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Common Questions and Answers
Just paying for performance sounds great to companies who want to keep expenses low. They rationalize that sales is a numbers game, so unless they have a steady stream of appointments, they make no money. They believe that hungry callers are more motivated to call more steadily and book more appointments for sales personnel.
Those who advocate paying workers hourly and then offering incentives for various measures of success argue that paying only for performance is not productive. Why not?
Those who work at all-commission jobs, especially at the more introductory level where most telemarketers start, are not independently wealthy. Not having a dependable paycheck of any type makes them nervous for their survival on the job and they may become desperate and book anything. The appointments they make often prove to be worthless because the people were not properly qualified or the meetings do not materialize. The person may cancel or just not show up. To save a few dollars, this wastes the time of sales personnel who have even more at stake, since selling time might be seen as more valuable than the time spent booking appointments.
Industry-wide, the level of callers who work on commission at telemarketing companies are often “lower quality,” in the sense that they may lack the education or experience that more professional callers can bring to the table. They may have only accepted the job out of desperation and tend to move on quickly. When telemarketing companies can’t retain callers the high turnover results in higher training costs that are ultimately passed on to you as a purchaser of this type of service.
High turnover has additional costs. The reason that callers may not be able to book appointments with prospects is that the prospect himself is not ready for an appointment now, but may be ready in a few months. It is important to nurture this prospect who may have good future potential, but when a continual parade of new callers are on the job, potential leads like this fall through the cracks. In contrast, when the workforce has an incentive to stay on the job, they are able to follow the lead and capture the in-person meeting at a later time.
Paying callers for their time, regardless of the immediate outcome of the call, reduces their stress, shows respect to them, and increases the likelihood they will stay on to handle your account long-term. This means they will be able to start building rapport with potential clients who will be more willing to give them the appointment when the time is right.
When looking for a company that offers outbound telemarketing services, ask how their workers are paid. You may think you are savvy in just paying for results if the company pays only commissions and incentives, but what you get may be lower quality appointments that cost you in the long run. For the best results, opt for a company that offers you a professional, fairly paid group of callers who will serve as your sales team and work on protecting your interests long into the future.
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