I am always looking for ways to help you to become more productive and to manage your time more efficiently and effectively and I stumbled upon an online solution while reading an article about networking that can do just that.
It’s TimeTrade, an online appointment scheduling tool for business, that I invite you to take a look at.
It’s always a challenge to arrange appointments with your prospects but in sales, trying to get together with a prospect invariably means spending a great deal of time emailing or calling a prospect over a certain period of time.
Here are some cold hard appointment setting facts.
Out of say 100 prospects only three will agree to an appointment. It will take you approximately two to 10 calls and/or emails and up to three months of calling and leaving voicemail messages BEFORE the three will agree to meet with you.
That’s a lot of time!
Wouldn’t it be great if you could provide your prospects with a way to make an appointment that is based upon both of your schedules?
That’s where TimeTrade comes in.
To get started with TimeTrade, you can sign up for a thirty-day free trial and select a “Professional” account for yourself or a “Workgroup” account if there are more associates who will be using the solution. For this exercise I will review the Professional account and how it works.
After you have provided some basic contact information, you are ready to create an email through TimeTrade that you can send to one or a number of prospects. TimeTrade provides tutorial videos that can help shorten your learning curve and after you have viewed them you will have a pretty good idea of how the system works.
Here is a snapshot of your dashboard where you can send an email invitation, configure your personal information, appointment rules and connect your calendar with Outlook, iCal and Google calendar and a Help section that includes support forums, support topics and general information.
Step #1 – Sending an Email Invitation
Click on the Send an Email Invitation button and you will be redirected to the purpose for your email invitation. In the drop down menu you can select a number of options that describe the purpose of your invitation. There are several options to choose from but basically you can invite your prospect to join you in a telephone conversation or a face-to-face meeting. For this invitation I will use the phone call option to let the prospect know that I am following up with him based upon a previous conversations about one of my training workshop that we discussed last month. I enter a description based upon the above and click the “Next” button at the bottom of the page.
Step #2 – Compose an Email Invitation
In the Send To field you can type or cut and paste up to 40 email addresses. Since one of your objectives is to get the recipient to connect and make an appointment with you make sure that you have enough time blocked out in your calendar if you elect to send emails to a number of different recipients. Keep in mind that if for some reason you are not available or can not handle a flood of responses, you could potentially lose a prospect.
In the Subject field simply type in the subject matter behind this email. It could be anything from a follow up on to a recent email campaign or to discuss a prospect’s site for their next meeting or event. Whatever the subject matter, make it compelling so the recipient will open your email. Here are four email fails that you should avoid.
In the upper right-hand corner choose the duration of your call or meeting from the drop down menu, provide the day(s) and time(s) that you are available, and choose the additional options as provided in the the options field. When you are finished with these five steps and have composed your message, click the send button.
Once you have sent the email you will be redirected to an activity page that will show you the results of your email invitation, when it was sent and which recipients have or have not replied to your invitation.
There are other appointment scheduling tools that are available such as Genbook, FullSlate, Acuity Scheduling, BookFresh and Appointron that also may be viable options to help you to better manage your appointment scheduling needs.
What appointment scheduling tools are you currently using? Are they providing you with the type of client engagement that you anticipated? Feel free to add your thoughts!
Tom Costello is the CEO and Managing Director of iGroupAdvisors, a performance improvement firm, that helps hotels and their sales managers grow their business and generate more revenue.