The first objective in lead generation is to create an affective conversation flow to generate an appointment with a qualified prospect.
Here are two essential reasons why this particular objective is so crucial:

1. It is very tempting to begin discussing your business highlights with a prospect right away. How could this prospect not be interested in granting an appointment after learning all the grand things about my business! Keep in mind that your prospect could be a very busy professional where his or her time is very precious, and your competition may have a lot to say about their business advantages also. Keep your focus on the end goal, during your conversation with the prospect, zone in, hone in, pay very close attention to the responses, block everything else that is non essential, hearing the "Yes" to a time and day is the sole purpose of an Appointment Generation Call.

2. Note that without proper qualification and screening questions, a simple "Yes" to a scheduled appointment is not always the most ideal way to secure an appointment. Creating a gentle confirmation of the one or two qualification and screening criteria is absolutely paramount. We strongly urge for you to ask these questions toward the end of the conversation, preferably when you are confirming day and time of the face to face appointment between your prospect and your manager. We have now confirmed our first goal, securing the appointment. Keep in mind that our goal is not a general discussion about your business, or pre-selling (unless it is part of the core competence of your telemarketing campaign), our sole objective is to generate an appointment with a qualified prospect.

Opening: "Hi, my name is Adam; I am a Business Manager with Idea2Result. I have reviewed [your] website and would like to discuss how our appointment setters have generated prospects in [your] industry. Do mornings or afternoons work better with your schedule for a quick 10 minutes conversation with our Founder?"

- Relevance - I have reviewed your website statement from the opening above is a discrete way of making this call somewhat relevant for your prospect. Bear in mind that no prospect wants to be a part of a cluttered approach and any distinguishing factor or perception of due diligence before calling will certainly help in opening the conversation.
- Purpose - discuss how our appointment setters have generated prospects in your industry" statement from the opening above may not mean much to your prospect if they are under the impression that you are calling to talk about their individual business appointment setting prospects, but discussing how similar new business generation campaigns succeeded within their own industry, now that's an entirely different story!
- Casual, Short & Direct -- Much debate exists about whether it is advantageous to stop and ask "How are you doing Mr. Prospect?" in lead generation or inside sales campaign. We are under the conviction that these type of potentially time wasting questions are not necessary, could backfire, and may hinder a more proven direct "rifle shot" approach. A direct approach should create an impression inside the prospects' mind of time efficiency and keeps their short attention span on your pitch.

Rebuttals: Aikido Martial Arts provides basic principles for efficient rebuttal management.

"Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the aikido "leads" the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements."

While consistently focusing on the appointment setting exclusive goal, many of the potential rebuttals that the prospect could deliver provide a perfect opening for you as to why exactly is a face to face appointment is truly the most ideal next step for you and the prospect.

Example 1 of a possible common Objection by the Prospect:

Prospect: "I am not interested, we are happy with our current provider."

Rebuttal #1: "Great! That is exactly what we heard from our most valuable clients before they switched, our 10 minute conversation will highlight our history of delivering results in [your industry] for WHEN you decide to switch, how does this coming Tuesday at 2:00 PM sound?"

Comment: "WHEN" allows for a less intimidating reason for the call.

Example 2 of a possible common Objection by the Prospect:

Prospect: "There is no way you can do better than our current provider, what is your cost?"

Rebuttal #2: "Very good question! I am glad that you asked about cost and I will make sure that my manager will start the face to face conversation by addressing cost and the cost comparison to your existing provider, how does this coming Tuesday at 2:00 PM sound?"

Comment: While it may be tempting to get into the actual cost discussion over the phone, or any preliminary information about cost and pricing, our pure and simple suggestion on this topic is "Don't do it". Unless your prospect gets into the right mind set to discuss your product/service at the time of your appointment, they are not ready to hear about your company and everything you will say at this stage will be used as an excuse to terminate the call and not schedule an appointment. (Our primary and only goal of the call)

Confirmation: This is absolutely key concept! Appointment setters have to assume that most of your prospects are running at information overload, which means that they are extremely busy and their time is very precious. Repeat all the key elements twice: time, day, and phone numbers with alternatives. Do your best to get the email address so that you are able to send a short email confirmation with time, day phone numbers in bold, and a request to notify you if there are any last minute changes.

Qualifiers: We strongly suggest leaving the lead generation qualifier toward the end, so that it sounds like an afterthought to your prospect. "Oh yeah, just to confirm Bob, you are the decision maker for the corporate insurance coverage?" This may seem counterintuitive, but leaving these key qualifiers toward the end actually increases your probability of scheduling the appointment with the "Right" prospect.

Author's Bio: 

Adam Fridman
appointment setters
3403 N. Ridge Arlington Heights, IL 60004 T: 888.495.5666
F: 847.750.0393
M: 847.881.6788