Do you want the best mystery shopping assignments? If you’re like most mystery shoppers, the answer is obvious. That’s why I wrote this article: To help my fellow mystery shoppers get the best assignments they can.
This is a follow-up to my column on choosing which companies to work with. It’s really a corollary as, in theory; the best companies should also have the best assignments.
I don’t claim this list to be exclusive and all encompassing. I do believe that it contains advice which, if followed, will lead a shopper to better assignments.
- You’re not going to be given the plum assignments overnight. You have to earn the right to do them. Which means…
- Prove yourself. Don’t ask for the $100 Porsche shops when you’ve never done any work for the MSC. Take some of the $10 to 20 shops or even reimbursement only shops, do them well, and you’ll pave the way for the better, higher dollar shops.
- Establish relationships with schedulers. If you’re asked to do a shop that’s not one of your favorites, but you’re still relatively new, don’t be afraid to swallow your pride and do it. Likewise, if you’re asked and you can’t do it on a given date, don’t just say no…go ahead and give an alternate date or two when you would be available for the shop.
- You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Go ahead and laugh at that platitude if you want, but I’ve had over a dozen MSC’s ask me to sign with them based solely on my posts in www.mysteryshopforum.com. It’s not that they agree with what I write, but rather that I write my posts using proper English and grammar, avoiding “text-speak”; i.e. “The female associate had long str8 hair.” If you consistently post like that in a public forum, where schedulers do read the posts, what conclusion can they draw? Proper use of English led to my first shop with one MSC being for a $250,000 high performance sports car. This is the only time I’ve had this kind of luck where rule #1 wasn’t followed.
- Be polite with the schedulers. They have jobs to do too. “Thank you” goes a long way. So does “Good morning/afternoon”. The common greetings that so many forget will make you stand out—especially in e-mails.
- Never say no if there is a possibility of saying yes. I was asked by one MSC to do a dinner shop on a Sunday night in a town 90 miles from home. I had several shops to do in the same town on Monday. I explained that I’d love to do it, but couldn’t because of the excess driving. The scheduler asked if she could call me back. About 15 minutes later I was saying yes to the dinner shop. She had come back with a hotel shop that needed to be done. By not closing the door with an absolute no, the scheduler was able to come back with another proposal which changed the entire dynamic of the shop and actually made it a better deal for me because I wouldn’t have to leave home at 6AM in the morning to get to where the shops needed to be done.
- I hesitate to reveal this because I consider it my ultimate method. Ask for the shop. The worst thing that can happen is you’ll be told “no” and, believe it or not, the sun will still rise the next morning. So many people are afraid of rejection so they won’t ask; they don’t want to risk being told “no”.
Can I guarantee that these methods will work for you? No. But what I do know is they have worked for me, and they have increased my monthly income from mystery shopping.