This post is part 2 of "Why Your Sales Appointments Don’t Stick and How to Correct That"
Here we'll discuss the first of several apps available online that will help correct the problem of sales appointment that don't stick and supercharge your lead generation follow up.
The beauty of TimeBridge is in the collaboration prior to the meeting. The gentle meeting reminders, though, are excellent as well. As I said in my last piece (part 1) these are key to making your sales appointments stick!
According to Wikipedia: "TimeBridge is a Web-based software application for coordinating and running meetings and collaborating online. TimeBridge's meeting management service works with large groups or one-on-one meetings across time zones and companies and integrates directly with Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar and Apple iCal."
When Creating a Meeting
TimeBridge allows us to pick up to 5 times on our calendar. When each invitee reviews the times we suggest, they can note whether each time is good, bad or best for them. Once each invitee responds, a time can be chosen based on everyones availability. Then a message is sent to everyone confirming the time. If the noted times do not work, the organizer will get a message that basically says try again. There is also the opportunity for the invitees to send comments:
Features in the meeting request email also include:
Agenda items listing duration of each proposed by attendees so everyone knows what to expect
Action items with a due date and assignment to one of the attendees
Attachments which can be uploaded from our computer or from a box.net account which can be integrated
Notes area, separate from the short personal message, that can be displayed in the email
Other key features include:
Invitees do not have to register to use TimeBridge to accept or respond to meeting requests. This is a big deal! We'll get more cooperation this way.
A link that can be personalized and will direct people to a copy of our calendar allowing them to request a meeting with us. When's the last time that happened? Every salesperson's dream, right? My link is (meetwith.me/matthewcantwell) click on it and it’ll show how someone can easily tell what slots are available in our calendar. Relax, it will show PRIVATE instead of our meeting details. And don't worry, we can always clarify why someone would want to meet when accepting their request. If they turn out to be a salesperson (yuck, right?) trying to sell something, remember to treat them the way we'd like to be treated. Don't mess with sales-karma, it'll hurt!
As stated above, the gentle meeting reminders are excellent as well. They can come via email or text reminders to cell phones which can get the attention of would-be late-comers.
The ability to offer the same time slot in multiple meeting requests and schedule based on first-come first-serve. Efficiency - yeah!
I would argue with the iCal integration. Hasn't worked directly in my iCal yet, but I currently use it in my Google Calendar. I used Microsoft Outlook for years and the integration was seamless. I included it since so many companies still use Outlook.
The way it avoids double booking our calendar unlike many other calendar / meeting request apps. Tied for "best" is the way TimeBridge won't leave gaps in our calendar that used to be necessary because we could not offer the same time slot in multiple meeting request, now we can.
Say we send out three request in the same morning. Say all three include one of the same time slots on our calendar. Based on the first meeting to take that time slot, TimeBridge will remove that available time from the remaining unconfirmed meeting requests. Why reserve that time for only one possible meeting?
We're busy, just like our prospects. Our time is valuable, just like our prospects. Believe it!
Next we’ll continue our review of apps that will help in the pursuit of sales appointments that stick. We'll review the Google Calendar native calendar request and Apple's iCal native calendar request
Give TimeBridge a try today and let me know what you think in the comments below. I am interested to hear about your experience.