20 Things about Appointment Setting

1. Finding a way to meet someone face-to-face will get you more clients.

2. Cold calling is harder than you ever thought it could be.

3. If you don’t come up as a name and a number on someone’s phone, you are on their personal Do Not Call

4. Ask everyone you know about their employer as a way of getting introduced to business decision makers.

5. Don’t ask me how to cold call HR people. I don’t have any good ideas for that.

6. There isn’t a “Great Voice Mail” message out there. If there were, I’d know it by now.

7. Texting an entire conversation is not only non-compliant, it doesn’t work to get you appointments. Stop doing that.

8. Use emails to request a Phone Date, but keep it short. (Two sentences, max!)

9. Set Phone Dates with everyone – even your friends. They don’t pick up their phones either.

10. Phone Dates make the question “Is this a good time to talk?” totally irrelevant. Stop asking it.

11. When you are networking, ask people about themselves.

12. When you do any kind of event where you have a booth, ask people about themselves.

13. Don’t memorize an Elevator Speech – ask people about themselves. Then answer “So what do you do?” with words that connect your work to their life. Which they tell you about, if you’ve asked.

14. Plan small breakfast meetings with favorite clients that are similar, plus a COI you trust. Let the COI talk and ask 5 clients to bring someone you don’t know. For the price of 12 breakfasts, you meet 5 people, reinforce 5 important relationships and get a COI in your debt.

15. Join things you enjoy. It’s easier to create a great practice with people you already like.

16. Call the people you love. Don’t try to sell them but let them know you’d be remiss if you didn’t at least let them know you – and your team – can be a resource to them.

17. If your leads bore you, go out and do something fun and meet new people. You CAN create business while enjoying yourself.

18. Use LinkedIn properly. If you don’t know how, stop wasting time just randomly connecting with people.

19. Learn how to transition from a coffee appointment to a fact find appointment.

20. But see the coffee appointment as your chance to qualify the client – i.e. do you really like them and think you can do good work with them? Not every coffee appointment becomes more.

Bonus: Be careful who you make a client. Not all the crazy people are locked up.


Gail Goodman is known as The PhoneTeacher. Gail has developed the best structured analysis of the appointment setting phone call so that all direct sales people can master this critical skill. Being a great sales person is irrelevant if you’re not sitting with prospects, and Gail’s training materials, on-site seminars, videos and newsletters zero in on the most effective way to understand this critical part of the sales cycle. For almost thirty years, Gail has continually updated her seminar and training materials to keep pace with the changes in our culture. Despite the exponential increase in emailing and texting, the ability to communicate effectively by phone remains an important part of American commerce. Gail addresses the new “digital-personal-vocal mix” which all sales teams must learn to manage in our ever-changing society.