Today I’m going to talk about a tool that helps me make appointments with a huge number of people and not have to send back and forth emails, “Is this a good time for you?”, “Is this a good time for me?”, and spend 10 minutes, for example, trying to arrange an online or offline meeting.
This tool that I’ve been using for a long time is Calendly. Calendly is a very cool service that they say has 8 million users already.
I’m on the paid plan. And it allows you to simplify meeting arrangements without all of these back and forth emails or messages.
I’ll tell you what functionality Calendly has, how it works, and what specific features I use.
How does Calendly work?
You give a person a link, they click on it and see what time slots are available when they can make an appointment. How are those slots formed? You give access to your Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, or any other calendar and assign that I am generally ready to hold these meetings on such days of the week, generally at such times, and accordingly there should be at least, for example, half an hour or an hour between meetings, and he respectively offers the person what time slots are available.
Calendly can be used for one-on-one meetings, you can use it in the sales process, i.e. when a customer chooses a time and is assigned to some of the sales managers. It allows your guest to invite more of their colleagues to the meeting. And accordingly, in the process of doing all this, it sends a notice to the parties.
What Calendly does:
- Sets aside some time to buffer between, there, how much time you have between meetings to prepare for the next meeting, go get a drink of water, and so on.
- Captures how many meetings of this type you are willing to do in total per day.
- Shows how much time you can book a meeting with you in advance.
- Defines timezones.
If the other person is already a Calendly user too, it even highlights in the interface that here’s another event on your calendar at that time, so choose other slots. All of this is timezone-based, i.e. clients from the U.S. can easily book my time in their own time zone.
By the way, one of our clients inserted a special Calendly code on his site and right in the popup on the site you could choose what time to call a B2B SaaS vendor.
Who is Calendly useful for?
Well, first of all, in case of sales and marketing tasks, i.e. if you need to either sell to a customer or call a customer. In customer success and account management tasks if you have a lot of clients and need to arrange regular meetings with them.
For interviews or different kinds of interviews and research. For training. Freelancers, consultants. I saw a guy in Australia set up 2 Calendly links. One link is if you can book an appointment with me in a week. The second link – if it’s straightforward, urgent, you can book faster, but there on the way Calendly will offer to pay for this paid appointment.
This way you can regulate the flow of clients, who are really urgent and who are willing to pay, there, the conditional $50-100, and who are not so urgent and are willing to wait a week.
Options for using Calendly
I don’t just use Calendly for sales meetings or presales, by the way. I’ve also used it when I do web analytics training. I created a link for them, chose slots, and they chose from my available time when I would come in and do more than 10 classes there.
And I used Calendly to do interviews, which means when you need to interview a candidate in the office or online, then accordingly instead of negotiating, “Can you do it at this time? Can you do it at that time?”, you just drop a link and the candidate chooses the time that’s convenient for him or her.
Globally, I separate out hour-long meetings, half-hour-long meetings, and divide them into online or offline. Because in the case of offline, I have to be in the office and ideally one of the talks should also be available. In the case of online, switching between meetings can take less time and I can have such a meeting on the road.
How to set up Calendly
An example of one meeting is how I set it up.
Well, for example, a 60 minute call in Zoom. There’s Zoom tied in right away. Each client is generated its own Zoom meeting. It has a description that you’re going to need a Zoom app. And then there’s settings. For example, that the length of the appointment is 60 minutes, that the number of days in advance that you can book is 3 weeks, well, i.e. if you’re planning some vacation, you’re probably not planning it today for tomorrow, or some trip, or some activity where you’ll be out of the office, not working and so on.
And it’s set by week, what days of the week, in what time ranges I’m willing to call or meet. This is an example for clients around the world, so there are times from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., because for clients from the United States those times are appropriate and for them I’m willing to call later.
That said, there is some specificity here. For example, on Tuesdays I don’t have this time slot selected from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. I’m not ready to call on Tuesday and I’m not ready to call late on Friday. Friday because I usually go out with friends in the evening. On Tuesday, because that’s the day I’m usually hungry and just at 7:00 p.m. I have extremely little energy, extremely little resource to make any more calls, think, offer something to a potential client, and so on.
I put buffers between meetings, i.e. here you can make an appointment if you have an hour of free time before it and an hour of free time after it. I’ve used half hour buffers, but I don’t always get to make it. Plus, after the meeting, sometimes I need to take care of some other tasks, send it off. Accordingly, I try to have an hour of time between meetings, because I have a bunch of other managerial work to do during the day. If you take away the buffers, then essentially only the day will consist of meetings and you won’t have control over your calendar.
I also choose necessarily in the settings how much time before the appointment can be booked. In this example it is 8 hours, because again under the American time zone. In most cases it is 24 or 48 hours. So the client can book an appointment with me not day-to-day, but the next day or the day after.
And plus I choose how many of these types of meetings I’m willing to do per day. If someone has already chosen 2 of those meetings that day, no more slots will be available that day.
As far as what I ask the person, it’s give or take, everything is standard here. It’s a name, e-mail, plus in some cases I also ask for a phone number where you get a text message saying that you booked an appointment for such and such a time, here’s a reminder for you.
They recently did a feature on different reminders. I have them set up as well. What’s important here? The important thing here is to invite people to the calendar specifically, not just send them an email. If the person on the other side is using the calendar and he at the last minute, I don’t know, on that day noted that he can’t be at a meeting or one of his colleagues said, “Maybe” – maybe I will, maybe not – you immediately see that in your calendar.
I have email meeting reminders and text reminders set up. Well, for example, I only practice text message reminders 24 hours before an appointment. On the day of the appointment, I no longer remind them. I expect that either the person uses a calendar or uses email. And if he has already scheduled a specific time and day for a specific meeting, then for me it is also a sign if he forgot or didn’t show up.
Plus, given that not everyone is used to this functionality, not everyone lives by the calendar, I warn at the time of booking an appointment and then in communications that if a client does not show up without notice and is more than 10 minutes late, then I reserve the right to cancel that appointment and most often it will no longer happen that day:
“I’ll send a link, reschedule for another time. I waited 10 minutes for you, I can’t do it anymore today, I have other tasks I’ll be doing.”
You can also show some links here on the “Thank you” page that the client can explore, you can collect payments, but I don’t use that because I have essentially mostly presale meetings that are free for the client, and so I only show links to agency pages so they can explore some information before they even make the call.
I also integrated Calendly with my CRM system and so when a potential client books a meeting with me, this is pulled into the CRM system and it is noted that on such and such a date at such and such a time there will be a meeting on this particular request.
And another of those tricks, Calendly offers people to cancel appointments or reschedule appointments if they don’t work out. Not everybody knows how to use it, but I think given that they have 8 million clients, more and more will use this tool and it will help you, me to schedule meetings more efficiently, more productively and spend less time approving meeting times, meeting locations and availability of all the people.
And for podcast listeners. In this episode, we showed on screen how Calendly works. Accordingly, if you want to see it live or with screenshots, go to YouTube at the link in the description or on Roman.ua and see how it works in the screenshots to visualize and think about how you can apply it in your life.
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See you all again. Bye-bye.