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17 Important Questions When Hiring an Appointment Setter

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Written by Houston
Founder & CEO, BAMF Media
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Hiring an appointment setter isn’t just choosing someone with a sexy voice.

It’s much more than that.

They form one of the first touchpoints in the lead generation process.

And, they make sure that hot leads are pushed forward to your closers.

They’re technically the first guys in.

They do the assessments, they qualify, and they make sure that the right leads are coming through.

In this guide, we want to walk you through questions to ask when hiring an appointment setter.

1. How does the appointment setter role fit into the operations of our company?

Appointment setting is absolutely integral to end generation because it’s the first part of the interactive buyer journey that’s handled by a real human.

Check out the top 7 conversion templates for sales voicemail scripts!

It’s more than just a job at a phone.

Your next appointment setter needs to understand how critical their job is and how it ties in the overall sales strategy of the company.

Without this role, closers will have no one to bring in.

Based on the answer to this question, you’ll know if you’re onboarding passionate potential SDR or someone who’s just coming in to punch a time card.

2. What’s the different between an appointment setter, a closer, a sales rep and an SDR?

This might sound like a mouthful to say, but it’s important that they know the difference between these roles.

Not only does it demonstrate knowledge of their role and the sales process, but it also shows you that they can keep in sync with the rest of the sales team.

3. How do you handle rejection?

There will always be a prospect who’ll say “no” when you eventually get them on the phone.

Sometimes they’ll even ignore a voicemail even though they’ve requested for more information regarding your services.

This is normal.

An appointment setter should be able to handle rejection well.

A good appointment setter would take these rejected proposals, put them in appropriate lists for remarketing later on.

But it doesn’t just end there.

Being able to handle sales rejection and treat like a normal event is critical to the rhythm of the appointment setter.

Disruptions in rhythm aren’t just bad for sales funnels, but they could also be detrimental to their mental health and be a cause for unnecessary stress.

4. Do you think going off-script is essential? How would you handle it?

Not all types of calls and situations can be anticipated.

A lot of calls aren’t going to follow the original script and the responses you prepared for and they need to be the type of people who can think on their feet and hustle.

You want to know how they’l handle calls that go off-script.

Some prospects are going to want to close right away or get on a sales discovery call.

Others will be demanding and want a couple more questions answered.

They need to be prepared.

***Don’t forget to read our guide on how to create sales call scripts!***

5. What do you do if a prospect keeps on postponing?

Some prospects will keep postponing their meetings so they'll be sent back to the queue for the appointment setter to deal with.

It doesn’t happen often, but it needs to be dealt with.

Your future appointment setter needs to know what to do when these situations happen.

They need to be able to circle back on their notes on the prospect and the information available on their CRM and get that prospect back.

Also, you want to know at what point they’ll give up on a particular prospect.

Note: it will also be useful if your organization has scripts ready if this happens.

6. What do you do if a prospect suddenly bails out on you?

This is identical to the question above, but it deals specifically with prospects that don’t want to answer succeeding calls.

Usually, they can move these prospects over to a separate list where they can be remarketed to in the future.

However, you also want an appointment setter that will give you notes on why they think a prospect bailed out on them.

This shows you if your prospective hire goes the extra mile in ensuring you don’t lose any leads.

7. How will you handle a gatekeeper?

Every major decision-maker will usually have a gatekeeper on board to screen calls – that’s if they don’t feed you to voicemail, and handling gatekeepers should be a normal process.

You’ll want to assess how your potential appointment setter will handle situations like this and how they’ll deal with a gatekeeper …with or without a given script.

It will also help you if you ask them how they feel about gatekeepers.

You want someone who understands that gatekeepers are necessary and is not intimidated by them.

At the end of the day, dealing with gatekeepers is an essential part of the lead generation process, and they need to be okay with that.

8. What would you do if you can’t reach a prospect?

Sometimes it takes four voicemails and two call attempts, sometimes you even need to throw an email or two at the mix.

Appointment setters need to understand that regardless if a prospect has requested for more information and provided their contact number, this doesn’t mean that they’re easily available.

You want to know how far an appointment setter will go to get in touch with a lead.

A passionate one will do whatever it takes to make sure that they eventually get in touch with their prospect.

(Also you need an appointment setter who's familiar with FTC DNC Provisions)

But, here’s the caveat.

They can’t let go of everything that they’re doing just to reach one person.

Ask them how they’ll go about it. This also shows you their organizational skills.

