Nov 23, 2009
Telephony World published the following article on their site.
While we do not agree entirely with all of the ideas detailed in the article, the authors make some powerful arguments on why appointment setting is vital in today’s environment.
The article is below:
Appointment Setting During a Recession: Keep Calling Even If Nobody’s Buying?
Appointment setting services can and should drive sales of their clients’ products and services. But what about when mostly nobody is buying? Should the appointment setters stop calling until business spending picks up?
Those are great questions for business decision-makers to be asking, because business spending has been extremely challenging of late. Research firm The Gartner Group predicted in March of 2009 that business spending on IT products may decline by 3.8 percent during 2009. Small business optimism, meanwhile, has plunged to truly sad depths.
In such a harsh business spending climate, can appointment setters still be worth their fee?
Appointment Setters the Bargain of the Century–If an Upturn Is Around the Corner
Appointment setting services provide a powerful, low-cost way to build an initial relationship with prospects who may someday turn into clients. Ironically, a dire recession may be the best time of all to make appointment setting phone calls.
After all, not so many people are calling during a tough economic time. The phone is not ringing nearly as often as it does during boom times. Companies that do continue appointment setting campaigns may find increased receptivity from less busy business owners.
Additionally, these quiet times are historically only preludes to the next business spending upturn. The NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Report, issued in April of 2009, noted that capital spending and inventory levels are at or near record lows–and have remained at those lows for record spans. Can this drought continue for much longer?
If and when all this “pent-up demand” comes online, it is natural to expect that companies that have built relationships during bad times will be well-positioned to sell when in fact prospects do start buying.
Appointment Setting Pay Must Stay Connected to Appointment Setting Performance
However, the above “yes” must be viewed through the prism of conservative business practices. That is to say, companies that choose to use appointment setting services must not overspend on appointment setting services. More than that, it must be verifiable that appointment setting is worth the cost.
But how can appointment setting efficacy be determined if traditional measures of success such as increased sales are not reliable because of negative macro-economic spending trends? This is a huge challenge for both the appointment setting client and the appointment setting service itself: how to know when an appointment setting campaign is working when sales are not going up right now.
One way to approach this thorny matter is to connect appointment setting pay to factors other than increased sales. The particular metric used may depend upon the needs of the client. For instance, one client may measure success by number of prospects contacted per day. Another client may focus more on contacting only the most qualified leads.
Whatever metrics are decided upon, the upshot is the same–other metrics should be employed when increased sales is not telling the whole story.