bow & arrows children

Effective appointment setting for field sales teams. A recent course in Birmingham with a team of field sales guys in an engineering company, covered the topic of how to make sales appointments over the phone. 

Certainly dealing with customers face to face, and over the phone is different. The biggest difference I think is that if you sit down with a customer in their office, they’re prepared for it, and willing to give what you say some consideration and ‘headspace.’ On the phone by contrast, when you call them, they were by definition in the middle of doing something else.  Most field sales people I work with say that they’re more comfortable selling to customers face to face. That’s why they do it I suppose!

Get organised

Carrying out your own appointment setting activity on the phone means you need to be organised, have a plan and ideally a good slug of time to make a few calls and get in the groove.

Make sure you’re aware of what you’re trying to achieve and how to try and do it. I suggest this is your…….


  1. Gain information about their application. Aim to understand about their challenges and processes.
  2. Qualify their potential
  3. Tell them about what your business offers
  4. Gain a level of interest

I offered some of my tips.

  • More activity produces more results. Simple
  • Good data capture ensures repeat calls aren’t cold calls
  • Good targeting helps
  • The best time to call is ………. There is no best time, other than Friday afternoons being a no-go perhaps
  • Should I leave a voicemail? It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve and whether you’ve left voice-mails before.
  • Automated phone systems. You’ll end up somewhere!
  • How to structure cold calls
  • Remember you’re not selling on the phone. Keep it simple
  • Dealing with waverers. I’ll be in your area on Tuesday, could I pop in for an hour or so?
  • Never undersell the appointment. No ‘popping in’, no ‘dropping brochures off’, no “it’ll only be 5 minutes.” 

If you have a sales team who set their own appointments by phone, and want to do it more effectively, then talk to us. The one day course on effective appointment setting for field sales can be run in your offices for groups of up to 6 at a time. Contact us on 01858 461148 or e-mail to talk through your ideas.

To Market is active in helping companies and teams develop better relationships with customers over the phone in Birmingham, Coventry, Daventry, Rugby, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Northampton, Corby, Kettering, , Wellingborough, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge, Newmarket, Bury St. Edmunds and across the Eastern Counties, East and West Midlands.


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