Training a New Employee Remotely

January 26th, 2011

outsourcing trainingIf you are hiring an outsourced agent to work on a specific project its important to take some time up front and give some thought to how you want to train this individual.  There are very different strategies that you’ll need to use to train someone, that, in most cases, you will never have the opportunity to meet in person.

The best piece of advice I can give is to go over each step, ask if there are any questions, and then have the agent repeat the information back to you in their own words.  Its also important to deliver a full process document to the agent outlining each step and what is expected.  I also like to make a bullet point list of the steps to ensure they follow the same order every time.  Keep in mind different people learn in different ways, so its best to provide multiple sources of the same information to ensure the message is understood.

Once you’ve worked on training the new employee, and are confident they understand what you want you can sit back and never give it another thought…  Just kidding.  Its important to check in and make sure that 1. the process is being followed correctly, and 2. that the process actually works.  Its one thing if everything is going along according to plan and you are getting the results you want, but another if the results aren’t there.  Understanding what is being done is the most important part of fixing whats broken.  If you’ve trained correctly its now up to you to figure out how to improve results.

Breaking Down a Task

January 19th, 2011

If you are going to hire someone to work remotely and complete tasks for you, you will need to make sure that your instructions are delivered in as clear and simple a manner as possible.  You need to “break down” each task into its most basic and easily understandable elements.  If you are successful at doing this, you are guaranteed success in outsourcing!

First lets look at how not to deliver instructions.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen someone new to hiring remote works send instructions that looked like this:

  1. Read the script
  2. Start calling people on the list and read the script
  3. Answer any questions or rebuttals they have
  4. If the call is successful email me their information

Why isn’t this a good process for an outsourced employee to follow?  The answer is that it isn’t specific enough and leaves room for error at every point.  Now lets look at an example of a process that will work. I’ve written this out for a simple campaign that is designed to confirm fax numbers and get permission to send a fax.  I’ve included the script below to further clarify.

“Hi this is NAME from XYZ COMPANY, I’m calling to let you know we are about to send out our new product specs for 2011 and we wanted to send you a quick fax with the information.  I have your fax on file as 555-555-5555, is that still correct? (Y/N)  Great, and its OK if we send over that information via fax today? (Y/N)  Thanks for your time, have a great day!”

  1. Review the script, and let me know any questions
  2. Call me at 4pm EST today and we will roll play the script
  3. Keep all of the leads in a shared google doc (I have created this and emailed you the info already)
  4. Mark all confirmed fax numbers in Green on the sheet
  5. Send me an email at the end of every day which includes; number of verified fax numbers, number of calls made for the day
  6. Information on scripting

*If they have a different fax number make sure you write it down and update the sheet
*If they do not want the fax ask them why and use the appropriate rebuttal
*If still uninterested thank them for the time and hang up.

As you can see this is a much more complete breakdown of actual responsibilities, including answers to basic questions and agent deliverables.    Make sure you take the time to think through how you want things to run, be involved in the training, and check in to verify process adherence.

Roofing Leads, Outsourcing Campaigns in Hail Damage Areas

January 12th, 2011

roofing leads imageIn the past year we’ve done a ton of business working with local contractors and roofers in areas that have hail damage.  This could be due to global warming or it might just be that these businesses are becoming more savvy and taking advantage of low cost high return outsourcing services to generate new business.

The beauty of these campaigns is that in most cases the homeowner will have all of the damage covered by their insurance, making the repairs free of out of pocket cost.

Having run several of these campaigns myself I can give you a good road map to follow if you are a roofer looking to get some new business following a hail storm.

  1. Use an outsourced company, not an independent provider.  This is crucial for a couple reasons.  You need to follow up quickly after a storm, or your competition will.  Being the second company to call into an area will yield much lower results.  Using a company you can quickly launch and scale up a campaign to get there first and give yourself the best possibility to succeed.
  2. Use updated homeowner data to call.  If you are buying the data to call make sure it is up to date as possible.  Calling up and asking for the wrong person will almost guarantee you don’t get an appointment set.
  3. Keep track of the results.  Use Google Docs to share the call list and all notes with your agent.  Keeping track can also be valuable to see which neighborhoods and streets were hardest hit in case you want to send a crew door-to-door.
  4. Follow a simple script.  Don’t over think what you want the agent to say to the prospects.  The most productive script I’ve used reads as follows:

Hi, this is NAME with COMPANY, we’re a local roofing company and we’re just calling homeowners in the area following the hail storm last week/month.  We’re going to be in the area giving your neighbor an estimate on some damage next Tuesday and I’d be happy to have our crew stop by and check if you have any damage to your home.  We don’t charge anything to take a look and in most cases if there is damage we can work directly with your insurance company so their is no cost to you.  Are you available on Tuesday for us to stop by and take a look?

Outsourcing Ideas for Real Estate Professionals

January 4th, 2011

If you work in real estate you might have thought about hiring an outsourcer to ease your work load.  There are numerous tasks that you can hire someone to do remotely.  Here is a list of things that you might consider:

  • Call For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties to list with you.
  • Contact past clients to see how they are doing, and if they are in need of your services for anything.
  • Contact possible short-sales.
  • Call renters and see if they would be interested in buying.
  • Contact pending foreclosures with advice, selling options, rentals, etc.
  • Call through old contacts/prospects to verify information and gauge any possibles need of your service.
  • Setting appointments to find new agents to hire (for brokers).

This isn’t a complete list and is primarily focused on phone-based activities.  There are also many email related options as well to consider.  When undertaking any outsourced project make sure you build a process from start to finish and hire the right person to work with.

Happy New Year

December 31st, 2010

why outsource image1Sorry for the lack of posts this past week, I’ve been taking some time off for the holidays.  I’m looking forward to getting back to writing some new posts in the New Year.  If you have any specific questions on outsourcing for a particular industry or project I’d be happy to give you some feedback.  Some of my most popular posts have come from real life situations where I’ve attempted to help readers with questions.

If you enjoy the blog please don’t hesitate to write me, and become a fan on FaceBook or Twitter.

Here’s to a happy, safe and successful New Year for you all!


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