Choosing the Perfect Scheduling Assistant
If you are a financial sales professional, you are aware of how difficult it can be to schedule all your appointments, go to those appointments, manage your territory, manage existing clients, prospect for new clients, offer customer service; and the list goes on and on! Many sales professionals have an assistant that they can rely on for assistance in growing the sales but many times that assistant is so busy doing administrative tasks that they don’t always have a lot of time for appointment setting.
Most people in the investment industry who have worked as a wholesaler, advisor, or recruiter know the value of a scheduling assistant/appointment setter. Some companies offer this service in-house and other companies are contracted with a third-party appointment setting firm or they allow their employee to contract with an appointment setter. No matter what option is available to you, you want to make sure that your scheduling assistant is a great fit. The scheduling assistant can be instrumental in the success of your business and will not only offer appointment-setting services, but they act as a relationship builder and can help grow your business in other ways.
If you have decided that it’s time to work with a scheduling assistant, it's key to know how to choose the scheduler that will be the best fit for you.
Scheduling experience. In order for you to hand over your scheduling, you really should choose someone with scheduling experience in the financial industry. This will allow you and your scheduler to hit the ground running and avoid wasting time on training someone on the ins and outs of financial scheduling. The scheduler will already know how scheduling works in your industry, who to talk to, how to manage a territory, best follow-up practices, how to get through gatekeepers, etc. It can also be vital that they have experience calling in your channel. As you know, calling on the Edward Jones channel is very different from calling RIAs, as is calling in the P&C channel versus calling banks.
Territory experience. Depending on the size and location of your territory, territory experience can be what makes or breaks your relationship with your scheduler. Make sure the person you hire is familiar with your geographic region – as in New York City is very different than scheduling in Des Moines, Iowa. You want to make sure your scheduler is able to be as productive as possible in the time they have to schedule appointments for you. You don’t want them constantly looking at maps, or sending you all over the place. An experienced territory manager is also familiar with traffic patterns in their region, which aids in the strategic placement of the appointments.
Personality. Every wholesaler has a different personality, therefore, every scheduler has a different personality. You want to work with someone that you get along with and that you can build a long-term business relationship with. You are hiring the person in charge of getting you in front of candidates who have the potential to do a lot of business with you. You also want to be aware of the personality of the people in your region – it may be beneficial to you to work with an appointment setter who is actually from your region as well.
Great Referrals. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Just because a scheduler has experience and a great personality doesn’t mean they are a great scheduler. Ask to speak with current or former wholesalers or advisors who have used their service in the past. You want to make sure you are hiring a go-getter, someone self-motivated and passionate about helping you achieve your goals. You also want to hire someone with a successful track record of scheduling appointments.
Availability. Make sure you are clear on the time and expectations you have for your scheduler. You want to be one hundred percent sure that they are available to give you the time and attention you require. Wholesalers and advisors want different things and you don’t want to hire a scheduler only to find out that you needed 10 hours per week and she only had 5 hours to give.
Computer knowledge. There are varying calendar systems, CRMs, and other computer software and programs that you and your company may use. It’s beneficial to make sure that the candidate you are interviewing has enough computer knowledge to work in the systems you work with. You might be surprised at how many scheduling assistants out there aren’t familiar with a CRM.
At the end of the day, you want to be sure that you’ve hired a qualified, professional scheduling assistant who isn’t afraid to take control and get you in front of the right people. Your scheduling assistant is an extension of your team. Those teams that communicate and work toward a common goal always succeed.
If, of course, you are ready to hire a scheduling assistant but don’t want to spend time finding the perfect fit you can always work with a scheduling firm that will match you with a great fit. My clients love that I can get them a great scheduling assistant and within a day or two have them up and running setting appointments. It’s time to make life easier – let someone else make those calls and you keep doing what you do best, sell!
Danae Branson is the Founder of Elite Scheduling Services. Elite specializes in appointment-setting services for financial and real estate professionals.