A Needle in a Haystack? How to Get Your Target

Most apartment mystery shopping jobs require you to complete a telephone call before the visit. Some mystery shop jobs allow any person to be shopped, but others ask that you target a specific leasing agent. This means you’ll need to complete both the telephone call and the visit with this person, but clients usually prefer that you not ask for the target person by name. So how do you manage to get a specific person on the phone without asking for them by name? It sounds about as easy as finding a needle in a haystack, but it’s not that hard! Here are a few ideas to help you find that needle without compromising your identity as a mystery shopper.

1. Make 3 to 5 calls each day and space those calls about an hour apart. – You’ll have a much better chance of reaching the right person if you’re making more than one or two calls per day. Further, if you’re spacing those calls an hour or so apart, you’ll cover more of the workday, in case that person comes in later in the day or leaves earlier. Plus, it will help make sure your voice does not become familiar.

2. Don’t just hang up; ask a simple question. – When you call and you reach someone other than your target, don’t just hang up! Instead, ask or say something simple that will allow you to end the call without having to give your information. Things like “What time does the office open/close?”, “I’m sorry, I’m afraid I reached the wrong number.” or “Does your community have breed restrictions for dogs?” are great ways to get off the call without having to begin a sales call.

3. Use a second phone for an “assist”. – Sometimes you’ll make several calls per day, but you keep reaching the same person, who ISN’T your target, every time. In these cases, a trick you can try is to enlist a friend or use a second phone. Make a call with one phone so that person will answer and will be tied up with that call and then call on the second phone at the same time, in the hopes the call will roll over to someone else.

4. Reach out to EPMS for help. – Don’t forget, EPMS is always happy to help. If you’ve made calls for a couple of days and still can’t catch the target, use the white envelope icon next to your shop to send a message to your EPMS follow-up person. Let them know you’ve made numerous calls and are still having trouble. They can either offer other suggestions or reach out to the client for additional help or schedule information.

The more practice you get with completing target shops, the easier it will become. You’ll find you even devise your own hacks that work best for you!