Making a successful career as an appointment setter depends highly on your skills as a salesperson. The job is a type of telemarketing position, so you must be comfortable spending your day talking to strangers. Appointment setters typically work off commission, so you have to be at the top of your game every day so you can exude the positive energy that makes your contacts want to learn more about the company you're representing.
Education and Experience
Typically, you only need a high school degree to work as an appointment setter. Some appointment-setting jobs are even designed to be part-time so that current college students can work them. However, you may need as much as five years of work experience in sales or telemarketing to qualify for the higher-paying opportunities.
Appointment setters are lead generators and have to set up appointments through cold calling, although a few companies also use them to make appointments with current clients. Although appointment setters are not salespeople and aren't required to close a sale on a product, they do need enough sales skills to get new prospects interested in learning more about a product or service. Most appointment setters work from home and contact prospects by phone, email or even face-to-face. Appointment setters also have to keep detailed notes on each phone call they make, how the contact responds, and how the subsequent meeting with the sales representatives turned out.
Successful appointment setters can't be shy or afraid of rejection. You need strong interpersonal skills and excellent verbal and written skills. You'll need a positive personality and enthusiasm about the company you're representing. You also need good listening skills so you can understand the prospective clients' needs and respond to them.
The salary of an appointment setter varies according to where he's working and his experience. Some companies offer commission only, paying about $100 to $250 for every successful call. Others offer a base salary, typically around $10 an hour or so, plus commission. According to CareerBuilder.com, the average salary of an appointment setter is $37,518. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics groups appointment setters in the telemarketer category. In May 2012, the BLS reported that telemarketers typically averaged $22,350 a year, with the top 10 percent averaging $38,640. The top paid industry for telemarketers was in securities, with the average salary $46,820 a year.
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012: Telemarketers
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