Think of your schedule as a one-dimensional organizational tool? You’re missing out. Your schedule is a secret sales tool waiting to work for you. If used correctly, your scheduling tool has a lot more potential than you might think to generate business.
No matter how large your company is, how much revenue you’re bringing in, or how long you’ve been around, if you have a business – your schedule could be working to boost your bottom line.
Follow these 7 steps to make the most of your schedule
1. Digitize and publicize your calendar. If you want your schedule to start making money for your business as a sales tool, you have to make your calendar accessible to potential clients. By using an online booking platform where customers can view openings for appointments, demos, classes, events, etc., they can see when you’re free and book a slot right away.
2. Use a “Call to Action” (CTA) button to link your calendar with meetings. Make it easy for customers and prospects to find your calendar via a CTA buttons on your website, in email campaigns, or other digital marketing materials. These buttons should be the center of attention on all your content, and labelled clearly with obvious expressions like “Book Me Now” or “Schedule Your Appointment.”
3. Place the power in your customers’ hands. By letting your customers reserve their own time slot on your calendar you make a powerful impression and win customer service brownie points. By opening your calendar to your audience, you convey the message that you are prioritizing their time by putting control of your schedule in their hands, and skipping the painful phone tag or email inquiry process.
4. Capture key contact details. When a client reserves a slot on your calendar, it is essential you capture their contact details. At a minimum, this should be an email address. If it’s appropriate, get their phone number and mailing address here too. Obtaining this kind of contact information opens up a world of opportunities to keep marketing to a warm customer base – people who have already come in contact with your services and could be convinced to convert in future.
5. Cut cancellations and no-shows. Businesses lose money when customers neglect appointments. There are a few ways to address the problem. First, you can take payment or a deposit online at the time of booking, if applicable to your business. Second, you can send friendly email or text reminders in the days and even hours before your appointment. In these reminders, offer the opportunity to reschedule if necessary. Make it much harder for customers to forget their meetings.
6. Offer bonuses and promos. If someone reserves time on your calendar, it shows you’ve already made an impression. Now the goal is to keep them coming back. Track customer patterns and send targeted offers that remind them to return or try something new. For instance, if you own a spa and a customer routinely books massages, send them a special offer for booking a facial/manicure combo. If you use your calendar as a sales tool to schedule demos of a product, send a follow-up email to customers who completed the demo but did not follow through with a purchase. A little extra prompting may be all a customer needs to make a purchase or increase their spending.
7. Alert and educate. Use the contact information you’ve gathered to alert your customers when new opportunities that might interest them become available. Educate existing customers about upcoming changes, or send newsletters with valuable information that does not push a sale. Consistent communication paired with valuable and relevant information will help you build a loyal client base of people who will continually look for more opportunities to connect with your business.