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?
Pre lockdown, statistics show that face-to-face appointments were the predominant type of interaction for businesses. Telephone and video conferencing were not yet prevalent.
When the Covid pandemic resulted in lockdowns and social distancing, face-to-face appointments quickly became a thing of the past.
For those businesses wanting to continue trading, the only option open to sales and marketing team members was to engage with their target audience remotely. This forced practice massively increased the use of social media, email, and video conferencing.
Appointment Setting Pre-Covid
Firstly, let’s look at the pre-covid world and the reasons that sales teams were always encouraged by the decision makers to meet people face-to-face.
As mentioned above, in the pre-covid era, appointment setting campaigns tended to yield the highest returns. This was the case in terms of commitment from the prospect to attend the meeting, and in the number of sat opportunities converted.
Body Language and Tonality
From a sales perspective, meeting face-to-face allows for a better understanding of the prospect by reading their body language. Furthermore, one can predict the flow of the conversation based on 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 (which is highly unlikely) then tonality can either be difficult to read or easily misinterpreted.
From a prospect's perspective, if an appointment is set, they are most likely interested in learning more about the offer. They’re also showing to the seller that they have a genuine and active interest in the proposition and can provide active feedback.
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.
We 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 necessarily express disinterest.
There are several reasons that someone may not be able to commit to a face-to-face meeting. However, if possible, you should try your best at appointment setting.
It would be ideal to have an initial, remote (telephone, LinkedIn chat, email conversation) at an early sales cycle stage followed by a physical appointment during the evaluation phase. To learn more about lead generation, please read this article.
Appointment Setting During Lockdown
Lockdown, people working from home, hospitality venues closed. There was no choice but to adapt!
Everyone had to transition from meeting face-to-face to meeting online overnight.
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, most saw an improvement in productivity because sales teams were spending less time on the road and more time in front of prospects.
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 back to a face-to-face appointment setting?
In our opinion, yes.
You should go back to meeting face-to-face, but not necessarily all the time. 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 and qualified lead generation specialist will be the ability to differentiate between the productivity of remote versus the probability of converting face-to-face.
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