The most frequently used web tool in my tool kit currently is TimeTrade.
As I began writing this series, I lined up a list of the newest, most interesting web tools that I have come across in the last few months. As I compiled the list of all twenty web tools that I will be sharing this month, I was shocked to realize that I have never written about TimeTrade. I share TimeTrade in almost every presentation that I make, having just done so recently to an audience of Business Development professionals in Seattle. I share it with almost every customer that I am consulting with, and in many cases it is the first web tool that we install, integrate and train on.
TimeTrade solves one of the biggest nuisances and time drains in every salesperson’s week – the back and forth email and phone-tag scenario to simply set an appointment with a client or prospect. Think about how many emails or phone messages it takes you to simply set an appointment. TimeTrade delivers a solution that is elegant, simple, professional and flawlessly executed every time.
Here are the basics of how it TimeTrade works:
- Connect your calendar program (Outlook or iCal) to Timetrade, giving it visibility to your calendar
- Decide what types of appointments you would like to offer via TimeTrade
- Set the days of the week and the duration of these meetings
- Set how far in advance you will allow TimeTrade to set appointments
- Describe the intent/purpose of each of the meeting types and durations you have set up
- Complete the messaging that each viewer will see, as well as any specific instructions you would like to share
There are a few options and variations throughout the process I outlined above, but these are the basics.
Here is an example of one of the appointment settings that I have set up.
One of the appointment types that I have created is for 15 minutes and I call it an Introductory Call. I have set specific days of the week and specific 15 minute windows throughout the week that I will allow for this type of appointment to be set. I offer a few 6:00 am time slots in my Pacific time zone to accommodate the desires of my east coast and european customers/prospects. I sprinkle some mid-day and late afternoon blocks as well. I explain that the goal of this meeting is as an exploratory call to find out if there is something of value that each party can achieve by making the appointment. I ask for a phone number that I can call them at, ensuring that wherever I might be, I will be able to place that call, and am not waiting for them to call me. I save the appointment and make note of the URL that is generated for this meeting type and provide that in places, both online and in print that people are able to reference . I have done this for several different appointment types and lengths that are the most typical for me. There are 30 minute meeting for coaching, 60 minute meetings for training, speaking etc. I even have a half-day and full-day appointment type for those that need me for that block of time.
A couple of key points to highlight:
- You set the appointment types and lengths that you want to make available.
- If you have booked an appointment during one of your pre-set times, it does not show as an option for the viewer.
- You decide where and to whom you share the links to these various appointments.
Some examples of how and where I use these links:
If you visit my LinkedIn Profile, listed under my websites you will notice that my 3rd site says” Schedule a 15 Minute Call” as shown below
I include it in my email signature in every email in which it is the original email in the thread as shown here:
Put some thought into it and you will come up with additional creative uses where a specific appointment type could prove useful.
Timetrade is a mature product. They offer versions appropriate for the individual through to the largest enterprise. They offer versions that integrate with Salesforce.com and have apps for various mobile platforms. They have customized solutions for Retail, Sales, Marketing Education Financial Services and Customer Service, and well as versions that can accommodate the needs of a team.
It is beyond me why anyone in business would not integrate TimeTrade into their business. You will thank me and your customers will thank you. I hope you will share some of the creative ways you are using TimeTrade in the comments below.
Oh, by the way…if you would like to schedule a 15 minute Introductory call, click this Introductory Call link.
I use NeverLate for mobile scheduling. I use a few calendars (Gmail, Exchange) for different categories of events and I like that NeverLate integrates all of them. My favorite feature is that contacts relevant for the event don’t have to be in my address book.
Another big advantage is that I can use my terms for locations. For instance I have shortcuts for every location I visit frequently. After using NeverLate for a few weeks it had learned almost all of these locations and associated them with the terms I use for them. This saves me a lot of time when entering the event details into my calendar. It’s a small company and the product is fairly new. Every week they keep adding functionality. I give them feedback once in a while to make sure, my requirements for a scheduling product are met.