There is no shortcut to effective prospecting via email other than to pay attention to every detail, sentence, manner of approach and tone. However, to further break it down, here are few points with explanations on how to ask for an appointment in an email to a prospect.
Also, read about effective strategies for contacting prospects on Facebook and LinkedIn as well as innovative ways to reach customers on their phones.
How to ask for An Appointment in an Email to a Prospect
Here are some very important tips you need to know on how to ask for an appointment in an email.
Ensure Your First Content is Warm
To ask for an appointment in an email to a prospect, you should start by introducing yourself to the customer. Did you meet somewhere? Or is it a straight cold call? Whichever way you intend to introduce yourself, ensure it is warm and welcoming enough to create a space in the reader’s heart.
What's more, as much as you are eager to get a positive response immediately, don’t let the fact that you did not introduce yourself properly turn the client off. Those who are not familiar with your company deserve a comprehensive introduction before asking for a direct opportunity to sell to them.
Give out juicy nuggets that will endear them to you in your introductory paragraph. For instance, dish out a line or two about your unique selling proposition. That is what sets your organization apart from others.
Just Do it
This phrase is popularly known to be the ‘Nike’ Slogan. But how does it relate here? When you have succeeded in whetting a prospect’s appetite, don’t give too much room before you send more information to seal his or her heart to the deal. Following up within 24 hours is the most recommended way to get the prospect to respond positively whenever you ask for an appointment in an email.
So you can perceive that your prospect is interested but hasn’t offered you an opportunity to make a proper pitch. One way to make it easy for them to give you the ‘yes’ is to be flexible with your suggestions. Knowing that they have a busy schedule, you should explore various meeting times and duration. Most often, a 15-minute appointment just after lunch hours (before they get busy again) can do the magic.
Be Emotionally Intelligent
Your language should not sound selfish or desperate at any time. How you write will definitely impact the perception your prospect gives to your pitch. You should write in such a way that they know you are considering their time and have their best interest at heart.
Devise a means to make them feel you are not imposing your time on them. If it means giving a wide span of time so that you can accommodate the already set schedule on their calendar, then do so. You can ask that they choose the date in their calendar without any restriction.
Get Your ‘Call to Action' Right
A call to action is the focal point of a sales pitch, and without it, you may lose prospects who could have turned to your most loyal customers. A call to action is generally what you want the prospect to do after going through your pitch. When you ask for appointments in emails to your prospects, ‘call to action' is used to increase the number of appointments or meetings you get.
However, it’s worth mentioning that you should avoid the use of ambiguous words, so that it is easy for your customer to take the expected action. If you are adding a scheduling link, give a brief explanation as to what they will find once the click is made.
Furthermore, ensure that your ‘call to action' link can be viewed properly, that is, it is not stuck in between your pitch, or of the same color as the rest of the text. Give an oomph effect on your prospect’s mind. Be creative. You could place it at the corner of the page, in a call-out box or at the end where it is conspicuous for the prospect to view clearly. You could also keep it at the top of the email, especially where it is a direct sales email; always remember that the target is to give the customer a link that is tempting enough to be clicked.
Personalising is Allowed
Yes, you are representing an organization but when people communicate, they want to communicate with a representative and not a person that speaks like a machine. When you ask for an appointment in an email to a prospect, make your emails personal with a friendly tone. Personal introductory statements tend to get higher positive responses than those that are not, as it shows that you will answer every question in a cordial and friendly manner.
Think about it for a minute, how do you respond to marketing or sales emails that the introduction is just a call to action rather than a cordial summary of who the sender is and what he intends to achieve by sending the email? Don’t underestimate anything; this simple action can be the reason why a prospect thinks you are worth his listening ear.
Don’t Ignore Voicemails
Getting an answering machine could be annoying, especially since the aim of calling is to speak to a person. Usually, the widespread assumption is that people rarely listen to voicemails except when it is seen in a movie, but the truth is, many people do listen to voicemails. Some people record voices just in case they are unable to pick an important call and do not want to miss any opportunity to give a callback.
You may be thinking – but my call may not be rated as ‘important'. Yes, it may not be, but when you speak confidently, especially touching on brief benefits your product will give the prospect, there is a high possibility that the prospect will expect your email when you alert him to expect an email from you. The point is, don’t underestimate voicemails, sometimes it may be the medium with which you get the ball rolling.
Make use of Necessary Software Applications
When you ask for an appointment in an email to a prospect, using online scheduling software may be just what you need to get those bookings without worry. It works while you are not working. When configured well, anyone trying to book an appointment has an access to your calendar and can fix an appointment.
This ensures that your appointments are seamlessly fixed with little or no extra effort from you.
Sample 1: How to Ask for Availability for a Physical Meeting
I'm writing this email with regards to the proposal you submitted to our company on the 4th of September. My partners and I have gone through your proposal and there are some details we'd like to talk discuss with you.
Are you free for lunch at 9 AM on Monday? Let me know by Friday if that works for you.
Looking forward to meeting with you.
Sample 2: How to Ask for Availability for a Physical Meeting
This is Jim from Woculus.
It was great talking to you about a partnership between our firms. I discussed the idea with the CEO and he was just as interested as I was.
Kindly let us know when you’d be free to discuss the plan more extensively.
Do you have time next week Tuesday to grab a cup of coffee? Please let me know what your schedule is like.
Sample 1: How to Ask for Availability for a Call
My name is Jaden from Standard Alliance. We're sending this email with regards to your complaint about accessing your account. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.
Would you be open to a short telephone conversation to find out more about the problem?
My contact information is attached to this email. Please send me a message to schedule the call.
Customer Support Manager
Sample 2: How to Ask for Availability for a Call
My name is Anna from Silicon Enterprise. We received your complaint about a delayed delivery. Upon checking our records, we discovered the package was delivered 72 hours after your order was confirmed.
We would like to schedule a short phone call to clear up any discrepancies. Please reply to this email with an available time and date.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Sample 1: How to Ask Availability for an Online Meeting
This is Jackson from Octave enterprises. We received your email concerning the difficulty you experienced funding your account.
To assist you with this problem we’d like to schedule an online meeting with you to walk you through the process of funding your account. Please select a preferred date and time for the meeting in the calendar link below.
Thank you for choosing Octave.
Sample 2: How to Ask Availability for an Online Meeting
We received your proposal to redesign our website.
We’d like to schedule an online meeting to discuss the proposal further. A calendar link has been attached to this email, please select a date and time that’s convenient for you.
Looking forward to meeting with you.
Emails remain one of the best tools for prospecting and getting appointments, the crux only remains that you must be creative, assertive, unrelenting and friendly. Sometimes, the little things make most of the difference.
So, do not ignore any sign or whatever information, style and tone you think will interest your prospect when sending emails. Be flexible and professional but avoid being too salesy.
Have you successfully used other strategies to get appointments with your prospects via emails? Please share in the comment section below.