Without a doubt, your telephone is your No. 1 most valuable tool to help you secure new customers and new business. But it can be ... and often is ... a costly liability!
Virtually all of your marketing and advertising is designed for one purpose — to persuade someone to pick up the phone and call you. If you blow the call, you have wasted a lot of time and effort for naught.
When a prospect is calling around trying to find a company to do business with, he or she is most likely to go with the one that captures them in the FIRST conversation!
When I owned my pest control business and was in the office every day, I was quick to answer the telephone. I can’t tell you the number of times someone would say to me, “You are the first person I’ve talked with who actually took the time to answer my questions and explain to me what I need to do. The other people I spoke with weren’t interested in helping me. They just wanted to schedule an appointment to send someone to my home.”
And guess who got the business. It was the person they felt was SINCERELY interested in HELPING them solve their problem.
If you have the wrong person answering your phone, it is costing you sales and new business each and every day.
The person answering your telephone should:
- Have an outgoing personality
- Be a genuine people person
- Be patient
- Be sympathetic
- Be empathetic
- Be compelling
- Be hypnotic
- Be WELL TRAINED...and then trained some more
- Be knowledgeable about your products/service and be skilled at selling them
- Understand the law of reciprocity and how to use it to get people to say YES
- Understand how to schedule an appointment without pressure
- Be willing to listen for a long time
- Be able to handle major stress with a smile and a wink
- Be a take-charge person when it is necessary
Understand that, once a prospect hangs up the phone, if there was no help given and no problem resolved, the odds of you hearing back from them again is drastically reduced.
I once hired a young woman as an office assistant. Her main job was to answer the phone. She was the least qualified of all the others I interviewed. I asked her, “Why should I hire YOU when you are the least qualified?”
Her answer was exactly what I was looking for. She said, “Because I can light up the people on the other end of that phone. I don’t care how mad or upset they might be. I can put a smile on their faces. I can make them believe that your company is the greatest pest control company in the world.”
And I knew that if she could to that, it would be putting money in the bank!
You might need to take a closer look…and a L-O-N-G listen…to who is answering your telephones. They are either making you money or costing you money. If it’s the latter, you need to give them another job or replace them with someone who represents you and your company the way you want and need to be represented.