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Commission for Appointment Setters?

Commission for Appointment SettersCommission for appointment setters is a common question when setting up the sales processes for new organizations.

"What is the best commission model when hiring a sales person to sell digital marketing services to small businesses?" was asked on an expert platform I'm a member of.

The asker went on to explain that the owners of the business will handle the consultation and closing. So it wasn't a "sales" role...it was phone prospecting...appointment setting.

I've set up agencies for commission sales teams in the management consulting field.

Issues with Commission for Appointment Setters

Finding people to work entirely on commission was possible pre-2008, but nearly impossible after 2011. The level of skepticism, coupled with people holding PhDs and psychiatry degrees realizing they shouldn't be trying to duck into being telemarketers until their practices pick back up, lead to a huge drop-off in the number of candidates.

I also hired firms specializing in finding commission sales candidates, and they were unable to provide me more than a couple of resumes of people who did not stick. To be fair, this was in 2012-13 and their situation may have changed by now.

However--with the minimal buy-in, loyalty and typically abysmal investment in training the hiring company provides, it is in my opinion not worth traveling down that path.

The candidate doesn't really have a reason to stick around. Any time a regular wage job is put in front of them, they'll jump. And most never wanted to be making calls in the first place.

I know several business owners who run "boiler room" type operations and they are constantly juggling and struggling with staffing. Callers go to lunch and don't return. They don't show up. And this is when paying the callers a wage! From my perspective, it wasn't worth the hassle.

Perhaps you'll find someone who has the commitment, the drive, the energy and the talent to be a good commission appointment setter. As far as I'm concerned, that would be like winning the lottery.

Two more thoughts.

First, to attract someone into a role like this, you really have to be paying an hourly rate. I'd skip commission entirely. Your retention will be much better, depending on how well you screen candidates.

Second, if you're going the commission route, the rate has to be big enough to be worthwhile. Yes, maybe 5% IS an appropriate *percentage* of the sale to give an appointment setter--but is it a significant-enough amount of *money* to be worth the person's time?

You'll have to figure this out with your own numbers and see if a person can really make a livable wage out of your numbers.

After all, they don't get paid unless the owners do their job, too. If they don't sell, the setter doesn't make anything. Personally, I would not want to hand my financial fortunes over to someone else like that.

Is Your "Game" Rigged for the Setter to Fail?

Can the setter really make the number of dials necessary to succeed?

Let's say your service is priced at $5000. 5% of that is $250.

I don't know what the livable wage is in your area--in NY and LA it's going to be much higher than, say, Portland, OR or where I am in Wilmington, NC--but let's say the setter needs a good $2500 a month to scrape by.

That's $2500/250 = 10 sales.

10 SALES.

Not 10 appointments set.

We still have to back into that number.

Now if you're the owner, or the person doing the selling, how good are you?

Most people overestimate their competency level. They believe they're going to close almost all of the prospects who come their way. Not so!

Not even half.

Let's say, generously, 1 in 3.

Maybe your setter does a bang-up qualification job (Secret: that's what you're really paying them for) and you really can close 1 in 2. But let's go 1 in 3 and I still think that's generous.

So now your setter has to bring you 3 X 10 = 30 leads every month.

An Overlooked Factor in Commission for Appointment Setters

How long's your sales cycle?

Hadn't thought of that, had you!

That means you're going to have to back out the final of these 30 leads to the date that leaves enough time to finish that cycle before the month expires and our poor setter runs out of time to make their revenue target.

See what I'm saying?

What this translates to, in English, is your setter's probably going to have a pretty bad first month.

Why?

Because they're filling the funnel.

Unless they go nuts, like aiming for 60 or 90 or 100 leads to cram into that funnel, the odds of enough getting through the sales cycle and closed and paid so they can be paid is low.

So let me ask you this:

If you work hard for a month and at the end things look terrible and you didn't make the money you expected--despite your effort being "on target"--

how do you feel?

Like you want to quit, right?

Unless you want a rotating door of setters, I strongly suggest you set up the equation to it supports your hire and gives them the time and financial reward they need to succeed. Which means they HAVE to survive through to that second month...keep putting in the effort, and seeing the good results appear.

Number of Dials Needed to Earn Commission for Appointment Setters

Back to the math...

To get those 30 leads (and remember, that is when the sales funnel is FULL, and your setter is continuing to load more leads into it to keep it full, and you have many prospects at various stages of the pipeline--not just at the beginning), how many people does your setter have to call?

We know, on average, that only 1 in 4 prospects dialed will be ready and available to talk today.

So 30 X 4 = 120 is your setter's ultra-basic, bare minimum number of dials. And really, I bet it will end up being double or triple that.

Does your setup, and your setter's situation, support them being able to make those dials?

