Many years ago before starting my own contracting business I was hired on as the sales and marketing manager for a 30 year old contracting company. At the time they had more leads coming in than they knew what to do with. In fact, there were so many the receptionist would write them down and leave them in a bin on her desk and the sales people would just grab the ones they wanted.
Of course this behavior was corrected and modified, (As was most of the entire staff) but I still did not appreciate the value of that ringing phone.
That is until I left to start my own business that did not have 30 years of status in the community. (More on that in a minute)
The issue is that when the phone is ringing off the hook, people in the organization can start to see the customer as a burden that is keeping them from getting their job done. This can happen to the best of us.
When I started my business I thought I would be able to take the marketing practices I was using at the old business and “Poof!” the business would come rolling in!
Not so much…
So I went to work feverishly trying everything I could find to get leads. You name it, I did it. We prayed for the phone to ring, and jumped through every hoop imaginable to secure appointments.
You see, when we started our company there were ten of us. Survival the first year meant 2 million in sales. None of which would come from large projects or new housing tracts.
This meant I had to get busy!
I am happy to say that we did meet our goals that year,and every year since then.
But fast forward 10 years later. Now that our company is an established and highly regarded company in our community, our phone rings like crazy. And guess what? There are times when the people in the organization don’t appreciate the value of that person calling in. This ultimately leads to less appointments booked, and can even lead to a poor impression that sales cannot overcome.
Here’s the question… Who’s Fault is That?
You got it, yours truly.
It is my job to motivate, and help in correcting attitudes that have gone in the wrong direction.
Here are some tips to help your staff change their focus regarding incoming calls:
- Focus on helping others – Talk to them about how people who call in are in need of help. Some clients react differently to the fact that they have a problem. Some are rude, and some are grateful. Bottom line is they are having an issue that your organization was designed to solve! Something is malfunctioning in their home, and could be affecting their entire family. The person answering the phone is a critical component to putting the client at ease, giving them the confidence that they have called the right place, and that help is on the way.
- Focus on helping the team – Remind them that each opportunity can possibly lead to one, or dozens of potential jobs. This helps to provide job security for them and all of the team members.
Imagine what a 2-5- or 10% improvement in appointment capture along with an enhanced call experience could do for your organization. Best of all it doesn’t cost you anything! (Other than a focus on answering those phones, and a smile when you do!)