Appointment setter is a legit side hustle, as over 17,965 people are making money this way in the US in 2023. But you can get scammed if you work for shady companies or MLMs that take advantage of you because it’s only an entry-level position. Some organizations hire appointment setters without providing a base salary, a written contract, and proper training. As a result, appointment setters working for these companies do not make any money.
An appointment setter is someone who assists a company by setting appointments for consultations with prospective customers, thus creating business opportunities with the end goal of helping build client relationships, close a sale, and generate revenue. The appointment setter uses a guided script to send messages via different channels, including email or SMS. They have telemarketer skills, bridging the business to potential clients listed on the company’s database.
There are different appointment setters, including inbound or outbound appointment setters. Inbound appointment setter position requires contacting the target clients who click the opt-in forms on the companies' websites or social media accounts. They handle the inbound leads and contact them via email, SMS, or phone to set an appointment. Outbound appointment setters reach out to prospective clients in various ways. It can be via cold calling, cold emailing, voicemail, SMS, Facebook direct message (DMs), Instagram DMs, WhatsApp, or LinkedIn Outreach to connect with the client and eventually set an appointment. Appointment setters can perform both inbound and outbound, depending on the client's demand.
Appointment setting differs from remote closing in terms of responsibilities; appointment setters set the sales appointment with potential clients, whereas closers aim to close sales. But, applying as an appointment setter or making that sales call, you need to be aware of the signs when a course or company might be a scam.
This article will cover 7 red flags in appointment setting which gurus don't want you to know, real-world testimonials from experienced appointment setters, and how you can become a legit appointment setter. I'll also discuss a better and more sustainable way of making money from leads than appointment setting.
Is Appointment Setter Legit? Reasons Why and Why Not
Reasons Why Appointment Setter Is a Legit Job
Growing market demand: There is a growing number of businesses who rely on appointment setters to start. Zippia projected the growth rate of appointment setter job increasing by 6% from 2018 to 2028.
Job flexibility: Appointment setting is for those looking for a side hustle or a remote job that has flexible work arrangements.
Commission-based earnings: There are prospective employers who offer commission-based pay.
Entry-level position with no formal education required: You don't need to get a college degree to apply as an appointment setter. Some companies require that appointment setter applicants should have high-school diploma or its equivalent.
Hones your communication skills: You can be an effective appointment setter by improving your communication skills.
Presents learning opportunities: Engaging with various types of clients and companies provides you with learning opportunities about doing business.
Work in various industries: Appointment setters can work in diverse industries because different companies look for appointment setters. You can work in real estate, law firms, medical offices, and technology and software companies, among others.
Improves sales and negotiation skills: Appointment setting requires connecting with prospective clients who have different needs. Constantly engaging with different clients can improve your negotiation and sales skills.
Stepping stone into a career in sales: If you are looking to build a sales in career, being an appointment setter is a good opportunity to gain experience.
Remote work with no geographical barriers: There are many appointment setting roles which you could do anywhere so long as you have your gadget and an internet connection.
Reasons Why Appointment Setter Is NOT a Legit Job
Shady practices: There are some entities who offer you high earnings but they turn out to be scams.
No transparency: Appointment setting opportunities sometimes lack transparency about their compensation structures.
Misleading claims: Be wary about those who exaggerate potential earnings. There are offers with unrealistic expectations, claiming you could earn a lot of money with little effort. Promises of quick results can be a red flag to look out for.
High upfront costs: There are programs or courses that might require big upfront investments.
High turnover rate: Appointment setters can get a lot of clients' rejection, making the business model vulnerable to high turnover rate.
Questionable credentials: There are gurus whose credentials remain questionable as there is very little information about their expertise on appointment setting.
Pressure to invite or recruit others: Some appointment setting opportunities would require you that recruitment of other appointment setters is needed to earn income.
Hidden costs: Misleading entities might have additional hidden costs apart from the training fees. They could offer these costs as exclusive access to other earning opportunities.
Pressure to invite or recruit others: Some appointment setting opportunities would require you that recruitment of other appointment setters is needed to earn income.
