As a service provider you rely on appointments to drive revenue for your business. It’s a constant balancing act. A week of too many appointments can leave you feeling exhausted and your clients might start to notice you seeming a bit despondent. A week of too few appointments can leave you, well, hungry for more to say the least.
The tactic this post discusses should keep you from that hunger.
As humans, we often fail to see our own limitations. We’re pretty bad (dismal even) at recognizing this, or perhaps we’ve just started to see our limitations in a more positive light. Either way, there are reasons why your clients (who fall into this realm of humans) aren’t scheduling with you.
The big revelation? They’re lazy and bad at making decisions.
That sounds harsh, so before the shock runs away with you, let me explain.
Humans are lazy in the sense that they don’t go looking for more work. If there is work that has to be done in order for us to reach a goal that has basis in one of our core values, we can be as motivated as a crocodile at feasting time.
But if it doesn’t fall in that essential category, we can put it off for a really long time or maybe not get to it at all.
This isn’t something to be offended about. It just means you have to lower the threshold so they have to take fewer steps. Send them an email, propose the appointment, and tell them why the appointment will benefit them. If you’re in their email inbox you’ve put yourself on their to-do list to at least sort thereby lowering the threshold they had to overcome in order to meet with you in the first place.
Here’s where the second half of the revelation comes into play. If the email you send says something along the lines of:
Your chances of getting a response or the appointment scheduled are low.
This is because the email isn’t specific enough. Does John have time this week or next? Well, yeah, he may have time but he now needs to look at his entire calendar for the next two weeks and see when it may fit in. Then he needs to suggest that time to you all with the subconscious fear that it may not work on your end and whatever he suggested will be rejected.
That’s a lot of work you’re asking of him. Remember part 1 of the revelation? Right, now let’s lower the threshold.
If you are looking to actually get the appointment scheduled suggest a time for it.
Tell people exactly how long the appointment will take so they can look at only one timeslot on their calendar and see if it will fit in.
And even if it doesn’t fit in, it’s easier for people to say no to a specifically suggested time. When you don’t suggest a time, people find it difficult to say “No, I don’t want to schedule an appointment with you,” because innately we (humans) don’t want to reject others, either. Thus, they don’t respond at all.
Likely, though, they do want to schedule an appointment with you. So they could say “No, but I’m available on this date at this time”. Or, they may say, “No that time doesn’t work for me. What other availability do you have?”
The point here is that you’re giving people something to respond to as opposed to expecting them to propose something all on their own. Typically we don’t not do things because they are that difficult. We don’t do things because there are too many steps involved (even if the steps are as easy as checking your calendar on a mobile phone for an available time) & too many decisions to make.
Lower the threshold for your clients. You’ll make them feel awesome about the responses they can give you and you’ll feel awesome as you have more clients coming in.
Once you have the appointment time confirmed over email, add it to your online scheduling app so all the reminder emails and text messages go to them at the right time and you reduce the chance of no shows. TimeTap is a good solution for that.