You can’t just tell someone to book an appointment.
It has to be their idea.
You can’t just simply ask them to book an appointment.
You have to give them a reason to want to.
Getting appointments booked successfully, on a consistent basis, is an art form that begins right at the first of these 6 Pillars of Business Growth and uses every aspect of each of the following pillars until we get to the appointment stage.
Without authority in your industry being demonstrated, you don’t get an appointment.
Without People being aware that you exist, you don’t get that appointment.
Without a lead being generated, there’s no appointment.
And at each of these previous steps, you need to be sowing the seed and guiding the prospect towards sitting down and booking in that appointment.
So, what makes someone want to book an appointment with you?
First, it’s different depending on the industry you’re in.
Assuming you have some kind of professional services business that isn’t a personal service (hair, beauty, dentistry etc), the prospect must feel the following before booking an appointment:
- Have a need that aligns with the problem you are looking to solve
- Medium level of trust that you will do what you say you will (authority)
- Excitement about the offer you have for them (awareness – messaging)
- Hope that your business/service will make their future better (awareness – messaging))
- A desire to move past whatever situation they currently find themselves in
- A willingness to do what it takes to get to their end goal
- A trust that they won’t be entering a hard sales discussion that is full of pressure.
It is similar for personal service-based businesses but slightly different.
When someone books an appointment with a professional service-based business, there is an understanding that the appointment is the first step in making a decision.
With personal service businesses, the appointment is the purchasing decision.
If you are a personal service-based business, the prospect must feel the following before they book an appointment with you:
- Have a need that aligns with your service
- High level of trust that you will perform the service to the highest possible standards
- Hope that your service will help make their world a better place
- A desire to move past their current situation
- Excitement about what their future holds after booking their appointment with you
A personal service-based business is held to a much higher standard of expectations at the appointment stage than any other business.
Contrary to what you might think, it is relatively easy to get your prospects to create these necessary beliefs to enable them to sit down and agree to the appointment (professional service-based businesses).
– note, I will address personal service-based businesses shortly.
In fact, it is entirely possible to do this with 1 simple message, sent to a cold prospect that doesn’t yet know you exist.
I know this because I have done it.
Let’s look at an example with comparisons to highlight how this has been done.
I started off as a web design freelancer.
You have probably experienced an email inbox full of cold emails from web designers or digital marketers who are looking to make a quick buck.
These people will often try and get your business by selling you a $200 – $300 website and you won’t take it.
In fact, you’re likely to blacklist them so they never show up in your emails again.
When starting out, I took the cold email approach to get new clients, but I was able to get clients for between $3,000 – $10,000.
Email example from most web designers:
We have lots of designs to choose from and do great web design services.
you can buy one of our website designs for just $200.
Can I call you to talk about how amazing we are?
Emails I sent:
Hi (insert name)
I came across your website and wondered if you had ever considered having it redesigned so it was more effective for your business.
Let me know,
(insert professional email signature with my headshot)
I would book appointments from this simple email because of the following:
- It asked 1 simple question
- It was personalised
- The content prompted the prospect to think about how few enquiries they actually get through their website
- This would create frustration with their website
- It also created a sense of urgency around getting this fixed
- I made no attempt to sell them, so the recipient would feel like they could respond and not be bombarded with a hard sell
- I was putting my contact details, and my face, into the email so the recipient started to trust what I was saying
Essentially, I was able to create all of the necessary elements of what a prospect needs to book an appointment through a very simple and very short cold email.
Generating appointments outside of cold messaging is a much more reliable way to do business, and as soon as we were able to stop cold emails, we did as quickly as possible because it really isn’t fun.
Automated appointment booking is a much better way to grow your business.
But the same principles apply.
Getting your leads to make several small indications of interest throughout the process is a surefire way to get them to agree to make an appointment.
If you have a roofing company and you have someone who has downloaded your prospectus off your site, this person has:
- Clicked on your web address to visit your website
- Clicked to download your prospectus
- Given you their contact information
- Received your prospectus
That’s 4 indications of interest.
At this point, all you need to do is send them a follow-up email after a few days to see if they have read through the prospectus and give them a link to book a time to have a chat.
As long as you make sure they understand it is not a sales call, but just a chat to see where they’re at, you’ll be likely to get that appointment booked.
OK, for all of you personal service-based businesses, here’s how you get an appointment booked.
Again, we have to assume that these people are booking through your website and they are on your website because they are interested in the services you offer.
This means you will likely get the booking, as long as you can do the following:
- Present your business in a very professional way (authority)
- Present the prospect with lots of trust metrics (authority)
- Easily guide the prospect through to the relevant information – services and prices etc. (awareness)
- Present your offer (this step is a little back-to-front for you guys) in a way that is easy to understand and creates a desire
- Make the booking process as easy as possible
Basically, give the visitor to your website everything they would be looking for, in a really nice and easy format to digest, and you will book that new appointment.
The industry standard for online bookings is around 3%.
for every 100 website visitors you get, you will get roughly 3 new bookings.
So, you’re not going to be able to convert every single website visitor into a booked appointment.
With that in mind, we have had clients who have been booking in clients at a rate of around 15%.
When you’re getting 500 website visitors a month, 15% equals 75 new client bookings each month.
Remember (everyone), if you can create desire, get people to give you signals of interest, and you have built up trust and authority, getting people to book appointments is pretty straight forwards.