7 Red Flags of Being an Appointment Setter That Gurus Don’t Want You To Know
1. Trouble securing employment.
Finding a job as an appointment setter with no experience can be challenging, and finishing a course does not guarantee employment. Erika Kulpina, an appointment setter manager from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, said one thing course creators do not explain is the difficulty that new appointment setters have in securing employment. Inexperienced appointment setters may pose risk to a business.
There’s no experience required of an appointment setter to get started in the business, making it an attractive business model for jobseekers eyeing entry-level roles in sales. But, according to 4 Corner Resources, new employees with no experience may take longer to finish the task. Naturally, new employees make more mistakes as they still need more training to get the job done. While it does not always apply, inexperienced workers are also usually younger workers who are open to transferring to another job, increasing the risk of high turnover rate.
Here’s an example of a job posting on Online Appointment Setter, a Facebook public group with 8.2K members. The post is looking for 15-20 appointment setters. Notice that the post includes a qualification that the applicant must have prior experience either in sales or in an appointment setting.
A LinkedIn article written by George Anders on August 19, 2021, details an analysis of LinkedIn job listings from December 2017 to August 2021. The data shows that prospective employers look for people who have at least 3 years of relevant work experience in 35% of entry-level listings.
HOW TO AVOID THIS RED FLAG: Check out the track record of courses and course gurus. See what their students say about employment in their chosen industry.
2. No base salary offers.
There are gurus who sell you the dream of making thousands a month as an appointment setter without clarifying that the salary is possible only when the sales team can close the sale.
Commission-based opportunities are not a scam per se. But, when you are considering an appointment setter job opportunity promoted by a course creator because it promises that you’ll earn up to 10K a month, check out if it is commission-based or if it comes with a base salary.
There are cases where gurus would highlight the high-income potential of being an appointment setter without stating that it is commission-based. When it’s commission-based, your earnings depend on your performance. However, without a base salary, you might book 100 calls without making a cent because they did not translate to a sale.
Luke Alexander, the founder of Tryclosify.com and Closercartel.com, shared that it was a big mistake for him as an appointment setter not to look for a job that offered base pay. Base pay could compensate for the time and effort spent messaging or connecting with prospective clients. Luke says the base pay could run from $20, $50, or $100.
This appointment-setting job post on Facebook shows they offer new appointment setters with a 10% commission. Then, it added that it would transition into base pay plus commission.
HOW TO AVOID THIS RED FLAG: Evaluate the compensation structure. Know your needs and see if the earning opportunity will compensate for your needs or if it suits your risk tolerance. For instance, if you are interested in a job post like the one above, ask the hiring manager how long it will take before you transition into base pay plus commission. Asking this question will give you an idea of how long it would take you to get a base pay.
3. Promises of high income.
Some gurus promise you'll earn 6-figure in appointment setting in just a month, without qualifying the challenges you'll meet along the way appear shady. Earning 5K to 10K monthly as an appointment setter may not be impossible, but it is not guaranteed. According to ZipRecruiter, as of October 27, 2023, a work from home appointment setter in the US has an average weekly pay of $913.
Sample computation: $913 x 4 weeks = $3,652 per month
Zippia's data shows a different average salary for appointment setters as of September 14, 2023. Based on the figures below, the average salary of appointment setters is $15.32 hourly, while the median annual income is $31,866 yearly. Entry-level appointment setter salary is $22,000 yearly. If we divide that by 12 months, a beginner in appointment setting earns P1,833.33 monthly on average.
If you are a purely commission-based appointment setter, your income is based on the number of sales closed. So, the effectiveness of the closer or the sales team can be one of the determining factors in your income.
Also, the product’s value to clients is a deciding factor. You can’t sell a product that offers no benefit to the market. Legitimate gurus will remind you about the necessity of hard work and continuous skills development to earn more.
According to Dylan Rich, co-founder of the SDR Whisperer from the Greater Tampa Bay Area, Florida, good appointment setters are working all day long. They should be able to call a prospective client within 15 minutes. Dylan explains on his YouTube channel that the customer response rate decreases by 80% when you call the leads beyond 15 minutes.
So, when you come across a guru or an appointment setter training program which promises an effortless way to earn 6- or 7- figures in a few months, even when you are inexperienced, that’s a red flag.
HOW TO AVOID THIS RED FLAG: Check gurus’ claims. Do they give you a balanced perspective about the income opportunity? Ask them about the feasibility of earning that much more quickly. Do they have a study to back it up? Most legitimate gurus would talk to you about the reality of the industry, the good and the bad.
