1) Answer the Phone/follow-up on Leads
I know what you are saying: “Answer the phone? Really? That’s your big advice?” Yes – this IS my big advice, and here’s why. I cannot even begin to tell you how frustrated I get when I call a business and all I get is either a voice automated system or worse it just rings and rings only to leave me with a random voicemail box.
Generally by the time I’m picking up the phone and calling a business – I’m pretty close to making a purchase.
If I call three places and only one of the three answers the phone and gets me answers to my questions right away – guess which place I’m probably going to be purchasing from?
If you guessed the place that answered the phone – you’re right! By the time the other two places call me back (if they do) I’ve probably already made my purchase and have moved on, and they have lost any chance at selling me something.
Don’t be the people that lose the chance to sell your product. During business hours, you won’t find the time where you call, and someone (yes a real person!) doesn’t answer – ask the team how crazy I am about making sure the phone is covered at every SINGLE MOMENT. (I’m sure they’ll be happy to tell you!)
The point is though, and you never know when the owner of a business that would like to work with you is on the other end, and I do not want their first impression of us to be the voicemail box.
This one is so simple, but many businesses are failing in this department, so start answering the phone all the time, and I promise you’ll be far ahead of the game!
Do you watch “The Office”? If you do – you’ve probably heard Michael Scott talking to his team about getting things done ASAP AS POSSIBLE. This is how soon you should reply to leads. (if not even sooner than that!).
Again, if someone is bothering to send you an E-mail through your website, or call your phone number – they WANT TO BUY YOUR PRODUCT! Moreover, in case you haven’t noticed – people (myself included) have become impatient! When they send in an E-mail request for information, they do not want an answer next month, next week or even tomorrow – they want an answer RIGHT NOW. Get them their answer right away, and you’ll be well on your way to another sale – I promise!
There are SO MANY BUSINESSES failing miserably at this one and the few that are responding well – are blowing up with sales. I’m assuming if you’re reading this – you would prefer to sell more.
So get with it and start responding to people who want to buy things from you! (Please note that I put this in the #1 position!)
2) Apologize Even When You’re Not Wrong
This is a toughie – it really can suck to say you’re sorry – ESPECIALLY when it’s not your fault. I can tell you though, in business, one of the best things you can do is apologize to a frustrated customer or client even when it’s not your, your staff’s, or businesses fault. Sometimes (like in life) when someone is frustrated all they want to hear is “I’m sorry.”
Just hearing those words can help to diffuse many situations. The fact of the matter is, when you own a business you will have to deal with unhappy customers/clients no matter how hard you and your team work to avoid that. So if you have someone who is rationally or irrationally unhappy with your business my recommendation is you do everything you can to make them happy.
If they want their entire order for free and you don’t think they should get that – then offer to fix the problems they did have, or offer to give them a gift card for future services. Whatever you have to do to make it right (even with the crazy people!) will be in your best interest.
People will sometimes give you great word-of-mouth for a great experience, but they will almost 100% of the time tell people about a bad experience – so avoid that at all costs (literally!)
3) Keep Current on Your Marketing/social Media
How many times have you gone to a businesses website in June and saw right there on the homepage something about the Christmas sale from the previous year? This makes businesses look not with it and very outdated.
The same thing stands for your social media. When I go to a business’ page and see they haven’t posted for months my initial reaction is they either a) are out of business or b) don’t have it all together – call me a millennium or what you want, but I’m 29 and buying things – so take heed!
We offer a social media management service, and for many our clients they are perfectly capable of doing all things social media – they don’t have the 100% dedicated time, so if you don’t have time – it is worth your while to hire someone who does. (and it doesn’t hurt when it’s their specialty too!)
4) Tell Clients/customers You Appreciate Them
Again, this is an obvious one – but I find myself needing to remind me to do this too. At least once a week I’ll make sure to include a “Thanks – I appreciate it” in my E-mails to clients.
If you have customers that are regular make sure you throw them a percentage discount randomly here and there – and when you say the total price and they look up confused – tell them you appreciate their dedicated business.
That will go very far for your business – and if you don’t think they’re going to tell their friends about that, you’re crazy! (Maybe not crazy – but know they are going to tell their peeps)
5) Make Sure You’re Consistent in Your Look
So what if you got a new logo a few months ago and your website is still your old logo, but your business cards have your new logo – and your letterhead has no logo? Um….Not so what! People notice inconsistencies such as this.
Again, this goes back to making yourself look your absolute most professional and best. You wouldn’t leave the house to go to a new business pitch looking thoroughly disheveled, would you? (I hope not! That’s a whole other blog!)
Probably not – so why have your business looking anything close to disheveled either? Make sure everything is giving the same message with the same look.
There’s a reason large businesses are adamant about their logo usage etc…it’s because they realize the value. Making sure everything matches – so do it is free!
A lot of this indeed is comfortable – yet some can be time-consuming. That’s where your favorite Des Moines Advertising Agency can come in. If you don’t have the time – we do – because it’s all we do, and we love it!
Let us help protect your brand, and leave you to the answering the phones and responding ASAP to potential buyers! See…easy as 123!