Cold Calling and Appointment Setting Jobs
By Tracie Chancellor
If you are considering applying for a work from home job, have you considered cold calling and appointment setting jobs? Some employers hire callers who work from home to connect businesses to each other via telephone where the objective is an appointment between the two businesses. This type of job generally offers individuals a great deal of flexibility in their work-life as well as the opportunity to establish a solid source of income. By learning more about cold calling and appointment setting, and the skills required for each, this type of job might be the next job you apply for.
What is cold calling?
For many employers who hire work from home callers, cold calling is a primary aspect of the job. This generally occurs between the person hired and another individual who represents the business being called. It is referred to as cold calling because the person called by the work-at-home caller is usually not expecting their call. Most cold calls are then used as a stepping-stone to set up future sales appointments that transform previously unknown companies into clients for the employer.
What skills are required for cold calling?
On average most work from home callers who do cold calling can expect to make between one hundred and two hundred and fifty phone calls per day with a goal of setting up three to six sales appointments.
In order to excel at cold calling, callers should be skilled at the following:
- Polite and warm demeanor. Creating a warm rapport with the client can smooth the way toward setting up a future sales appointment, and ultimately a sale.
- Communication. Callers should be able to speak clearly in order to convey thoughts and ideas professionally over the phone. Employers will often provide written scripts to guide callers, but the caller must be able to improvise his or her delivery when the conversation requires it.
- Basic computer skills. Familiarity with computer operation and the use of various software programs such as Skype, MS Word and Excel, PDF readers, etc., depending upon the particular assignment.
- Recording call information. Skills involved here include operating software necessary to record calls in the “cloud” using VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), i.e., using phone services over the internet.
- Basic administrative skills. Such skills include attention to detail needed in order to gather information and accurately enter the information into a data field, recording the prospect’s email, contact and appointment information, correct spelling, use of upper and lower case letters, good note-taking, punctuation, and grammar.
In addition to these skills, work from home callers must also be able to:
- Successfully operate a USB headset with a microphone. With so much of their time spent on the phone, sales persons who do cold calling need a headset. A USB headset is necessary in order to connect to a cloud phone system.
- Ensure a quiet environment. The client on the other end of the call should not be able to tell the caller is calling from a home office. This means ambient noise like that which comes from television should be absent, and noise from children and pets should not be loud enough to be heard over the headset microphone.
- Be willing to grow and learn. Many companies will offer their professional development opportunities from which they are able to learn how to be more successful at their craft.
What is appointment setting?
Appointment setting should occur as the result of a successful cold call by a person contracted to do the calling. During the course of the phone call, the goal is for the client to feel compelled to take the next step by setting up a future sales appointment. The ability to make one of these appointments during a cold call is typically the most important measurement of the overall success of the call. This allows the work from home caller to serve as a bridge in connecting businesses to one another to help each of them better achieve their individual goals.
What skills are required for appointment setting jobs?
Since appointment setting is often the result of a successful cold call, individuals who wish to excel at appointment setting jobs should also be proficient in cold calling skills. In addition, workers who have goals of setting future sales appointments should also have the below qualifications:
- Basic knowledge of business and marketing principles. Any study of, or experience with, the basic principles of business and marketing can provide a more successful road to appointment setting. For those individuals who prefer to have more education on these topics, some employers will offer professional development opportunities.
- Ability to convey scripted information naturally. It is the caller’s job to deliver the information on an employer-provided script in a smooth and natural way by adapting, and sometimes reorganizing, the material as needed. This could require skipping to different sections of the call script and building rapport with prospects over the phone.
- Computer skills. As with cold calling jobs, mentioned above, appointment setters must also have good computer skills and be proficient in the use of the particular software programs the job requires.
- Persistence. Even for the best of callers, most dials do not yield an appointment. You must not become discouraged but be willing to persist. With professional training and on the job experience, most callers find their conversion rates improve with time on the job.
Benefits of Cold Calling and Appointment Setting Jobs
There are a number of benefits of doing cold calling and appointment setting as a work from home job. In addition to using business and marketing skills they likely already possess, callers who work from home can do so in the comfort of their own space. Some of the benefits of home-based cold calling and appointment setting jobs can include:
- No commute. By working from home, you can save time and gas money on what could have been a long commute into an office.
- Customized workspace. Rather than calling from a cubicle in a busy corporate office, work from home callers can take advantage of making calls from their personalized workspace in a more relaxed environment.
- Scaling back on the amount of office attire required for work. By working at home, workers generally do not need as many professional outfits since person-to-person meetings do not occur often.
- Flexibility in terms of hours worked. Although some companies may require that callers work a minimum of twenty hours a week or conduct a certain number of phone calls a day, many allow callers to work additional hours as well as to work toward incentives.
- Flexibility in work location. As it often does, life happens. When a caller is called away out of town, if they have access to a reliable and high-speed internet connection and have a laptop with them, working on the road may still be possible.
Cold calling and appointment setting jobs can be some of the most dependable and flexible work from home jobs available, making this type of work ideal for those with basic business and marketing skills and a willingness to learn.
Q: Can you do cold calling work from home?
Q: What equipment do I need to buy to do cold calling or appointment setting from home?
A: Standard home office supplies are needed in addition to a good internet connection and a USB headset with a microphone for connecting to the internet (VOIP) to record calls.