#464: How High Activity Pays – And pays Well [WOYG Podcast]

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I used to work at this telemarketing office for about 3 weeks.

The company would send out these spammy-reading snail mail letters alerting people that they could be in line to win some huge sum of money. All they had to do was call this 1-800 number and register for the big drawing. Most of us would probably toss those letters in the garbage just from the appearance of the envelope without ever opening it.  

But I’ll be damned if the phones never stopped ringing in that telemarketing office. And I’m not talking two or three people manning the phones. There were a good THOUSAND people working here.

My role, as a new worker, was to take the incoming call (they were all incoming calls, which shocked me somewhat), confirm the caller’s confirmation number, then try selling them magazine subscriptions. That’s where the big prize drawing money came from. This whole things was scripted, right there on the computer for us to read. And people would BUY magazine subscriptions. I was amazed.

Anyhow, apparently there was a science to taking the script and making it work for you. Some people took their time and were really nice to callers. Others took the time to delicately read the script. Since our only real autonomy was in choosing the right magazines to recommend, some were really good at matching the person to the mags.

I failed all of this science.

My only goal was to send as many callers up – to the people who would actually get the credit card numbers and close the order – as possible. Ideally, I wanted to send more calls up than anyone else working there. The more I sent up, I figured, the more would close.

Which was true. I didn’t care or expect to be there long enough to value learning how to better match the people.

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