How to Become an Appointment Setter (Plus Duties and Skills)

Updated 30 September 2022

Appointment setters typically speak with potential customers and encourage them to meet with a salesperson to purchase a company's products or services. Most appointment setters require a combination of training and experience to prepare for this role. If you want to pursue a career as an appointment setter, finding out more about this role can increase your chances of getting the job. In this article, we explain who these professionals are, describe how to become an appointment setter, discuss their skills and outline their work environment.

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What is an appointment setter?

An appointment setter, also known as an appointment generator or inside sales representative, contacts potential customers to assess their interest in a company's products or services. They usually provide information about the product or service and answer prospective customers' questions. If an appointment setter determines a customer has an interest in the product or service, they can encourage them to make an appointment with a member of the sales team. Some large companies employ appointment setters, while others may hire them as freelancers. Appointment setters typically have the following duties:

  • contact leads from a database by making phone calls or sending emails

  • memorise scripts to provide information about a company's products or services

  • maintain a log to record details about their conversations with customers

  • provide follow-up information to prospective customers when necessary

  • prepare and submit reports to managers on the results of their efforts

  • collaborate closely with the sales team to schedule consultations with prospective customers

  • answer incoming calls or emails from prospective customers to provide information or offer support

How to become an appointment setter

If you wish to find out how to become an appointment setter, you can explore the following steps:

1. Complete secondary school

Employers usually require appointment setters to have their high school certificate (HSC) at a minimum. During your high school education, consider taking a variety of courses, such as English, communications and business. These courses can help you develop foundational skills to prepare for a career in this field.

2. Gain experience

While some employers may hire entry-level appointment setters, others might prefer candidates who have previous experience in sales or a similar area, such as customer service. Many employers seek candidates with one to two years of experience. Searching for entry-level jobs may help you gain this experience. For example, you may work as a retail store associate to become comfortable interacting with customers. This experience can help you become eligible for more appointment setter jobs and distinguish you from other candidates.

Related: What Is an Entry-Level Job? (With Types and Career Tips)

3. Earn a formal certificate

In addition to sales experience, you can earn a formal certificate to expand your job opportunities and impress employers. Consider earning a certificate in business or communications and search for programs that can prepare you for a customer-focused position. A good certificate program typically involves courses that help you learn and develop relevant skills, such as customer service. For example, the Certificate III in Business (Customer Engagement) is a 12-month program that teaches professionals how to successfully interact with customers.

4. Update your resume

Once you've completed your education and training, you can update your resume for appointment setter jobs. Read job descriptions closely to understand the skills and qualifications employers are seeking. This can help you customise your resume to align your education, experience and skills with the requirements of the position. You can adjust your resume for different jobs by using the exact keywords and phrases you've found in their descriptions. This may also ensure that your resume passes an applicant tracking system.

Related: What Are Applicant Tracking Systems? The Ultimate Guide

5. Prepare for a job interview

If you impress hiring managers with your resume, you may receive an invitation to an interview. Preparing for it effectively can help you showcase your skills and abilities to an employer. Start with researching the company to understand its products, services and target audience. Practise answering interview questions in front of a mirror or with a friend or family member. Consider recording yourself speaking to evaluate your communication skills, including the tone and delivery of your responses. This may help you feel more confident when you meet with an employer.

Related: How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Appointment setter's skills

Appointment setters typically have a variety of hard and soft skills to help them be successful in their jobs. If you're planning to pursue a career in this field, you may consider developing the following skills:

Technical skills

Appointment setters typically use a variety of tools and equipment at work, including phones, computers and software. Having strong technical skills can help you perform basic tasks efficiently. For example, you may use your technical skills to make phone calls using a software program or answer customers' questions using an online chat service. You can also use task management software to improve your productivity. Technology changes rapidly, and having technical skills can help you adapt quickly to new tools or programs in the workplace.

Customer service skills

A phone call or email to an appointment setter may be the first contact a prospective customer has with a business, so it's important for these professionals to have exceptional customer service skills. Employers may require them to speak with prospective customers in a friendly, courteous manner and show them respect by thanking them for their time and attention. They often listen to potential customers to understand their needs and empathise with their concerns or frustrations. By providing excellent customer service, appointment setters can increase the chances of converting a lead into a customer.

Related: 17 Customer Service Skills: Definitions and Examples

Communication skills

Appointment setters typically spend much of their workdays interacting with prospective customers and salespeople, so it's important for them to have excellent communication skills. They benefit from speaking clearly and confidently when explaining a company's products or services to potential customers. They actively listen to customers' questions and ask follow-up questions if they require clarification. When communicating through email, they write concisely and respond to questions promptly. They may also use written communication skills to keep records of their interactions with customers, which can be helpful for sales team members.

Related: 4 Types of Communication (With Examples)

Persuasion skills

When speaking with potential customers, appointment setters often use persuasion skills to convince them to take a specific action, such as scheduling a meeting with a salesperson. When speaking with potential customers on the phone, appointment setters may use their emotional intelligence to determine a customer's interest in a product or service. Persuasion skills help them connect with clients in a short time frame to attract their attention or encourage their interest. They often use their product knowledge to describe how a product or service may benefit a potential customer.

Related: 7 Examples of Persuasion Skills (With Definitions)

Organisation skills

Appointment setters often have various job duties, and organisational skills can help them manage their workloads effectively. They may use these skills to maintain calendars so they can schedule appointments for prospective customers and salespeople. Thanks to these abilities, they can prioritise their tasks to ensure they complete all their work on time. Good organisation may also be helpful when taking detailed notes about prospective customers and filing their records in a designated space. It can also allow them to make lists or set reminders to follow up with potential customers when necessary.

Related: Top Organisational Skills For Your Resume and Workplace

Appointment setter's work environment

Appointment setters typically work in an office. They often have a desk in a cubicle where they can make phone calls and answer emails. They may spend much of their workdays using phone and computer equipment to speak with customers and update logs and databases. Their hours can vary depending on their employer. Some appointment setters may work standard business hours, while others may work nights and weekends to increase their chances of speaking with prospective customers who are busy during the day.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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