Yesterday, I read an intriguing blog post at Denise Griffitts ”How Answering Your Phone Can Hurt Your Business”. As the story goes, Denise had a flyer placed on her door for handyman services. She called the numbers and received less than stellar response. These people may have been highly skilled, but they were so ill-prepared to answer their phone and interact with prospects that they came off as bumblers in Denise’s eyes. Her description of their response would rate more as rudeness in my book.
The sort of people who were not trustworthy; whose skills are extremely suspect. Their efforts at enterprise that could make a change in their economy were sabotaged by none less than themselves.
No one can afford to do that! When you get ready to hang your shingle out for decorative concrete, one little technique you can apply to your phone is to answer with your name. ”Hello, this is Joe” or simply “This is Joe”.
Even a gentle “Hello” leaves the phone conversation hanging and someone uncomfortable. The caller has to pry your identity out of you. If someone dialed a wrong number, you’ve cleared that up in an exceptionally professional manner by answering with your name.
Customer service begins long before the typical mental picture of dealing with a complaint. Every prospect must be treated as if they are a customer right now. There are two value points of view in place — value to the prospect and value to you. You have a skill to offer that is valuable to them; they have business/money to offer that is valuable to you. That first phone contact can determine your future in many ways, with $$$$ being the one that will count for you. You can goof off, be sloppy and get lucky a few times when someone hounds you to come and work for them despite reservations. Or you can take the lead, show your prospect how valuable they are to you by being ready to do business, being polite and pleasant. Will you settle for lucky or will you be all you can be? Your choice!