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Why Didn’t You Pick Me? (Part 2) January 13, 2009

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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In yesterday’s post, I mentioned some basic things to watch for when applying for shops in order to maximize your chances of getting a shop. If you are following those guidelines, and still not getting shops, there are some other things to consider. Some are simply out of your control, but others can be worked on to improve your chances.

1.  Following job posting requests to a T: this is one area that is often overlooked. Shoppers know they need to apply quickly if they want a shop and sometimes fail to read through the entire post for response guidelines. For example, schedulers with a high volume of shops may request that the subject line be very specific – such as “gasoline audit, Ohio” – and ask that you include specific information about yourself. Be sure to read through the posting thoroughly before responding in email. Schedulers may have hundreds of shoppers applying and won’t have time to look at responses that weren’t sent correctly. They will be skipped over or deleted.

2.  Along these lines, if a job posting directs you to apply at a website and specifically asks shoppers not to email them, then don’t. This will kill your chances faster than anything! While it sounds like common sense, you would be surprised at how many people fail to adhere to these requests.

3.  I last used an example of how a scheduler could be faced with hundreds of applications for one shop. After weeding out those who didn’t follow directions in replying or applying, how do they decide to assign from the pool of shoppers that is left? Each company is different, but the fact is that if you’re new and faced with a lot of competition, you may not be selected the first (or second or third) time you apply for a shop. What do you do to get your foot in the door?

I can offer some suggestions to increase your chances:

1.  Watch for end of the month shops and take them when at all possible, even if it’s further out than you would typically travel. If you’ve been a shopper for any length of time, surely you’ve noticed that job postings start sounding desperate as the month goes on, with the most desperate, pleading posts for help coming the last week of the month. If you can help out at all, apply for the shop and then do your best work. Not only will you be a hero to that company, but you will be remembered when future shops are posted.

2.  Keep an eye on job postings for companies you’d like to work with. Typically, mystery shopping companies schedule shops for a month before the new month even begins, and some try to post at the same time each month. It is a good idea to watch to see when companies are posting their jobs each month – this will give you an advantage because you can be ready for the postings and apply quickly. If you’re keeping good records, as described in a posting last week, you can devote a column of your spreadsheet to include the general time frame in which a mystery shopping company typically seems to post jobs.

3.  After a while, you may notice that a specific type of job seems to be difficult to fill for a specific company. Perhaps it is a less desirable shop – along the lines in the first point, if you can take a shop like this, it may help your odds of getting additional work with a company.

As a new shopper in the industry, patience is a virtue! Because there is more competition than there was even five years ago, it may take some time to get your first shops. It is recommended that you register with as many companies as you can – you can read a past article on how to find mystery shops – to increase your chances of getting work.

If you’d like to add any tips or advice about getting your first shops as a mystery shopper, or how you have gotten your first shops with a mystery shopping company you hadn’t worked with before, we welcome your suggestions and comments!

Until next time…happy shopping!

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