You’ve spent considerable time, effort and yes, money, in an attempt to market your business. Perhaps you’ve run ads in the local paper, participated in networking groups, gone on speaking engagements and even made cold calls. Your efforts have paid off, though, and now the phones are ringing with people requesting your goods or services.
Now all the hard work is done and you can sit back and relax, right? Wrong. Now is the time to train your sales staff to make the most of those ringing phones and walk-in customers. If you’re a solo-preneur you need to be especially vigilant when you’re marking efforts have paid off and the phones start ringing.
These are the top six mistakes to avoid when business prospects call:
Mistake 1: Not answering the phone. There will be times when you need to put the phones on voice mail but make certain those times are rare. When a prospective client is calling it’s because they have a need that they want met immediately – don’t have them calling the competition because you had your phones going to voice mail.
Mistake 2: Not returning their message. For those inevitable times when a phone call must go to voice mail, make certain you return calls as soon as possible. Again, your client called today, they’d like to hear back from you today.
Mistake 3: Putting them on hold for too long. While no one wants to be on hold, there are times it can’t be helped, just make certain it isn’t a long wait. Additionally, while your prospective customer is on hold, use that time wisely by having an on hold message that keeps them interested in your goods and services.
Mistake 4: Not asking them how they heard about you. As a way to tell where your marketing dollars are bearing fruit, you need to ask your phone callers where they heard about you. Also, if they heard about you from a friend or colleague, you want to give that referral a call (or send a thank you gift) for thinking of you.
Mistake 5: Not confirming their information such as name, phone number, etc. Keep an information-gathering notepad by the phone. Always remember to collect the caller’s name, phone number, email and other pertinent information.
Mistake 6: Not thanking them for calling. Even if your phone call doesn’t lead to any business, make certain you thank the caller for thinking of you and ask them to refer you to others.
In today’s instant communication era of text messages and emails, make certain your phone etiquette skills stay on ahead of the curve when it comes to not making these common phone mistakes.