Appointment Setting Post-Covid

Appointment Setting Post-Covid

As the global economy starts to reposition itself to a post-covid environment, should we revert to face-to-face appointment setting?

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Pre-lockdown, statistics showed that more face-to-face appointments, were both attended and converted, than remote. I.e., Telephone or video conferencing. When the Covid pandemic resulted in lockdown and social distancing, face-to-face appointments quickly became a thing of the past. For those business wanting to continue trading, the only option open to sales and marketing teams was to engage with their target audience remotely. This forced practice massively increased the use of social media, email, and video conferencing.

Pre-Covid Appointment Setting

Firstly, let’s look at the pre-covid world, and the reasons that sales teams were always encouraged to meet people face-to-face.

As mentioned above, in the pre-covid era, appointment setting campaigns tended to yield the highest returns – both in terms of commitment from the prospect to attend the meeting, and in the number of sat opportunities converted.

From a sales perspective, meeting face-to-face allows a better understanding of the prospect, their body language and how they are reacting to what is being said. It’s much easier to understand this in a face-to-face environment. On the phone you’re solely reliant on tonality – this is not an easy skill to develop, and equally everyone’s tone is different. Unless the prospect sounds absolutely horrified or delighted by what the seller is saying (and the chances of this happening are not likely) then tonality can either be difficult to read or easily misinterpreted.

From the prospect’s perspective, having set an appointment, they are not only demonstrating their commitment to finding out more about the proposition. They’re also showing to the seller that they have a genuine and active interest in the proposition and what the proposal can offer to alleviate their pain points. Let’s face it, someone saying “yes, call me back at a more convenient time” is often a polite way of someone saying that they’re not interested. Whereas agreeing to meet, demonstrates a totally different level of commitment.

I think that it is important to say here that from a sales perspective, if someone cannot commit to a face-to-face meeting, and opts for a telephone appointment, or online meeting, it does not mean that they’re not genuinely interested. There are several reasons that someone may not be able to commit to a face-to-face meeting, but, if possible, you should try your best at appointment setting. It is nearly always a case of an initial, remote (telephone, LinkedIn chat, email conversation) at an early sales cycle stage followed by a physical appointment during the evaluation phase.

Appointment Setting During Lockdown

Lockdown, people working from home, hospitality venues closed… there was no choice but to adapt!

Overnight everyone had to transition from meeting face-to-face, to meeting online. As everyone grew more confident about meeting online, the trend of physically meeting was not as missed as originally anticipated.

From the business owner’s perspective, the fact that sales teams spent less time on the road, and more time in front of prospects improved productivity. Those that could adapt… succeeded.

Post-Covid Appointment Setting As the global economy starts to reposition itself to a post-covid environment, should we revert to face-to-face appointment setting?

In our opinion, yes, you should go back to meeting face-to-face, but not necessarily for all meetings! A hybrid of face-to-face appointment setting, and online meetings can allow you to fit more meetings into the day, but also allow you to qualify your prospects. The post-covid skill for the Telemarketing lead generation specialist will be the ability to differentiate between productivity of remote versus probability of converting face-to-face.

To discuss your lead generation, appointment setting and overall prospecting strategy, why not speak with a Lead Gen Specialist today by calling 03332 400 054 or emailing enquiries@leadgenspecialists.co.uk

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