Most service-based businesses rely on regular appointments to secure ongoing streams of revenue. If your business is like most, increasing your ability to schedule more appointments with customers, clients, and prospects will enhance your chances of growing revenue and building a sustainable business model. But how exactly do you book more appointments?
4 Ways to Get More Appointments
“The old school of sales says you use the first contact to ‘sell’ the sales appointment. Meaning that you typically hard sell the prospect in a cold call or brief initial meeting to take a sales appointment with you,” sales expert Steve Gordon says. The goal here is to slow play the relationship and save the full pitch for the appointment.”
While this approach has its benefits and works in many situations, it’s not exactly a stellar technique. People know they’re going to be sold to – something they really don’t want.
“Sales is often compared to dating and when you take this approach it’s like inviting a girl you’ve never met before for a romantic evening at your place for a first date,” Gordon continues. “The odds of success are not on your side.”
As a long-term strategy, you need to ditch this approach. Stop selling the appointment and begin selling value. Sell something that’s free, like a report, webinar, complimentary service, or course. Then use that free touch point to sell the appointment.
In the meantime, while you shift your approach, you’re still looking for a way to quickly get more appointments. These four tips will help:
1. Us an Automated Scheduler
One of the biggest problems small service-based businesses face is that the appointment scheduling process is laborious and time-consuming. It’s also hampered by a lot of downtime.
One solution is to use an automated scheduler. “Scheduler software keeps your business open 24/7. This is true whether clients are booking single appointments or service packages/memberships,” explains Yocale, which mentions that businesses using scheduler software grow 50 percent faster than those without.
2. Launch a Promotion
Sometimes you need to give customers and prospects a little kick in the rear to actually schedule an appointment. Running some sort of limited-time promotion with a tangible benefit is one way to instigate a little movement. Be careful with how often you run these promotions, though. Too many promotions will encourage people to only schedule appointments when there’s some sort of deal.
3. Improve Your Site’s Conversion Rate
Is your website hurting or helping your appointment scheduling efforts? If your conversion rate is lower than average, you’re missing out on major opportunities for growth. By increasing your site’s conversion rate – especially on key sales pages – you can expect to see a direct uptick in appointments scheduled.
4. Encourage Referrals
Your existing customers are your greatest assets in terms of driving new customers. Instead of focusing all of your energy on going out and finding new leads, encourage your satisfied clients to provide you with referrals. A referral is much more likely to schedule an appointment than a random cold lead that you drew out of thin air.
Give Your Business a Chance to Succeed
It’s impossible to blend success down to one specific element or combination of elements, but it’s apparent that securing more appointments is a critically important step for service-based businesses in the modern marketplace.
Ultimately, you need to come up with big-picture strategies that allow you to get more appointments on a revolving basis. However, it’s also helpful to have some tricks up your sleeve to help you secure quick appointments when you have some openings in your schedule. The strategies highlighted in this article should give you some good ideas.