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

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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