How to Get Your Inside Sales Agent ( ISA ) to Set Qualified Appointments
When your ISA sets appointments over the phone, they must understand that there’s a balance you must strike between building rapport, generating interest, qualifying and asking for and securing an appointment.
There’s certainly a right time and wrong time to ask for an appointment and it can be difficult knowing exactly when and how to ask for it.
Also, they need to do it without sounding like they are closing their prospect and they also need to know how to handle the craziness that comes with getting objections.
What’s most important is that once an appointment is set, the ISA can hand it off to you or another member of your team with confidence that it’s a solid, qualified appointment.
To do this, your ISA must do certain things to qualify the appointment and ensure that when you sit in front of sellers - and even buyers - that you have a legitimate chance at getting a “Yes”.
Here’s how you get your ISA to set qualified appointments:
Always use a script.
I apologize for the simplicity of the suggestion, but I still run into sales people - even today - who don’t make sure their ISA have mastered their scripts. I can assure you that wingning it on the phone will rarely, if ever, get them or you good or consistent results.
If you don’t have good scripts to give your ISA, you have the opportunity to grab a copy of our script book here.
These are the same scripts that our ISAs, and all the ISAs we’ve hired and trained for other agents, use each day.
Unfortunately, there are way too many scenarios and scripts used to handle them to cover in this blog post. That said, good scripts are absolutely vital in ensuring that your ISA sets qualified appointments for you.
Know when to ask for the appointment.
Asking for an appointment is part science and part art. It’s part science because there is a point in the call where your prospect’s mind is physically ready to handle an appointment request because of the changes that have happened chemically and electronically in their brain.
It’s part art because an expert salesperson knows that a well-orchestrated call will naturally lead to the point when it’s time to ask for the appointment.
Unfortunately, many salespeople - and even ISAs - ask for an appointment too soon and then deal with a ton of objections because they did that, or they stay on the phone too long, oversell leading to the prospect feeling like they’ve heard enough (maybe even too much) and is compelled to say no.
Either result is unacceptable because in the end, you lose.
Here are the keys to being ready to ask for an appointment:
1. Your ISA must make a connection with the prospect through building massive rapport
2. Earn the right to ask a few questions to see if there might be a way you can help the prospect
3. Qualify a few things: timing, motivation, speaking to the decision maker
Once rapport has been built, your ISA has to ask just enough questions and qualify the opportunity to the point where it makes sense to ask for an appointment based upon what’s been discussed up to that point.
If the prospect isn’t ready, isn’t motivated, isn’t the person who can say yes or isn’t the right prospect for you based upon the services you provide...then your ISA shouldn’t ask for the appointment.
Know how to ask for the appointment.
Traditional, old-school closes are like nails on a chalkboard to even the most naive of sellers. Using the “either or” close, “I can either stop by Thursday at 2pm or Saturday at 10 am? Which one would be better for you?” can undo a lot of the momentum you built along the way to the point at which it’s time to ask for the appointment. Essentially, as soon as you utter those words, your credibility goes down.
Here’s the way we have our ISAs ask for a listing appointment:
“When would there be a good time for [Name] to come over, look at your home and give you an update price on your home? While she’s/he’s there, he can share with you what to do and more importantly, what not to do, to get the most amount of money for your home. At the same time, he/she can go over the fees and costs associated with getting your home sold so you know what you’ll walk away with at closing?”
This is a much more professional and comprehensive approach to asking for an appointment while delivering a value-laden offer to provide the seller with everything they would need to make an educated decision about selling their home.
If they say yes, then you are off to the races. If they say no, then you need to circle back, identify the objection, solve the problem and take another run at the appointment.
The goal is to get an appointment or four “No’s”. Four no’s will get you the opportunity to sit in front of someone - or a signed listing or buyer agreement - about 66% of the time.
Use our seller counseling interview.
Even after your ISA gets a commitment for a listing appointment, they still need to further qualify the appointment to make sure that it’s an appointment worthy of your time and energy.
By asking a standard set of questions, your ISA can confirm timing and motivation and dig deeper about what the seller wants, doesn’t want and would be willing to do to sell their home.
Having the answers to these questions virtually guarantees that you go out on the most qualified appointments you can.
I guarantee that if you employ the strategies I shared above for setting appointments, your appointment setting rate will not only go up, but also, your and your prospects will feel better during the entire appointment setting process.