And remember, this is with a decently mid-ticket offer of $5000. If your price is actually lower, the number of leads and dials are going to be much higher.

These calculations will of course vary depending on your situation. My intention here is to give you a sense of what's involved and where the perils are.

Just remember: Dials >>> Leads >>> Sales

>> Jason Kanigan is a worldwide authority on cold calling. Want his help? Visit the corporate services site here. <<

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Expanding Your Influence [Business Newbie Guide Part 5]

expanding your influenceExpanding your influence is a key factor in increasing your business. If no one knows who you are, or what problems you solve, they won't know to get ahold of you for help.

This is why those who jump from shiny object to shiny object never get anywhere. You see them, five years later, still floundering. They haven't stood for anything, and so haven't become known for anything. Don't become that kind of person!

To make this kind of transformation happen, you must prepare to share your message with people.

And the best way to do this is being an interview guest on targeted radio shows and podcasts!

If you have some experience with a niche, topic or marketplace, you have more knowledge about it than many other people. And lots of these people will be interested in learning what you know about! You do not need to be an in-depth expert on a subject to be qualified to talk about it. Just keep in mind your target audience. Who are they? What level are they at? Who are you best able to help? If you're clear with this up front, your audience will self-select and appreciate it.

I know a lot about selling. But an in-depth interview on Fit like this one is simply not something suitable for newbies to the subject. If the listener was an experienced sales executive or business owner, however, this interview would be a huge help to them.

On the lock picking topic, I don't know a whole lot. But I do know much more than the average person, and so it's interesting for me to share some surprising observations that are matching that newbie level.

So know where you're at and who your target audience is before you take the next step in expanding your influence.

Then do this:

Write a Bio Sheet for Expanding Your Influence

Summarize your Why, your background and your promise in a couple paragraphs.

Keep this short; we'll see why in a minute. This is a hook, not a resume.

Include your name, phone number, time zone, a backup communication method (eg. Skype ID), and email address.

Draft a Sample Questions Sheet

Write seven to ten sample questions people at your target audience's level of understanding would have about your topic.

Prepare answers to them, and rehearse! Don't skip the rehearsal. Live on air is NOT the time to be figuring out your response.

Put Them On a Media Page

Save these files in pdf format. If you have a website, post them on a Media page.

Write some text above them explaining you are available as an interview guest. Then invite the visitor to download the pdf files to consider you as a guest.

Now you have a place to refer hosts to.

Now a caution: you will have to update the bio sheet and questions as time goes on. Personally, for example, I am so bored with talking about cold calling. I no longer want to talk about it. I have done that interview fifty times. So after my first year doing interviews, I changed it up. Pricing, business models, and funnels are currently my interests. And the bio and questions needed to be revised to reflect that.

So why are we doing this?

Radio show and podcast hosts are EAGER for fresh, interesting content that is valuable to their audience.

That's why it's vital to remember that you have value, regardless of the depth of knowledge you have. As long as you know more than your target audience, and you're clear about who you are talking to, you will be welcomed as a guest.

Now the reason we created the bio sheet and sample questions is...to make life easy for the host.

They will likely read your bio word for word at the beginning of their show. So make sure their introduction of you is spicy and memorable! The beauty of this is it's completely under your control: you write the words. Get that perception started off right!

And then they will go through the questions you've prepared. They will skip the ones that don't interest them, or that they think aren't relevant to their audience. Keep track of this behavior. If you find a question is constantly being skipped, replace it with another. If another question is consistently being welcomed with excitement, prepare and amp up your answer for maximum effect.

Yes, they may ask questions that aren't on your list. But only one or two questions, probably; the rest, you'll be totally familiar with.

Where to Find Sources of Expanding Your Influence

Google "Podcast (topic)".

Google "Radio show (topic)".

And go to radioguestlist.com.

Choose your targets carefully. Out of a dozen shows I'm emailed about, I might choose just a single possibility to send my information to.

Remember, these people WANT to hear from you...if what you have to share is aligned with what their audience wants to hear!

So don't ever feel embarrassed or shy about reaching out.

Send a quick email to the producer of the show. Explain that you'd like to be a guest on their program. Give at least one good reason why you believe you're a fit for their audience.

Attach your bio and questions sheets, or link them to your Media page. Hey, all the work they want done is already completed! You've made it easy for them. They appreciate that.

When they reply to confirm they'd like you to be a guest on the show, calendar the time. Make sure you show up. Keep that backup communication method handy...you never know when your primary method will crap out.

Have a "next step" for listeners to take. The hosts will give you a chance for a bit of self-promotion at the end: a website listeners can visit, a location they can buy something from you.

Send a thank you note after the show is recorded.

