Many marketers, sales leaders and business owners contemplate expanding their BDR/SDR team with hired pay-per-meeting services such as By Appointment Only. But do they really work?
Why are you considering this in the first place?
Are you missing your meeting goals with your in-house team? Or maybe double down efforts with a guarantee. Perhaps you don't have an in-house team and are considering the outsourcing route.
Decide why you are even considering this and what you expect to get out of it before you embark on solution exploration.
What appointment setting service partner is ideal for me?
Now that you know what you want to do and why you are devoting budget towards this, it's time to evaluate some solutions. There are a few ways to go about doing this that I recommend.
1. Ask around. Post a question on a LinkedIn group, reach out to your network or send a personal note to marketing experts you admire (they love getting questions!).
2. Run a search. Google and Bing are a go-to when you just don't have any idea of who actually provides appointment setting services. Run a search and get a list.
3. Online search step 2. Now that you have some names, search for terms like 'By Appointment Only competitors' and see if you can discover a few more.
Start the evaluation
Now we can connect and have the conversations with a few potential solution providers. Here is what to look for during these conversations.
1. Do they have experience working in your market? If they are booking appointments for outsourced IT support and you are selling an enterprise SaaS solution, I would be leery.
2. How involved do you need to be? What is required from you? Get a good sense of how this will add to your workload and get a very clear understanding of how much time you will need to devote to the program.
3. Do they have references they are willing to introduce you to? I have talked to vendors who will provide case studies but are unwilling to introduce me to current customers to have an actual conversation. No bueno.
4. What is their pricing model and does this fit your budget? Some will charge a flat fee per month with no guarantee and some will charge for meetings that took place.
5. How confident are they that they can satisfy your goal requirements? Say you need 100 appointments booked per month, can they deliver it?
6. Do they offer a pilot program? Without committing to a year or several months, can you try it out and see what happens? If they don't offer this, it's a good sign they are not confident they can prove their worth to you.
Now that you have your evaluations complete, it;s time to go go go.
TIP: Before you commit to this type of program, focus a lot of your time on considering your brand reputation. You are allowing another company to 'act' like they work for you. Make sure they are someone you would hire direct.