Appointment Setting: Inbound vs Outbound
Appointment Setting: Inbound vs Outbound
Appointment Setting usually happens one of two ways. Inbound enquiries may become appointments if the call is handled well, and the prospect is a good fit. Outbound enquiries, likewise, may manifest into appointments provided the call is given what it needs and the prospect is suitable.
So, what are the key contextual differences between inbound and outbound appointment setting? How should an inbound enquiry be handled compared with an outbound enquiry.
Well, first of all what is outbound appointment setting, and what is inbound appointment setting.
Inbound enquiries all start with a prospect contacting you. Outbound enquiries are generated via some form of active effort from you, the business doing the marketing.
The most important factor of difference between inbound and outbound appointment setting is about where the initial motivation came from. Understanding this is essential to maximise return on investment.
With an inbound enquiry, the prospect has generated their own motivation to act. With outbound enquiry, the prospect has had motivation generated within them from you.
So, what does that mean?
Well, in the case of outbound, it means that if you generated the motivation within them – then you need to take responsibility for that motivation all the way to the close line. You need to hold their hand more.
You see, with an inbound enquiry, the prospect is positively charged already. The prospect has inspired themselves to enquire based upon some kind of desire. They acted upon that desire and contacted you, then met with your ideas and statements about the product/service. From that point, provided that you handled any objections with fitting features and benefits, the prospect will be in a position to close. To close the appointment, we need only appeal to the part of them that initiated the desire, calling upon the benefits to justify it, and the appointment will be set if they so choose.
With and outbound enquiry, the prospect is neutral. The prospect has inspired themselves to answer the telephone – that’s all! You are acting upon your own desire and contact them. Then they meet with your ideas and statements about the product and service. So, first of all, you need to let them feed upon your desire. Let them feed upon your desire in the form of enthusiasm. But, you need to harness your enthusiasm in a way that their innate desire, at this point unkindled, can recognise. You need to do this by causing them to shift and reflect your positivity, thus moving them from neutral to positive.
So, for outbound appointment setting, we need to bring to the party all of the aspects that would normally be present in an inbound prospect. We need to supply these to the outbound prospect. We need to surrogate the missing attributes to make an outbound prospect shift from neutral to positive.
The best way to generate positivity with an outbound prospect is to be positive yourself. In that positivity you need to be relevant, specific, and attractive. Relevancy comes from letting them know that this offer is for their type of business, and that it is specifically suited to their requirements. Adding to that something that attracts the part of them that is likely to benefit.
So, that will put you into the position to receive an appointment, but it doesn’t stop there.
Many clients of outbound appointment setting services just accept appointments and treat them like the other inbound enquiries they receive. But, that overlooks the contextual difference between inbound and outbound origins. We must always remember that inbound enquiries have their own wind behind their sails. For outbound appointments to keep sailing you need to cultivate the wind and keep it blowing. Inbound is self motivated, outbound needs to be motivated more. Now, the same approach still applies to inbound leads…the more you motivate them the better. But without constant motivation and enthusiasm, playing to the part of the prospect that wants it, an outbound appointment setting approach will lack lustre.
Inbound enquiries already have a “push” behind them, and we need only “pull” upon that force, and supply support. Outbound enquiries need push added to the mix, then allow the pull and push to advance the rapport.
Whether you are making outbound calls yourself, or you have appointment setting services doing them for you, the contextual differences are the same. Inbound appointment setting needs as much love and support, but outbound needs all of that plus the initial motivating force added continually.
So, when the appointment actually happens, you need to keep the “wind blowing”…
Don’t expect an outbound appointment setting lead to close themselves. A prospect generated from an outbound appointment setting campaign needs the same mix of added motivation at the appointment level.
An inbound appointment setting prospect is on their own mission, while an outbound appointment setting prospect is on your mission. So, don’t ask them to drive. You need to surrogate their enthusiasm, interest, appeal to the part of them that would have initiated it as if timing and readiness made it happen. With an outbound lead generation, you made it happen, and you need to keep them filled with your enthusiasm and make it your own creation.
Justin Laju is the Principal at Appointment Setter.
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