Sales Assistant/Intern

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Jun 14, 2007 5:43 pm

I am considering taking on a sales assistant or intern.  I have seen other brokers make good use of interns at my previous firm, but now being independent I need some insight.


What would be the most effective things an unlicensed person might be able to cold call about?  Obviously they could get people to luncheons, but they can't talk about product.  Anyone have any suggestions on how they might be able to set appointments or if they should just be used to quickly qualify people???


Thanks in advance. 

Jun 14, 2007 6:30 pm

How are you planning on compensating this person?

Jun 14, 2007 6:35 pm

Ideally the intern would get school credit.  I'm not asking for them to work wonders, just dial some numbers.  Basically I have around 5000 phone numbers and there is no way I'll be able to call the majority of those.


Any ideas on what they could say besides introducing my group as they can't talk about product?

Jun 14, 2007 7:03 pm

They will quit and/or you'll get terrible results and they will have an awful experience.


Cold calling is tough work.  If you want them to have any chance of being effective, you are going to have to compensate them.


Jun 14, 2007 7:15 pm

Ideally the intern would get school credit.  I'm not asking for them to work wonders, just dial some numbers.  Basically I have around 5000 phone numbers and there is no way I'll be able to call the majority of those."


Why wouldnt you be able to call them all? Looking at the 5000 number isnt manageable, so break it down into weekly allotments of 250. You can quickly weed out the losers and be proactive in mining for the qualified leads in there... You want to be the one who gets a Whale on the phone and who shows interest- not an intern or assistant that doesnt really have a clue... Just a thought.

Jun 14, 2007 7:46 pm

Yeah Blarm I understand that and have thought about it that way.  I constantly have leads from different sources coming in so the database is way overloaded.  I already have enough leads I'm calling myself.  Those 5000+ (and it could be closer to 7500 by now) are in addition to what I call.  Plus I think an intern could help send out mail.


I think there are some eager interns that want to get into this business and add something to their resume, plus at todays tuition rates, college credit means something to them (or else the occasional gift card helps).


Your point is well taken though...thanks.

Jun 14, 2007 7:53 pm

wallstreeter - sounds like you may be ready to take on a junior rep.

Jun 14, 2007 7:55 pm

plus at todays tuition rates, college credit means something to them


You do realize that the college credit isn't free.  They still have to pay for the credits.


When you making phone calls, you have incentive to make as many as possible and push as hard as possible on each one.  An uncompensated person has none of that incentive and will make phone calls, but with no success.


If you have them calling to set appointments, pay them $10 per appointment set.  They should be able to set 2 in an hour.  This is money that is well worth paying.  Don't have them call for more than 1-2 hours.  Would you rather pay $40 dollars and have 4 appointments or pay nothing and have 1 appointment?

Jun 14, 2007 8:04 pm

You do realize that the college credit isn't free.  They still have to pay for the credits.


Right, but I would rather pay for an internship than some crappy elective class with homework.  They don't get to put their classes on the resume like they can an internship.


If you have them calling to set appointments, pay them $10 per appointment set.  They should be able to set 2 in an hour.  This is money that is well worth paying.  Don't have them call for more than 1-2 hours.  Would you rather pay $40 dollars and have 4 appointments or pay nothing and have 1 appointment?


I was definitely thinking about this when I mentioned gift cards, but I should've been clearer.  Anyways, I'm all for compensating based on appointments.  I would gladly pay $20/qualified appt. 


Now that we are past the compensation part of it, any suggestions on what they can say to set appointments?


Thanks, all, for your ideas...I appreciate it.


Jun 14, 2007 8:19 pm

Can't they say what you say?  My assistant sets appointments for me when my calendar is dry and she uses my basic script.

Jun 14, 2007 10:45 pm

I took this role for an internship before I graduated college.  I am very productive cold caller now but I HATED it then (read: very UNproductive).  Even then all I had to do was call recently acquired clients (he was a book-buyer) and setup the appointments.  I think Ashland is right, just in my mind, its probably time to take on a junior rep who will have the same incentives as you.  I was paid hourly though.


If you do go this route, however, I do have a thought for you.  This might just be my experience, but it really does seem that females my age are much more motivated by this form of incentivized compensation (I know two very successful undergraduate saleswomen and dozens of failure males), so... not that you would want to be biased but I might have that in consideration when I was looking for someone in this role.

Jun 15, 2007 8:23 am

If you must get an intern, hire a hot sorority girl and tap her like she's a beer

keg. Then hire a jr broker and get some real work done.

Jun 22, 2007 5:39 pm

I’m in the same boat on the intern. They are not compensated in our office and I’m told I cannot pay them officially but a dinner or some such is OK (I’m thinking $20 for an appointment that actually shows up). I told him I will show him what being a new broker is truly all about and that he’ll be making calls. I told him it’s not fun at all but he will be far ahead of the other interns that just hang out and perform some meaningless clerical task. I’ll be in the same room doing the same thing. Even though he will probably hate it, a reality check for him has to be a good thing. I’m thinking it’s got to be a MUCH better experience than the others that just hang and chat. Not to mention a seriously good reference for his resume should he choose to follow a career as a FA.

Jun 22, 2007 8:24 pm
Gaddock:

I’m in the same boat on the intern. They are not compensated in our office and I’m told I cannot pay them officially but a dinner or some such is OK (I’m thinking $20 for an appointment that actually shows up). I told him I will show him what being a new broker is truly all about and that he’ll be making calls. I told him it’s not fun at all but he will be far ahead of the other interns that just hang out and perform some meaningless clerical task. I’ll be in the same room doing the same thing. Even though he will probably hate it, a reality check for him has to be a good thing. I’m thinking it’s got to be a MUCH better experience than the others that just hang and chat. Not to mention a seriously good reference for his resume should he choose to follow a career as a FA.




Sounds like you've got yourself a new boyfriend and all at the low price of some dinners.  I personally like women, but whatever tugs your cord...

Jan 19, 2008 2:02 pm

Anyone need an assistant? I'm available!