And speaking of organization skills…

9. How will you make sure that you keep a good record of your calls and results?

This is a question that assesses their skills in organization and punctuality.

Remember, there are conversion rates that you have to keep track of.

Regardless if you use a cloud-based spreadsheet or a real CRM to keep track of everything, your appointment setter will need to take stock of everything that they do for reporting and monitoring.

10. How would you determine if you’re doing a great job?

This is a question that will help you get inside the mindset of your future hire.

And, there are no right or wrong answers.

An appointment setter’s job is pretty demanding, and the answer to this question tells you a little about their work ethic.

Prospective hires that show a commitment to excellence are the ones you want on your team.

They can use their experience with this job as a stepping stone to greatness with your organization.

You can take this question even further by phrasing it as a more general question to see their outlook on tasks in life.

11. What would you say if you don’t know the answer to a prospect’s question?

Although you should provide your appointment setter would a spiel to say to a prospect should they run into this problem, asking this question reveals a lot about their psyche and how quick they are.

Be sure to follow up with, “Why do you think this is a good spiel/line to tell your prospect?”

This way you can also determine if they know the target customer profile.

12. What key metrics or KPIs should we be tracking?

There are a lot of metrics you can measure from appointment-setting rates to completion rates to rescheduling rates.

Now if the prospect is new they probably won’t get the technical terms, but that’s fine.

You can always teach them.

What you’re looking for is someone who can tell you what their basis for excellence is more than their knowledge of the numbers.

Although we highly recommend that you hire someone with experience, it’s also worth giving new bloods a chance to shine.

13. What can you do to facilitate better appointments with our prospects?

Growth is all about getting better.

And, that’s what you want at every stage of your process.

Asking your future appointment setter how they’ll facilitate better appointments isn’t just a matter of modifying the script.

You’re looking for answers that relate to the attitude that they will  be taking towards appointment setting and rejection, how they’ll meet with KPIs, and how far they’ll go to make sure that a prospect is well taken care of.

14. *Show them a sample script* How can you make this better?

If you want a more practical question, then ask them how they can change out the script that you have.

By analyzing the suggestions that they have for the script, you can soon tell the way they think.

But, that’s not all.

This is a good exercise for any applicant or appointment setter that you have. Not only do they get to exercise their creativity, but you also get pointers on your script.

15. Would you change the script so that it would fit your tone? How would you change it?

Scripts are just tools for your appointment setter to use, it’s still their skills that get the clients to a sales discovery/triage call.

You want an appointment setter that is willing to change out a script to suit their voice since it makes the script even more effective.

Just like the previous question, you can give them a copy of the script and let them change it out right then and there.

Pay attention to what changes they make and their reasoning behind it.

After they’re done, ask them to read out the script to you and see if it reads even better with their voice.

16. Is your job important?

Each role in the lead generation system is important, it doesn’t matter if you’re designing the landing pages or closing the big deals for the region you’re assigned to.

You want someone to take the role to the next level.

A lot of applicants may mistake the role for a job where they can slack off, but it is every bit as important as the rest of the lead generation chain.

Remember, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and you don’t want the weakest link to be your appointment setter.

17. What’s the next step for you?

Nobody wants to be an appointment setter for life.

Trust me.

And, it’s your job to find out what their future goals are.

Are they using this as an opportunity for a better position at your company? Do they see themselves doing something in the future? Is this just a temp job?

If you know what their goals are earlier on, you’ll know how to position them for growth in your organization.

As a growth hacker, you need to make sure that you also put others in a position for growth in your company.

Takeaways When Hiring an Appointment Setter

Choosing the right appointment setter is critical.

And, this is especially true if you’re a startup or have limited funds.

As you can see from the questions that we have, it’s more than just picking the person with the best voice or personality.

It’s also about their attitude, creativity, and the ability to think and make decisions on the fly.

Above all of this, there’s a question of passion.

Because we all know the road to growth is a passionate one.

I’ve seen a lot of appointment setters become some of the best closers in a company.

With someone even using it as a stepping stone to be brighter stars.

So, don’t choose to pick someone because of their skill level.

Consider the other things.

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About the Author

The name’s Houston Golden. I’m the Founder & CEO of BAMF ― a company I’ve grown from $0 (yes, really) to well over $4M in revenue over a span of 3 years.
How did I do it? Well, it’s quite simple, really. I’ve helped hundreds of business owners and executives get major traction (because when they win, we win). I tell you how on this blog.
Growth hacking is a state of mind. Follow along as I explore and expose the unknown growth strategies and tactics that will change the way you think about marketing.

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