Who is going to do it? Make the calls, engage the decision-makers and set the appointment? Whether your first meeting is face-to-face, by phone, by webinar or at an event… somebody has to smile and dial. How do you find these people.
Let me share some characteristics to seek, and red flags to avoid. Programs don’t get off the ground if you can’t find someone to make the calls. They die quickly if the callers are not capable or there is a lot of turnover.
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– The job is a step up financially. The person must make more money setting appointments for you than they would at another job. If the job market is such that they would realistically make X at a job if they could find one, you want to pay them slightly more as a base. X + 10-20%. Incentives are on top of this.
– This is a part time job. Productivity plunges after 3 – 3 ½ hours on the phone. If you make this a full time job you are throwing money away.
– The situation must be right. Very important. Much of the time it is the “situation” that keeps a competent person on the job and digging in to keep it. There are a lot of competent people who need part time flexible circumstances. If you can offer a degree of flexibility you can attract and keep good people. If you are close by, that appeals to people. If you provide a professional high-class work environment, that is appealing.
– People with realistic earning expectations. Assuming your program is successful, you should know what a good appointment setter will earn. Ask people what they wish to make. Don’t tell them, ask them. They must answer with a dollar amount. If they don’t know what they want to make or quote an unrealistically high number, cut them loose. If they don’t know what they want or have expectations that are not met, they won’t stay.
-Experience calling????? My preference…. none at all. My recommendation is that you look for communication skills and experience interacting with people. Could be bank tellers or waitresses, I don’t care. Experience interacting with people is a must. Call experience…. most of the time it gets in the way. People have bad habits, want to do things differently, change the scripts without knowing what they are doing. There are experienced people out there but most of the time you will be training newbies and plugging them into your system.
Red Flags: Look for these things and run away if you find them.
– Earnings potential is a lateral move. If someone, assuming they produce, is realistically going to make the same amount of money calling for you as they could get with another job, say “bye-bye.”. The candidate must make more money appointment setting for you than they could with other jobs they might get.
– They cannot be “in-between” jobs. If there is even a hint that this is a fill-in gig until they get the job they really want, you have to pass.
– The job is a step down professionally. If appointment setting is a step down for someone professionally or financially, they odds are high they won’t last. Don’t even try.
– They can’t handle repetition and routine. Much of appointment setting is routine. That gets boring. Find out how they would handle the repetition and monotony.
– They can’t handle rejection. Ask them. Belabor all the bad stuff that can happen on the phone. If they hesitate, pass.
– They hate scripts. You have a system (hopefully) that you are plugging people into. They need to follow the system with a little wiggle room for personality and circumstances. If you have a system that works, or are working a process to perfect a system, you need people who will follow instructions and keep to plan. If they tell you they don’t like scripts, believe them and let them go.
Finding, keeping and coaching appointment setters is not easy. You need someone that is smart enough to interact with top people as a peer, yet can also manage repetition and routine. Keep these qualities and red flags in mind when hiring.
If you need help with the hiring appointment setting process, contact me to discuss. 978-296-2700.