How To Turn Phone Calls Into Actual Appointments

Justin Smith - CEO at OuterBox
by Justin Smith
Updated Apr. 28, 2019

Whether you run a doctor's office, a dental practice or you sell insurance, stocks or bonds for a living, your business relies on appointments.

If you're marketing through SEO, online marketing or other channels and don't schedule appointments, your business doesn't thrive. So when the phone starts ringing, that's when you should look at the situation as go-time. To put it more simply, always bring you're A-game on the phone. Here is how to do just that to help you close and schedule every prospect that calls in.

Turn phone calls into appointments

1. Use a Friendly Greeting

Answering the phone with something simple like, "Martha's Pet Grooming," or "This is Mary, can I help you?" makes the caller feel like an average nobody, and that's the exact opposite impression you want to give off if you want to schedule more appointments.

A far better strategy is to thank the caller for taking the time to dial you up. "Thank you for calling Bob's Auto Service, how can I assist you today?" or "How can I help you on this fine day?" are two great examples. Make the caller feel special.

Of course, it's not always what you say, but how you say it that counts.

2. Smile (Use a Mirror if You Have To)

If you are in a bad mood, don't like Mondays, hate what you're having for lunch or you simply can't stand answering the phone, never let your prospect hear that on the other end. You can do that by smiling.

Believe it or not, your smile will translate over the phone. If you smile, the prospect can hear it and this will result in a far better experience for both of you. The call might even end up being memorable for the prospect, and that's always a good thing.

Keep a mirror by the phone to remind you and test it out immediately. The next time the phone rings, smile throughout the call and see if you can close the caller. More often than not, it's a good bet that you will.

3. Take Control of the Phone Call

Let your callers walk all over you and that's exactly what they'll do. In other words, don't loaf on the phone and allow the caller to get every word in. Instead, keep guiding the caller towards an appointment.

For example, the caller might be asking about dental implants. Your job is to tell the caller that Dr. Gonzales would be very happy to examine your mouth to determine if dental implants are indeed right for you. Would you like to schedule an appointment?

That's a good example, but it's not great. Here's why:

4. Offer At Least Two Appointment Options

When you ask the prospect, "Would you like to schedule an appointment?" you are asking the caller a yes or no answer. There's then a 50% chance that the caller will say yes or no.
A better way to guide prospects towards appointments is to offer them at least two dates, like this. "Mr. Anderson, we would love to provide you with a free consultation, is Monday June 6th better for you or would Wednesday June 8 th be a better fit?"

Now the chances of the prospect saying no have diminished, and you're far more likely to get an answer either way every time.

5. Start (Conversationally) Gathering Data

Every prospect that calls in should be added to your sales funnel so that you can potentially close them in the future in case they're not ready to commit today. You can do this by getting, at the very least, a first and last name, an email address and a phone number.

Don't turn the call into a job interview. Rather, sneak the questions into the conversation. For instance, you might say, "I'd be happy to answer your question Mrs. Hendricks. Can I ask how you heard about us today?" And as far as getting the phone number, a good trick that telemarketers love to use is, "Let me confirm your phone number just in case we get disconnected." But be creative to data mine in a very natural way.

Of course, all that information is useless if you never speak to the prospect again. Always call prospects back immediately if they leave messages and call unclosed leads back within a week.

And finally, the best way to schedule appointments far more often than not is to:

6. Find Out the Person's Name and Use it Often

The final tip to help you schedule more appointments is to ask the caller's name early on and use it often. People love the sound of their own name. This one simple trick can help the caller feel even more special and that's really what it's all about.

Implement these six tips into your daily processes and watch your schedule book fill up fast.

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