4. No guaranteed job placements.
Guaranteed job placements for appointment setters who have no experience, no degree, or with no effort at all sounds too good to be true. According to Erika Kulpina, it’s a major red flag when gurus guarantee job placements without considering the number of students vis-à-vis job availability.
Looking at the unemployment rate of appointment setters, Zippia said the Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2008 to date varied. Data shows that the 16.45% unemployment rate of appointment setters in 2018 went down to 12.41% in 2019. The unemployment rate for appointment setters continued to climb in 2020 at 12.61% and in 2021 at 17.10%.
Based on Zippia’s estimate, there are over 17,965 appointment setters currently employed in the US. This estimate is based on 30 million profiles. Most appointment setters are women (73.7%). The other 26.3% are men. Zippia also said that the average appointment setter age in the US is 37 years old.
Appointment setter courses can provide you with the foundational knowledge to jump-start your role in appointment setting, but it does not guarantee that you will automatically gain employment.
HOW TO AVOID THIS RED FLAG: If possible, check out the number of students accepted in the course. How many students successfully landed a job after the program? Was it through the network opportunity that comes with the course? Does the course have a referral program with companies looking for appointment setters? When a training program assures you of landing a job after taking the program, consider your qualifications and the market conditions.
5. Unclear curriculum.
Legitimate courses will present you with a detailed curriculum, showing the learning objectives in each module and the specific skills you’d acquire. Unorganized courses with no clear curricula might not give you the best start in the business of appointment setting. But a course with a clear outline of learning objectives, course topics, and exercises can help you acquire practical skills, including communication and people skills, relevant to becoming effective appointment setters.
Appointment setter is a good job for people who plan to build a career in sales and enjoy communicating with others and building relationships. Here's an example of a list of content in an appointment setting training course from the MTD Sales Training based in Coventry, Warwickshire, in the UK. This has a very clear set of topics that includes the appointment setter's preparation and planning for a pre-call, It covers how you open the call, how you sell the appointment, and how to respond to most common phrases used by a client who might be hesitant or not interested.
HOW TO AVOID THIS RED FLAG: Check out the course curriculum to learn what skills you will get from it. Try to find courses with practical exercises. Lastly, review the student testimonials to determine the number of students who made successful appointments after completing the program.
7 Elements of a Good Appointment Setter Course
According to an article by Dr. George Veletsianos, a professor in the School of Education and Technology at the Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada, a good course has 7 elements. Here's what they are and how they can apply to appointment-setting courses:
6. Overpriced courses.
Appointment setter courses are available for free online, but there are overpriced courses offered at $7,000 to $10,000. And, while these courses are priced too high, the average income of appointment setters is only around $1,833.33 to $3,652 monthly. While there are appointment setters who make $10K or more monthly, according to Erika Kulpina, majority of the earnings come from closing deals rather than just booking appointments.
Again, closing deals differs from appointment setting. Closing deals is a different role performed by closers, although there are appointment setters who are also closers.
According to Aaron Martinez from the Remote Closing Academy, appointment setting happens at the earlier stage of the process where a prospective client who clicks the optin button in a product advertisement is contacted by the appointment setter. Closers are those who make the phone call that appointment setters booked. From the phone call, the goal of closers is to turn the lead into a paying client. Once a sale is closed by the closer, the appointment setter may earn commission from that sale.
HOW TO AVOID THIS RED FLAG: Maximize the internet. There are a lot of free online resources on how to become an appointment setter. Even those who are selling appointment setter courses offer free courses. But, before wasting your time watching these "free" appointment setter webinars with an upsell by the end of the presentation, check out the credibility of the course creator. You may also list down the relevant skills in appointment setting, like communication and copywriting, and find free resources and exercises on those topics.
7. Outdated and spammy templates for messaging.
Appointment setters are usually provided with templates or scripts when messaging prospective clients. However, be wary of using outdated materials that could affect your appointment setting efforts. It can be a turnoff when a prospect receives an email or DM from different appointment setters using the same script.
