How To Create an Appointment Setting Script

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There’s nothing worse for an SDR than getting an immediate rejection for feeling nervous or unprepared while calling a lead. An effective appointment setting script helps SDRs overcome challenges by providing a guide with the best strategies to use on the phone.

What is Appointment Setting?

Appointment settings capture leads by encouraging them to book appointments with Account Executives (AEs). An effective appointment setting strategy fills the sales pipeline with qualified leads and frees AEs from prospecting, allowing them to focus on closing deals. 

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) are responsible for making calls to set up initial appointments. Their primary responsibility is to conduct lead qualification, determining whether a lead fits the company’s Ideal Company Profile (ICP) and buyer persona. If the lead fits, SDRs will encourage them to book an appointment with Sales Executives (AEs), who’ll work on closing the deal. 

SDRs tackle a challenging role, but the investment can be worth it, especially for companies with large ACVs. 

Why You Need an Appointment Setting Script

SDRs are more likely to misqualify leads or fail to capture important information without a solid appointment setting script. Scripts function as a guide for the sales call, but getting too dependent on them can also impair the process. 

You need an appointment setting script because it:

  • Helps SDRs appear confident: Appointment setting scripts detail the best responses to possible questions, allowing SDRs to take charge of the conversation and provide clear answers. 
  • Minimizes chances of call termination: Most SDRs reach out to prospects that still don’t know much about the brands the SDRs represent. A high-quality script can help make a good first impression so the conversation flows naturally.
  • Showcases brand identity: An appointment setting script gives you the opportunity to showcase your brand’s unique tone and message, resonating with your company and core audience. 

Pros & Cons of Templated Appointment Setting Scripts

Templated appointment setting scripts serve as guides that help SDRs have meaningful conversations with leads. These are the benefits and downsides of using appointment setting scripts:

ProsCons
Make SDRs more preparedDo not always fit the conversation
Create better resultsCreate over-dependence
Maintain a standard

Pros

  • Make SDRs more prepared

Templated appointment setting scripts help SDRs make persuasive calls by avoiding filler words and hanging time on the phone. 

The script serves as a layout that ensures SDRs maintain rapport with clients and cover the essential talking points. Effective appointment setting scripts showcase SDR’s knowledge about a niche space, allowing them to gain the lead’s trust during the call. 

  • Create better results

Appointment setting scripts are well-thought-out, and most possibilities are considered when making them. Strong scripts make SDRs persuasive by equipping them with the necessary references and statistics. As a result, SDRs can give direct and compelling answers instead of simply reacting to the lead’s questions. 

You can fine-tune your appointment setting scripts along the way, increasing the quality and results from each call. 

  • Maintains a standard

SDRs are in a constant state of uncertainty and face numerous rejections daily, which can affect their performance and demeanor. 

Appointment setting scripts ensure that SDRs convey consistent information to reflect the company’s brand and messaging. They also prevent incoherent responses and stuttering, allowing quality conversations with leads.

Cons

  • They do not always fit the conversation

There are instances where no matter how hard SDRs try, the conversation doesn’t go how they want it. Trying to follow scripts that don’t fit the conversation can make the lead feel like wasting time. 

  • Create over-dependence

Appointment setting scripts can make SDRs complacent. Instead of researching the necessary information for the call, they might just read the script. Misusing this tool can damage your business’ image and lead to a lousy impression. 

Anatomy of a High-Quality Appointment Setting Script

Parts of an SDR Appointment Setting Script
Opening Statement
Qualification Statement
Appointment Statement
Closing Statement

A high-quality appointment setting script must be tailored to your company. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when creating a script, but it should have the following components:

Opening Statement

The opening statement of an appointment setting script should be the SDRs introducing themself and the company they represent. This could be as simple as saying, “Hi, I’m *SDR’s name* calling on behalf of *business name*.”

The tone should be upbeat and enthusiastic to set a positive tone for the conversation. It should also reflect the brand’s image and resonate with the core audience. To achieve this, SDRs must practice the delivery tone for their opening statement. 

A strong opening statement makes the lead comfortable continuing the conversation. This can be done by addressing the lead with their name to create a familiar atmosphere, which also shows that the SDR has done research beforehand. 

The opening script should confirm who answered the call is really the lead. In some cases, the person who answers the call is a gatekeeper like a secretary or personal assistant. The script should also have responses for these instances. 

When dealing with a gatekeeper, a well-trained SDR will politely ask how to contact the lead. Including this direction in your appointment setting script will increase the chances of reaching decision-makers.

Qualification Statement

After making a positive impression and confirming the lead’s identity, the next step is qualification. This section enables SDRs to determine whether the lead is the right fit, especially when they have a diverse lead list.

Examples of qualification questions include: 

  • Probing for pain points
  • Determining who is the decision maker
  • If the prospect is planning to make a purchase
  • How the prospect feels about their current solution

Before starting these questions, make sure to confirm the lead has time to spare. If they don’t, ask if you can call them again to continue your conversation. SDRs must always be courteous and respectful during the phone call, even when the lead answers negatively.

Appointment Statement

Once SDRs determine the lead is qualified, the next step should be scheduling an appointment. This is the easiest part of the script, as SDRs simply have to ask the lead when would be the most convenient time to talk with the AEs. 

When setting an appointment, provide a few options but stay objective. Instead of asking “When should we schedule your appointment?”, you can say “We have an available schedule on Tuesday and Wednesday, when would you prefer?” 

After the lead chooses a schedule, confirm the date to prevent misunderstandings. 

If the lead is not qualified, SDRs can thank the lead for their time and say goodbye. Even if they don’t fit the qualifying criteria, maintaining professionalism is essential for brand image and awareness. 

Closing Statement

The closing statement allows SDRs to wrap up the conversation. In this section, the appointment is confirmed by reiterating the schedule.

SDRs must ensure the lead has no lingering questions when they end the call. Including relevant statistics and answers to frequent questions is highly recommended. 

If the lead has no more questions, end the call with a simple but upbeat goodbye. Expressing anticipation of talking with the lead again is also recommended.  

Tips on How to Create an Appointment Setting Script

Creating an effective appointment setting script requires trial and error. You can minimize mistakes by:

  • Understanding your target audience: The key to creating an effective appointment setting script is to write it for your company’s buyer persona. 
  • Leaving room for personalization: The appointment setting script must work for leads of backgrounds and positions. Personalization can give leads a more tailored experience and increase engagement. 
  • Making it a two-way conversation: Avoid making discovery calls sound like interviews. They should be conversations where the leads have room to talk and express their ideas and opinions. Making a short pause after every question can help achieve this. 

As SDRs use the script, they’ll figure out which part works and what to improve. Use this feedback to refine the script and make it more effective.

Bottom Line

Appointment setting scripts can make SDRs better prepared. They also create a standard, making the quality of each call consistent. 

An effective appointment setting script must have a clear opening line followed by qualification, appointment, and closing statements. You’ll also need to understand your target audience to ensure that the script resonates with them. 

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