It’s a great feeling when your current online marketing campaign begins to bear fruit, and the phone starts to ring. But it’s how you act after you answer the phone that could spell the difference between a closed lead and a lost opportunity. The following will take you through a typical call beginning to end, with the end result being a closed lead. If you’re waiting for your online marketing campaign to produce results or if it already has and you have a phone-close-rate of little-to-none, the following should help. Here is exactly what do the next time someone calls after finding your business on the Internet.
Pick Up and Smile
It sounds frivolous, but if you’re having a bad day and your caller manages to feel your bad mood over the phone, the person is not going to have a very good or memorable experience.
On the other hand, if you can manage to smile – even if you have to fake it – the person will hear that smile over the phone, and the conversation will automatically turn positive.
In order to keep the positivity flowing, immediately ask for the person’s name and use their name throughout the call. People love the sound of their own voice and hearing their name several times (don’t overdo it) will be music to their ears.
For best results, keep a ‘lead form’ next to the phone that reminds you to smile and that includes a space for the person’s name, much like the following.
Ex. #1: Answer the Call With a Smile and Immediately Get the Person’s Name
Caller’s Name: ________________________________
Keep the Phone Conversation Short
The typical phone call that comes into your office should last no more than three-to-five minutes. More than that and you may give your customer second thoughts on taking action.
That’s what you don’t want.
Instead, you will want to take control of the call and guide the person directly into an appointment. Here is how it’s done.
Frequently Asked Questions
Underneath the space for the caller’s name, you may want to list up to six questions that people commonly ask. Because, let’s face it, most callers will say something to the effect of, “I have a question for you.”
Ideally, you’ll want to provide a list of FAQs on your website. The more information you can provide to your customers externally – via your website, social media, or offline marketing methods – the more targeted and ready-to-take-action your prospect will be.
Even still, keep the answers to commonly asked questions ready just in case your customer asks for them. It’s better to do that than to say, “Hang on,” and then yell across the office for the answer; or worse, put the person on hold.
Ex #2: Common Questions that Callers Might Ask
1. What Payments Do You Accept? We accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express for your convenience.
2. What are Your Hours of Operation? We are open Monday through Friday 10-5 and Saturday 11-4, and we’re closed on Sundays. Would you like to schedule an appointment?
One of the benefits of Internet marketing is that you can easily track your results, as long as you ask your caller how he/she heard about you. After you’ve answered the person’s question, ask them where they saw your phone number online.
Ex. #3: Find Out How the Caller Found Our Business
“How did you hear about us today?”
If the caller says, “The Internet,”: That’s great. We’ve been working very hard to make sure it’s easy to find us online. Where did you happen to see us? Was it a Google Search?
If the person gives the name of a current customer, make a note to give that customer a discount or at least a thank you!
Guide the Call and Convert
Don’t let the customer ramble on. Again, you want to keep the call short, and you want the caller to convert by the time the call ends. You can do that by offering two appointment options, and assuming that the person is going to make an appointment.
What you don’t want to do is ask a closed question, such as, “Would you like to schedule an appointment?” That leaves the caller open to answering with a big fat NO.
Instead, offer two options. That way the caller only has two choices, and NO doesn’t even enter the equation.
You might say, “Would mornings or afternoons work better for you?” Then, offer two appointment options. Like so:
Ex. #4: Guide the Person Into An Appointment
1. “Would mornings or afternoons work better for you?”
2. Provide 2 options. (Ex. I have an opening at 3 on Wednesday or 2 on Friday. Which one do you like best?)
3. Book the appointment.
Appointment Date: _________________________ Time: ___________
Get Important Information
Even if you attempt to guide the conversation, there is a chance that the person could say no. Whether you schedule an appointment or you don’t manage to close the caller just yet, always get the person’s call-back number and email address.
Ex. #5: Get the Caller’s Information
What’s your phone number? _______________________
What about your email address? _________________________
Close the Call
You now have everything you need – you have either successfully guided the caller into an appointment, or you managed to at least gather the caller’s contact information. The latter allows you to call the person back later, which is a very good thing.
Because get this: 43% of people who call your office won’t be ready to make a commitment just yet. If you get a, “I’m not ready to commit just yet,” or a plain NO, thank the person for calling and make a note to call them back later.
You might want to find a date two weeks out so that you can call the person back, and mark it on your ‘Phone Lead’ form, like so:
Ex. #6: Schedule a Call Back
Call the person back at: ________________
A good tip is to leave a second form on your desk that you can use to make note of people’s names, phone numbers, and their call back dates so that you can keep track of your leads, and potentially close much more of them.
Now, remember, you’re not going to close everyone, and some people won’t even give you their phone number. You’re not going to get all of them, but you’ll also never get what you don’t ask for. So the next time the phone rings, get ready to change the game for the better. You’re about to show your caller exactly how a closed call is done.