel and, ultimately, converting them into true buyers. If you're going to use appointments, though, you'll need to confirm them. The following post reveals several dos and don'ts of confirming appointments with prospective buyers.
Do Confirm Manually
You should confirm appointments with prospective buyers manually. In other words, don't use robocalling software or similar automation tools to reach out to prospective buyers before their upcoming appointment. It only takes a minute to pick up the phone and call a prospective buyer. By calling prospective buyers manually to confirm their appointments, you'll experience fewer no-shows. More prospective buyers will confirm their appointments, and more of them will show up when the time comes.
Don't Wait Until the Last Minute
When confirming appointments with prospective buyers, don't wait until the last minute. The entire purpose of confirming appointments is to remind prospective buyers about their upcoming appointment. If you call or otherwise contact a prospective buyer immediately before his or her appointment, the prospective buyer may not respond. The prospective buyer may have forgotten about the appointment, in which case he or she probably won't respond.
Do Use Multiple Channels
Another tip for a more successful appointment confirmation strategy is to use multiple channels. Channels are platforms or methods by which you communicate with prospective buyers. Calling is by far the most effective channel for appointment confirmations. When you generate a lead, you should have the prospective buyer's phone number. Assuming the prospective buyer has made an appointment, you can call him or her to confirm the prospective buyer's appointment. With that said, you may or may not be able to reach prospective buyers by phone. In some cases, you may need to use other channels, such as email or social media.
Don't Talk About Prices
Avoid talking about prices when confirming appointments with prospective buyers. Whether you're trying to sell a product or service, prospective buyers will probably want to know how much it costs before making a purchase. But you should wait until the actual meeting to discuss the price. If you talk about the price during an appointment confirmation call or email, you may inadvertently push the prospective buyer away. Therefore, the best approach is to keep prices out of your appointment confirmation calls and emails.
Do Express Appreciation
A little appreciation goes a long way at nurturing prospective buyers through your B2B company's sales funnel. When a prospective buyer confirms his or her appointment, show appreciation. You can thank the prospective buyer for taking the time to talk to you about a potential deal, and you can tell the prospective buyer that you look forward to the upcoming meeting.
There's no need to reconfirm appointments with prospective buyers. Reconfirming is a waste of time at best. In some cases, it may discourage prospective buyers from showing up to the meeting, which will subsequently lead to fewer sales for your B2B company. You can still confirm appointments with prospective buyers; just don't confirm appointments more than once. Reconfirming appointments will only backfire by wasting your time and/or discouraging prospective buyers from showing up to the meeting.
Do Consider an Appointment Setting Service
You should consider an appointment setting service. There are industrial lead generation specialists that provide appointment setting services for B2B companies. By partnering with an industrial lead generation specialist, you won't have to worry about securing appointments with prospective buyers, nor will you have to worry about confirming those appointments. Rather, the industrial lead generation specialist will handle these tasks on behalf of your B2B company. It's a smart investment that will allow you to focus on what really matters: selling your B2B company's products or services. Assuming your B2B company leverages appointments in its sales process, it can benefit from the appointment setting service of an industrial lead generation specialist.
Some of the benefits of partnering with an industrial lead generation specialist include the following:
Don't Talk Too Long
When confirming appointments with prospective buyers by phone, be conscious of how much time you spend talking. The longer the call, the less likely the prospective buyer will be to confirm his or her appointment. You should keep your appointment confirmation calls short and sweet. Most of them, in fact, should be less than two minutes long. Two minutes is plenty of time to ask the prospective buyer if he or she is still planning to attend the meeting -- all while keeping the prospective buyer interested and engaged.
Do Track Confirmations
Remember to track appointment confirmations. After calling or emailing a prospective buyer and confirming his or her appointment, make a note of it. You should mark the prospective buyer as "confirmed" so that you can follow through with the meeting. Failure to track appointment confirmations may result in you or other sales reps at your B2B company forgetting to attend the meeting. Following these dos and don'ts will result in a more effective appointment confirmation strategy for your B2B company.