Also, DMs, calls, or email recipients now have options to mark messages or numbers as "spam". You might be taught that by sending messages at high frequency or high volume will generate lead faster, without explaining that there is a number limit of messages, or email for example, that you could send before they end up in the spam folders. According to HubSpot, 61% of buyers do not want pushy salespeople and want to get relevant information.
A guru that promises you can get an appointment easily using his "proven script" without explaining to you that scripts are only a guide won't help you grow. Legitimate course creators should be able to help build your skills in carrying conversations naturally, and not just by relying on outdated scripts.
A legitimate appointment setter program is consistent in updating their materials because they have a credibility to protect and they want to stay relevant in a certain niche or industry.
HOW TO AVOID THIS RED FLAG: Know the trends in your chosen industry. Learn as much as you can about the product your company or client is selling. Listen to your customers or target market and understand how the product you're selling could help them. When you know the latest updates on the market, it becomes easier to connect with your prospects.
5 Real-World Testimonials from Experienced Appointment Setters: Do They Think Appointment Setting Is a Legit Side Hustle in 2023?
Flexibility, cost savings, lower overhead, and location freedom are the benefits of working as an appointment setter from home. But what do experienced appointment setters think about appointment setting? Is it a legit side hustle in 2023? Here are some insights from appointment setters who worked and still work in the appointment setting industry.
Erika Kulpina is a community manager of Skool and the creator of DM Setting Blueprint. She studied cinematography and film production at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada from 2018 to 2022.
Erika is 23 years old, and she has been an appointment setter for at least three years. She has her own teams of 23 appointment setters. They generated over $17 million in sales for their clients.
ERIKA KuLPINA'S Verdict:
Appointment setting is a legit side hustle, but it can be a stressful job and you can get scammed. Erika shares she got scammed twice by people who actually had no business and no offer. To be successful in appointment setting, Erika's advice is to get to know the company or the person you'll work for, listen to the conversation in public social media spaces, and avoid sliding in DMs without building rapport.
Nancy Calabrese is a prospecting and appointment setting expert with a solid background in sales. Nancy graduated from the Pennsylvania State University. She hosts The Conversational Selling Podcast. She is the founder and CEO of One of a Kind Sales (OOAKS).
Established in May 2011, OOAKS provides its clients with lead generation and sales management services, including cold calling, appointment setting, and deal closing.
NANCY CALABRESE's Verdict:
Appointment setting is legit. Nancy believes without appointment setting, companies won't have sales. To be effective in appointment setting, Nancy's tip is to internalize scripts to speak with prospect clients without looking for words to say. She also says it's best to talk to the client and know what their issues are instead of going into "sell mode." According to Nancy, a good cold call to set appointment is done within 4 to 9 minutes.
Aaron started as an appointment setter on Instagram in April 2021. He shared that he invested in money in Wealthy Affiliate, affiliate marketing, productivity courses, affiliate marketing, and worked as a fitness coach. Aaron said he made his first money online after investing over $6K and working hard for 10 months.
Before founding his company called MasterSetter University, Aaron attended flight school. In his first month as an appointment setter, Aaron Sirota said he earned $3.2K. In his 17th month, he claims he earns $40K-$50K.
AARON SIROTA's Verdict:
Appointment setting is legit, but it is not a get-rich quick scheme. Aaron says appointment setting is like running a business within a larger business. A key to succeed in appointment setting it to see it as a skill set which you slowly build.
David Hunter had an unpleasant experience doing cold calls and appointment setting to sell insurance when he was 21 years old. In a YouTube video posted on June 18, 2023, David shares his first experience in doing sales and how they were "sold a dream" to earn money setting appointments. For the entire summer, David went to the office and made cold calls but didn't get paid.
David is now a business coach. He has a well-received free course on e-commerce email marketing on his YouTube channel, where he also shared how he earned over $360,000 in profit.
DAVID HUNTER'S Verdict:
Appointment setting is a scam for David Hunter. One of the red flags from his story is that there was no contract telling them how they would get paid. David's advice to those looking for jobs as appointment setters is to be careful of offers that would overwork you without a clear compensation structure. Also offers that don't have proper training and have no base salaries are raising red flags.
Mike Vestil is a popular YouTuber from Chicago, Illinois and he made money from several business models, including affiliate marketing, dropshipping, and appointment setting. He's sold various online courses and one of them is 7-Day Remote Closer. I have a more comprehensive review of Mike Vestil's 7-Day Remote Closer course.
