There was an error in this gadget

7/11/14

Foot in my Mouth: "Spanish/English Speaker"

I found a job "opportunity" on San Diego craigslist, under the writing and editing jobs, for "Spanish/English speakers." The job has nothing to do with writing or editing and is actually an "appointment setter" gig. Initially, I scoffed at the prospect of pursuing this job, but after some email exchanges, I relented. 

In the spirit of going to the heart of the matter, I will now share my initial e-mail exchange with the prospective employer.

Me: Your compensation offer is woefully inadequate. No competent, intelligent professional would ever take you seriously. 

Potential Supervisor, Becky: I tend to disagree. I've done this job myself and I know the effort and time it takes to do it. But thank you for your extremely helpful feedback.

Have a good day.
Don't you just love the "I tend to disagree" line? Her sarcasm is good too, though. 

Me: How can you justify paying someone $10, as an independent contractor, for 25 relevant contacts, when capitalizing on one contact alone could generate thousands of dollars for your company, depending on the business you are in?  

Becky: Perhaps the ad is not clear enough. 25 "relevant" contacts means they are in the right industry. I'll be specific. We sell underwater drills. We do not need contacts in the restaurant industry, the shoe industry, etc. We need them in: the pool industry, the marine industry, and the like.

We ask freelancers to include each of the contacts and their details so we know they actually tried to contact them and are not just throwing random businesses and details into a spreadsheet for $10. A "successful" contact - one that a freelancer has sent a form email that we've provided and that the freelancer has spoken to for 1-2 minutes on the phone and succeeded in scheduling a follow-up call with - will be compensated at a higher rate.

If you think you're interested, I'd be happy to go into more detail. If not, have a lovely day.
Me: Hello Becky,
We discussed your job on June 4.
I am interested and would like to know more details and be prepared to start.

Becky: Hi. I apologize for the delay in my response. 
Our company, Nemo Power Tools Ltd, manufactures the world's first submersible electric drill. You can check out our website just to get an idea about the product. http://nemopowertools.com/

We currently have distributors in the US, Europe, and Asia, and we are looking to expand our distributor network in Latin America. 

We need individuals such as yourself to do Internet research - particularly in Spanish, but also in English if it results in new leads - to find businesses who might be interested in becoming distributors, and then schedule a call for our sales team.
So, they want a bilingual appointment setter for the same price as a monolingual. 

The basic work process is:
1. Internet research for pool companies (we'll give you search terms to use, but you're not limited to those)
2. Document their contact information in a spreadsheet 
3. Send out a preliminary email that we provide
4. Call and try to schedule a follow-up sales call for us with decision-makers in the business

You don't need to do any sales. In fact, you don't need to tell them any product information beyond what the product is and "if they'd like to hear more," you schedule a call for us to follow up.

As you saw in the ad, you will receive USD 10 for every 25 relevant contacts you document and provide to us plus USD 4 for every follow-up call you successfully schedule for our sales team.  *Relevant contacts means they are from the correct industry (pool maintenance, pool supplies, pool contractors, etc.) 

Please let me know when you're available to speak with me. Does sometime today/tomorrow work for you?

Also, please send me your email address, so we don't have to communicate via the Craigslist email relay.

Looking forward to speaking soon,
Becky
We talked on the phone. She said we had had an "unconventional start to our business relationship."
Becky: Hello, 


Thanks for your time today. 

Below, I've included:
1. A basic explanation of how to start doing the work
2. The English/Spanish text for the email and call script. 
3. A sample spreadsheet (attached) for keeping track of leads (research, emails, calls)

Please find attached the independent contractor agreement. If you'd like to start with us, please sign it and return it to me at your convenience.

I'd be happy to answer any more questions you might have. Let's speak once more after you've reviewed these materials, and if you want to do some work for us, I'll let you know which country I'd like you to start researching/calling. 

Best,
Becky

So much for, "No competent, intelligent professional would ever take you seriously."