+1

In the insurance business, I knew that every time I picked up the phone and spoke to someone – anyone - I'd earn $30. However, my ratio of 10 phone calls to 5 appointments wasn't good enough in my opinion, because it meant that I was burning up too many prospects. I needed an appointment-getting system that could produce at least 8 appointments from 10 calls. This meant that I wouldn't have to prospect as hard as I had been because I didn't use them up so fast on the phone. My appointment-to-presentation ratio of 5:4 meant that 20% of my prospects weren't turning up so I could close this gap if I phoned better qualified prospects. My presentations -to-close average of 3:1 could also be improved. But I still knew that even if I didn't change a thing I'd still make $30 each time I picked up the telephone.

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Hello,

Could you please help me to understand what does the author mean by saying: "I didn't use up appointments so fast on the phone".

By possessing an appointment-getting system, he had not to search that hard for real clients, because he didn't use up appointments so fast on the phone ...? This interpretation makes no sense.

Thank you so much.

+1

I agree, the pronoun 'them' replaces 'the prospective clients'. He was 'using them up' or quickly interacting with prospective clients with short phone conversations.

He said 'burning up' or 'use them up' as a figure of speech to mean the conversation was fast and hot like fire, high-pressure sales tactics.

I'm Canadian, this is the North American English style I know.

Comments  

The antecedent of "them" is "prospects", not "appointments".

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 Tamara Stuhr's reply was promoted to an answer.
Bahareh M

In the insurance business, I knew that every time I picked up the phone and spoke to someone – anyone - I'd earn $30. However, my ratio of 10 phone calls to 5 appointments wasn't good enough in my opinion, because it meant that I was burning up too many prospects. I needed an appointment-getting system that could produce at least 8 appointments from 10 calls. This meant that I wouldn't have to prospect as hard as I had been because I didn't use them up so fast on the phone. My appointment-to-presentation ratio of 5:4 meant that 20% of my prospects weren't turning up so I could close this gap if I phoned better qualified prospects. My presentations -to-close average of 3:1 could also be improved. But I still knew that even if I didn't change a thing I'd still make $30 each time I picked up the telephone.

To me, "burning up too many prospects" and "use them up so fast" seem to refer to the number of prospects he calls, or the rate at which he calls them. So, e.g., he is given a list of 100 prospects, and he gets through telephoning these people too quickly. But overall this passage doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, since the goal is to maximise the number of appointments booked, and there is no obvious or simple connection between this and the speed at which he can telephone a list of clients. Someone might agree an appointment quickly, or put the phone down straight away, or they might agree after a long conversation, or decline after a long conversation. I suppose it might make sense if it is well-known within the industry, or explained somewhere else, that, on average, length of call tends to correlate with success.

Thanks for all the replies.

Maybe an appointment-getting system can help him to interact with prospects in an unhurried way. As a result, he will indirectly produce more appointments. I guess the author believes that quickly interacting with clients will lower the chance of success (burn them up).

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Bahareh MCould you please help me to understand what does the author means by saying:

As shown. Indirect questions don't use auxiliary do.

CJ