Mike says he earned $1.9 million from commissions through appointment setting or remote triaging. He claims he had earned hundreds of dollars a day in his YouTube video about making money as an appointment setter for beginners.
MiKE VESTIL's Verdict:
Appointment setting is legit because business owners need people to call on their behalf. Appointment setters allow companies to focus on growing their business. One advantage of appointment setting is not having to learn about running ads or closing the sale.
How to Become a Legit Appointment Setter
Appointment setters help to connect business owners with potential clients and customers. If you are currently exploring career opportunities, here are concrete steps to becoming a legitimate appointment setter.
1. Skill Building. The two foundational elements of appointment setting are communication and persuasion skills. These skills are essential customer service tools to engage potential clients and set appointments effectively. What defines this role is your ability to communicate your client's demands and persuade the recipient to agree to a meeting. Invest time and effort to refine these skills through courses, reading resources, and practice focusing on sales and communication techniques.
2. Networking. Building a network of contacts across various companies and industries is necessary for appointment setting—the more diverse and extensive your network, the more options for potential clients you have. Attend industry events, connect on professional platforms like LinkedIn, and engage with individuals who can provide valuable leads and insights. The more known you are, the likelier it is for people to agree to an appointment.
3. Career Choice. You have two primary career paths to choose from in pursuit of appointment setting: employment or independent contracting. Each path has its advantages:
What Is a Legitimate Appointment Setter Salary Expectation?
$2,000 to $3000 a month is a legitimate appointment setter salary expectation. However, based on the latest report from Indeed, the average legitimate appointment setter salary is $63,314 annually. This rate excludes commissions earned, ranging from $50 to $150 per closed appointment. Compensation is also affected by several factors, including:
- Experience: Appointment setters with more experience typically earn higher salaries. Their expertise and credibility give them leverage in demanding a higher amount.
- Industry: Zippia's record shows that appointment setter salary differs depending on the industry. If you're an appointment setter, check the media, finance, and hospitality industries, as these are the top 3 markets that pay the highest hourly rates for appointment setters. The hourly rate of appointment setters in media, finance, and hospitality industries is $16.12, $14.78, and $14.02, respectively.
- Company size: Larger companies typically compensate appointment setters more than smaller ones. They are also likelier to offer benefits to their employees.
- Location: Appointment setters in major metropolitan areas typically earn more than those in smaller cities and rural areas. Major urban areas have more potential employees than smaller cities and rural areas. Thus, appointment setters in major metropolitan areas must be more competitive to get hired and keep their jobs.
The most reputable companies may offer you client renewal bonus. Some companies offer commissions to appointment setters who close deals with their booked appointments.
A job seeker might ask, can you really make money in appointment setting? Yes, you can really make money appointment setting, but note that it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Appointment setting is a sales job. To be successful, you need to generate leads and close deals. Lastly, it requires you to reach people through DMs or making calls. Only then can you get a substantial list of prospects.
10 Tips for Avoiding Appointment Setter Job Scams
Job seekers looking for appointment setter jobs need to stay vigilant to avoid scams. The Better Business Bureau released a study in September 2020 about scammers targeting jobseekers, with employment scams up by 27% from 2018 to 2020.
Scams often promise quick and easy money, but not all are legitimate. To help you avoid appointment setter job scams, note these 10 essential job-hunting tips.
Before applying for any appointment setter position, take time to research prospective companies thoroughly. Inspect their websites, social media profiles, and online reviews. Legitimate companies will have an active online presence to connect with their audience, while scams may have little to no online footprint.
Credible companies will never charge upfront fees to apply for a job. If a recruiter demands payment just to be considered for an appointment setting position, it is likely a scam. Legitimate employers offer money to prospective employees, not vice versa.
If a job posting promises unrealistic rewards, such as earning up to $10,000 a week for setting appointments, it's likely too good to be true. Reputable job platforms peg the average salary of appointment setters to $2000-$3000 a month. Scammers often lure victims using enticing claims to take advantage of them.
Under no circumstances should you give out any personal information that is financial in nature during the application process. Do not provide your bank account or credit card details. Legitimate employers will only ask for such sensitive information once you're well into the hiring process.
