Pay per appointment: Is it really worth it?
Using external experts to find highly qualified leads for your business can save you time and money. But these companies can also cost you – and your reputation – if you’re not careful about choosing the right payment model.
There are several ways that lead generation companies can charge their clients for generating leads or appointments: a fixed fee, on commission, per sale, or per appointment booked.
Forget about commissions or pay per sale – these models aren’t realistic and don’t work well for the lead generation company or the client.
Companies offering pay per appointment (PPA) commit to generating a specific number of leads for an up-front cost. After they’re paid, they deliver the leads or appointments to the client as promised. Although PPA sounds good and appears risk-free, it can be anything but.
What do you get for your money?
Chances are, the inexpensive PPA deals that appear to be from Canada or USA actually use overseas callers (usually from India) who are noisy and pushy and who care more about the quantity of leads than their quality.
Other PPA deals in Canada and the USA are much more expensive (I have seen as high as $2000 per appointment), and usually require the client to pay a substantial, non-refundable set-up or assessment fee, often in addition to a monthly fee. These companies may also charge for using their proprietary database or for cleaning the data from the client’s database. On top of that, they charge per appointment booked – even if the appointment has not been properly qualified or does not come to fruition.
In response to a client’s request, Lead Generators International tried PPA for a few months – we were paid for 10 appointments at a time, with no other charges. Under this model, we could only pay PPA callers once they secured an appointment/lead. Managing the revolving door of so-called PPA experts – not to mention hiring and training them – was a waste of our time and money, and diverted valuable resources away from our client’s needs. This short trial period was enough to convince us that we will never do PPA again.
More importantly, we found that our client preferred our current payment model, where we compensate our lead generation specialists with a base pay plus bonuses for their results. This approach means more motivated callers, better leads, and a higher success rate for our clients.
PPA has other drawbacks.
It’s always important to have different types of leads in your sales pipeline for future opportunities, but PPA focuses only on today’s appointment. Also, PPA companies tend to minimize their costs by requiring clients to fit their mould, providing minimal (or no) reporting, and limiting their communications.
Unfortunately the Ripoff Report website has plenty of examples of clients losing money to PPA companies:
- “They were to hire telemarketers to pitch our product and they were to set up sales meetings for us. They promised the meetings by a certain date, but they had no leads to provide by that date. [He] told us he was developing leads, and kept saying he would have some for us next Monday, next week, etc. The leads / meetings never came.”
- “They were supposed to provide 25 telemarketing leads. They provided 5 leads in the first week. […] After the first week the leads stopped coming.”
- “I placed an order of 80 confirmed and validated Medicare Supplement appointments for $2000.00 with a business check (They would not accept a credit card because you can dispute a fraudulant charge). […] To date, none of the schedules have been honored. The appointments sent were booked by a call center in India posing as someone from Medicare, which is highly illegal.”
- “We used their appointment setting services, went on 20+ appointments and generated zero results. Most appointments were cancelled or rescheduled at the last minute…. They continually made excuses as to why the appointments were not kept. We were promised meetings with decision makers. Most were with people who were not part of the decision making process OR were not interested in our services but accepted the appointment so the calls would stop.”
- “The first fifteen appointments I got from the company did not meet my requirements. Out of the fifteen, only two showed some interest in discussing what I had to offer. […] Additionally, there were a good number of occasions where the person who I went to see insisted they had not scheduled any appointment. They also said no one had called them to make an appointment. On inquiring, most of the people claimed that they were told I was a representative of the company that they did business with. Since it was not true, I concluded that the clients were given this false information so that they would agree to the appointment.”
- “Do not get fooled by this company. They do not do what they promise. They just take your money and disappear. I went out on a limb to invest into my business and now I am out my money.”
PPA may sound good – but ultimately, you and your customers will pay the price.
To avoid these problems, let Lead Generators International develop a program that meets your requirements.
We work with you to act as your marketing arm – providing you with what you need, when you need it, with full communication at all times. We also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau , a Results Guarantee, and a Code of Performance that underpins all our work. Contact us today to explore how we can help you boost your business.