How Much Is A Solid Appointment With A Decision Maker Worth?


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Jim, my now-retired State Farm Insurance agent, was the luckiest guy in the world.

I don’t say this because he had a great wife. Actually, I never met her.

But I did meet his office manager, Shirley, and she is what made Jim the luckiest guy in the world.

She was rock-solid, dependable, and she was a very, very effective communicator. She was especially good over the phone.

Jim gave her complete control of the agency’s day-to-day operations, while he labored away on every golf course he could find.

One of Shirley’s best abilities was in the area of appointment setting. She had no problem getting decision makers on the line, and her earnest and honest tones simply made prospects roll over.

I never asked Jim how much he paid Shirley, but she was worth her weight in platinum.

I can estimate that the average client Jim put on the books could be expected to deliver about $10,000 to him in commissions, over time. He closed about a third of the appointments she set for him, so my guess is that if each appointment cost him about $30 to set, he was getting back about 100 times his investment.

Not bad, right?

The other evening at a dinner at the UCLA faculty center, I was speaking to two colleagues, who double as consultants, about the value of a qualified appointment with a decision maker.

“How much would you willingly pay for one?” I asked.

The more junior of the two blurted out, “$100. ”

Shaking his head in disapproval, the second said, “No, no, I’d pay $500—that’s what it’s worth. ”

All I know is the average appointment setter in Los Angeles is paid twelve to fifteen dollars per hour. Sometimes, they receive bonuses, based on appointments set, or deals that are closed.

That’s far too little money, if they’re good.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service. A frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide, Gary’s programs are offered by UCLA Extension and by numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. Gary is headquartered in Glendale, California. He can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: .


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