Scam job postings often contain blatant grammatical and spelling errors. On the other hand, legitimate employers maintain a professional image. It is highly suspect if a job ad contains glaring mistakes.
Legitimate companies typically use official company email addresses in their job postings. If the email provided seems to be a personal one (e.g., Gmail or Yahoo), it's wise to be cautious. Legitimate job listings should include a professional contact email that contains their company name.
Be skeptical of job offers that immediately grant you the position without verifying your work experience or skills. Reputable employers conduct interviews and reference checks to ensure they're hiring qualified candidates, even for remote positions.
An offer of a job contract as an appointment setter is important. Contracts set your scope of work and provide details about compensation. However, credible employers give you time to review contracts and consider the terms. It is suspicious if a company pressures you to sign a contract immediately. You should be able to read thoroughly any documents the company asks you to sign.
Flexjobs have listed some keywords used in potential online job scams. Avoid appointment setter job posts with the following keywords or its variations:
- Quick money
- Unlimited income
- Part-time job with full-time salary
- Little to no effort needed
Asking relevant questions can help you counter a scam. Nonlegitimate employers may appear evasive or unclear in answering even basic questions. You may ask about your role, employer's expectations, or how you are going to be compensated. You may also ask about the employer's location and contact details. Legitimate employers are even happy to clarify about your concerns when you pose well thought out questions.
Are Appointment Setter Courses Legit?
Appointment setter courses are legit if they offer a well-defined curriculum, have qualified instructors, and show a track record of student success after completion. Here are examples of appointment setter courses:
TopSetters Appointment Setter Course by Sahil Sharma offers certification training for appointment setters. The program promises that students can earn $5,000 to $10,000 monthly as remote high ticket setters.
Appointment Setter.Com by Bastiaan Slot includes weekly coaching, a private Discord group, accountability, step-by-step video instruction, and guaranteed placement. The reviews about Bastiaan Slot are mixed. However, one Reddit review claims to have been pressured into paying $6,000 for an appointment setter certificate and increased chances of being directly connected to a client.
Closer Cartel 3.0 by Luke Alexander includes over 30 hours of appointment setting training. It covers frameworks for effective appointment setting, phone and DM setting techniques, and qualifying prospects.
Appointment Setter Related Articles
Is There a Better Way to Make Money from Leads Than Appointment Setting?
Local lead generation is a better way to make money from leads than appointment setting because it offers a predictable and scalable passive income stream. You can get sustainable income with local lead generation because you don't merely set appointments to generate high-quality business leads. Local lead generation provides valuable leads for the client using organic traffic. Creating an organic online presence makes you an indispensable asset.
It costs anywhere from $8.89 to $58.89 per hour to hire an appointment setter, according to ZipRecruiter. In Upwork, some appointment setters charge $50 to $300 depending on the number of outbound calls, email sent, or DMs a client requires. The monthly commission also varies. Based on job postings on Indeed.com, some appointment setter jobs are purely commission based. Others offer a flat rate, for instance $200 per product sold, on top of the base salary. However, the difference between lead generation and appointment setting is that you fully control the lead gen business.
In appointment setting, you can only send as many DMs or emails or make as many calls as your client's database provides. This could limit your income potential. Appointment setting is more of a service an appointment setter offers to business owners. However, with local lead generation, you don't need to DM all those companies or high-ticket course creators to hire you as an appointment setter. You don't rely on the sales team, who may or may not close the sale during the meeting or call you have set with the client. You also don't need to deal with client rejections.
If you're making the appointment setting through cold calling, your success rate is only 2% per the Finances Online report in October 2023. Local lead generation allows you to take full control of your business because you own the digital asset that the client uses. You're also dealing with saturation in appointment setting because there is a small barrier to entry. Anyone willing to sell the product can be an appointment setter and send DMs to book appointments or calls. But with local lead generation, you can narrow down the competition, and you get lower saturation because not everyone can do it.
Local lead generation is an acquired skill set. It doesn't involve daily manual labor of contacting clients and booking appointments, which almost anybody could do. It relies on website rankings and codes where you'll build a site, rank it on Google, and rent it to a client for $750-$2,000 a month. With this, you can narrow down your competition and get predictable profit. Start lead gen biz if you want a sustainable and passive income stream.