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Intuitive, simple, and effective appointment scheduling is a major priority when it comes to keeping business running smoothly.
While you can always fall back on hours of phone calls and email chains to set appointments and schedule meetings with clients and colleagues, there is a far better way.
With our 6 steps for better appointment scheduling, you’ll spend less time chasing up meetings and more time doing the work that gets results.
I know you’ll find great value in our process, so read on to learn how you can keep your workflow streamlined and your businesses’ appointment scheduling a reliable tool!
6 Steps to Effectively Set up an Appointment Online
The lifeblood of many businesses is the constant stream of clients who need the high-quality work you provide.
With strong credentials and a good reputation in your industry, you’ve done the hard work of attracting potential clients.
However, there is one significant hurdle to overcome before you can get to the work you do best – scheduling the initial appointment!
- Make an introduction
- Explain the reason for the appointment
- Gauge their interest
- Goals for the call
- Ask questions
- Confirm date and time
1. Make an introduction
You want your clients to know who you are and how you can help them. The important thing here is to be simple, direct, and warm.
Building a little rapport and demonstrating your value to clients with a simple introduction is a great way to cut through the noise and get your point (and expertise) across.
2. Explain the reason for the appointment
Why do you even need an appointment? Why can’t you do this over email? Can you just make the decisions?
Explaining why you’re setting up the appointment is simply fundamental.
Clients need to know why you need their time and why you need to speak with them directly so they can understand the importance of scheduling this particular appointment.
3. Gauge their interest
You need to get a read on the room so you know exactly what to prepare for the appointment.
If the other party is time-poor or uninvolved with the day-to-day process, then preparing just the basics for a quick overview and your key questions is the best bet.
If your client is more engaged, then preparing detailed overviews and setting enough time for an in-depth conversation will be the ideal purpose of the appointment.
4. Goals for the call
You need to have clear goals for the appointment!
Put together a plan of action and be really clear with yourself about what you want to get out of it.
The last thing you want is to follow up with a client for clarification or explanation by email or phone call.
As long as you have a plan, you’ll be able to cover everything that needs covering and be certain you haven’t left anything out.
5. Ask questions
This one’s pretty simple. The easiest way to get an idea of what people want is to ask them questions!
Your clients are the same, and asking the right questions will help you give them the right answers.
6. Confirm date & time
You might think this one is too obvious to even mention, but it always bears repeating.
You need to know when your appointment is, and you need to show up on time!
There’s nothing worse than leaving your client hanging. Be there, be on time, and be ready from the very beginning – no exceptions.
7 Killer Tips for Scheduling Appointments
Now that you’ve nailed the fundamentals of appointment setting, we have 7 helpful tips for making the process as simple and smooth as possible:
- Suggest several meeting dates and times so you can get what suits your client. It’s better to have choices than an email back and forth.
- Give potential clients an opportunity to confirm. We know you’re eager to land clients; who isn’t? However, make sure to exercise patience and give them enough time to confirm the time that suits them.
- Stay organized so that your meeting is hassle-free. You don’t want to find you’ve forgotten something right when you need it most, or show up late because your ducks aren’t in a row!
- Send appointment invites so that your meeting is booked into their calendar and reminders are sent. It’s easy to forget on a hectic day!
- Use appointment scheduling software and apps. Did you know that 40% of clients schedule their appointments outside of normal business hours? With appointment-setting software, you don’t need to be around to catch their response – it’s all done automatically.
- Avoid back-to-back appointments. You might think you’re being efficient by dedicating a solid chunk of your day to appointments, but you want to give yourself time to digest each meeting, review your notes, and have the opportunity to extend a valuable appointment.
- Send automated meeting confirmations so you don’t have to do anything manually yourself and the client knows that you’re aware!
Appointment Scheduling Software & Apps
There’s a wide range of appointment-setting programs out there, but we’ve collected a few of our favorites below so you know what to expect:
Calendly is an integrated scheduling app used by over 20 million people all around the world.
Calendly sends a scheduling link with simple one-click functionality, making responding simple and straightforward.
Google Calendar is integrated directly with your Google account and manages your availability as well as tracking your appointments.
You can set up a simple appointment through Google Calendar, and it will automatically add it to your schedule!
Microsoft Bookings is better suited if you work with Office 365.
It manages appointments and timetables both within your team and with external clients, and slots those appointments into your calendar.
Congratulations on reaching the end! Hopefully, you’ve found this entire article helpful – but if there’s one single thing you should take away, it’s to use appointment-setting software.
The best way to make appointment scheduling as smooth and foolproof as possible is to take out as many potential points of failure as you can.
On a busy work day, it can be all too easy to forget about a schedule as tasks run over time or projects need a little more work.
As such, having automatic reminders can be a real lifesaver. That’s appointment-setting in a nutshell.
With these handy guidelines, you’re all set!