Ask Kathy: Finding the Ideal Agent

By Kathy Sisk

Question: When recruiting, what does an ideal agent should look like? What steps should I take to help make the right selection?

Answer: An ideal agent has the following skills, style, and orientation:

Talking Skills

  • Engages in interactive conversations
  • Enjoys marketing, selling, and servicing over the phone; does not need face-to-face contact
  • Capable of moving through a call guide without sounding scripted
  • Remains in control of the conversation at all times
  • Maintains a personable and agreeable tone

Listening Skills

  • Has the mental agility to cope with unexpected responses
  • Possesses effective listening skills in order to be proactive and responsive
  • Conveys both an authoritative figure and respect for the caller or prospect
  • Able to establish a personable rapport

Speaking Style

  • Speaks in a crisp, concise, clear, educated, knowledgeable, and personable manner
  • Modulates the conversation as a confident and positive professional

Psychological Orientation

  • Confidence: The ability to go on to the next call without being affected by resistance or a negative result from the previous call
  • Customer orientation: Understands that each call is an opportunity; values the company, products, and services
  • Motivation: Strong work ethic and the stamina to work through stressful situations; not afraid of reaping rewards for putting forth effort

Use these seven steps when recruiting agents:

1) Résumé screening

2) First telephone interview

3) Second telephone interview

4) In-person interview

5) Reference checking

6) Security clearance

7) Acceptance letter

Email your questions to ksisk@kathysiskenterprises.com.

Kathy Sisk is founder and president of Kathy Sisk Enterprises Inc., located in California. Kathy is a trainer and consultant, contributing thirty-five years of expertise to the telemarketing, sales, and customer service industries. She is a published author with many manuals and books, including Overcoming Objections and Successful Telemarketing.

[From Connection Magazine December 2013]

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