Start using these show recordings as marketing collateral.

Post them on your site, or at least links to them. Write about them. Post on social media.

The more your target market can hear and see you before they ever actually speak to you in person, the more geared they will be to buying from you.

The Next Method for Expanding Your Influence

The next effective way to expand your influence is by quickly finding, sorting and having qualifying conversations with prime suspects.

To get every detail on how to do this, see the Speedy Sales Machine.

Once you've implemented everything up to and including this fifth step, it's time to talk to me. Use the popup on the right; it links to a quick survey so I can see where you're at.

If you need further direction, get Zero To Cash: the blueprint for newbies!

>> Want Jason's help? If you're already making money competently producing a product or service, we could be a fit. <<

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How To Find Pain Points

How to find pain pointsHow to find pain points is one of the basic sales questions we need to answer. We know what they are, and we know they are not features or benefits. But how do we get them?

The great thing about how to find pain points is that they are not difficult to find. We merely have to uncover them. Yes, they really are out there, like a good-for-you vegetable resting just under the surface.

Pain points are specific to their niche. Similarities and crossovers may exist from one niche to another, but terminology will change. Remain aware of this. You cannot simply carbon copy a pain point over to a new niche.

It's as simple as this: prospects will tell you the pain points. However, it takes time.

How To Find Pain Points the Easy Way

You have to be willing to begin badly. Realize that your first several days--probably the initial week if you're dialing an hour a day, and perhaps even two--will be purely for discovering pain points. Want faster results? Make more dials. This is the barrier of effectiveness: most people give up after a couple hours of calling. But the payoff if you commit is tremendous.

When you start, you'll begin with a "good enough" script. Your best guess for what may work. Pick a niche and stick with it. Some prospects won't want to talk, and that's fine; there are always people who don't want to or aren't able to talk. We know this from our industry standard stats:

- half the people you call won't be available

- half of the people who pick up the phone can't actually talk right now.

But of those who do pick up and can talk, some of them will want to help you with how to find pain points. Some people are just plain helpful. Others want to puff out their chests and be the expert. Either one is good for you.

You won't have to fight. Keep your ears open. Listen to what prospects are telling you. Eventually you're going to realize you've heard what this prospect just said before. Write that phrase down. Write it down exactly the way they said it. Notice the terminology. And over the next few days, you'll hear that same thing again and again. When you are told the same thing by three or more decision makers in that industry, you have the makings of a pain point.

"I'm sick and tired of metal fabrication subcontractors promising to meet our delivery dates to get the order, and then failing to do so. That screws up all the inspections and the schedule of all the trades that follow them in."

"Yeah, we gave a few jobs to a fab shop and their work is good, but they keep missing delivery dates. That really causes me a lot of trouble. I get penalized by the developer. The city inspectors and finishing carpeters hate my guts."

"I might consider trying you, but there's a question I have: can you deliver when you say you will?"

This is an example of a series of things you might here--and I did hear--when prospecting for a metal fabrication shop. You can see the common thread. You can also pick out some of the specific industry terms. The pain point is right there.

The No-Risk Way of How To Find Pain Points

Here is a way to uncover pain points without disturbing your target market:

Call the same niche, but in a different geographic area.

Yes, you may miss something that's different about your local area, but you'll get enough to start having good conversations.

Once you get the decision maker on the line, ask: "I'm not sure if you can help me, but I'm trying to find out about the experience (their niche) has had with (your type of company). Have you worked with one?"

Eg. "I'm trying to find out about the experience building contractors have had with metal fab shops. Have you worked with one?"

If they have a story to share, they will.

Then ask them what the worst experience they've had with one was. And then the best.

Yes, the best. Good experiences can be turned around into pain points. Just reverse the situation...if you can actually accomplish the end result.

An Example of How To Find Pain Points

I had a client in Florida who worked all day. He got out of the office at 5PM local time. Obviously we couldn't call locally, so we picked roofers in Colorado. Within a dozen dials, he had the marketing manager of a medium-sized roofing company on the line. Just out of niceness, she spent twenty minutes sharing with him the specifics of the roofing industry in Colorado. I pulled six pain points out of that conversation. It was easy. Now we had our way of starting great conversations with prospects.

Now this may sound simple. And it is. But when making sales calls, most people are concerned with what they are going to say rather than listening to what the other person is saying. I am asking you to keep listening in mind. What is the prospect actually saying?

The information is out there. You simply have to be willing to put in the time and effort, which is not massive and yet has a huge payoff, to uncover it.

>> Want Jason's help to figure out your pain points? Email me at jason@jasonkanigan.com | Did this article help you? Please Like, Share or Comment to let others know. And Follow this blog to receive new articles in your email with the big red button! <<