At the end of the day if we do not know the right way to answer the phone, those leads generated online will largely go to waste. If you have someone answering your phone who is well trained and instead of converting one out of every four leads into a client, they are able to convert two out of four, then you have literally just doubled your business!
Here are six tips for converting leads into clients
1. Do Not Let Calls Go to Voicemail!
This is a cardinal rule if you are spending any money on advertising and marketing. You must not let calls go to voicemail! This is one of the biggest problems we see where calls come in and nobody answers, the call goes to voicemail, or the caller is put on hold for two or three minutes.
You do not have an existing relationship with most people who click on your ads. This is cold traffic, and if they call and get your voicemail, most people will not leave a voicemail. They will just hang up and call the advertiser in the next ad. Same thing if you put them on hold for three minutes. They are still sitting in front of their computer or on their mobile phone, and the temptation is overwhelming to just hang up and call the next person. Make sure you are equipped to handle the calls and you have a system in place to do it well.
One of our printers has a call center service that she uses so that she has a live person answering the phone 24/7. The call center is even able to schedule appointments. Earlier in the book we recommended you only have your ads turned on when people are around to answer the phone. Using a call center will let you run ads all day with the confidence that any call will be answered by a live person, which will lead to higher conversion rates.
2. Mystery Shopping
The acid test for your phone crew is mystery shopping. Have someone call your business and play prospect. Make sure the mystery shopper knows how to act like your customer. Record every call.
Many businesses are appalled when they find out what is actually going on when a customer calls on the phone. Quality control is crucial. Hire that mystery shopper and monitor what goes on. Make it known that at all times, the calls are being recorded and any call may be monitored. Performance and raises should be judged by how well customers get treated on the phone.
3.Invest in Sales Training
Even if it may not be in their official job description, everyone who answers the phone in your office is a salesperson! They should have a basic understanding of sales and how to properly handle incoming calls professionally.
At the very least, buy the people who answer the phone in your office a book or two on sales. Even better is to invest in a course or even hire a sales trainer to come in and work with them. This investment can pay huge dividends down the road.
4. Use Systems and Scripts
Whether those answering your phones have sales training or not, it is a good idea to have systems in place so calls are consistently handled the way you want—no matter who answers the phone.
In most cases, you do not want your employees winging it too much on the phone, so giving everyone a script can be helpful.
This script makes the person calling feel important, which will give them a good feeling about your company and doing business with you. Even more important, it sets an appointment on the spot and gets that initial commitment from your prospect right then and there.
5. Always Get Contact Information
Whoever answers your phone should take down every caller’s contact information, including their email address. If you do not have their contact information, you have no way to follow up with them and the lead will go to waste.
6. Use Email Marketing
When you get the email addresses from clients and prospects, you should have some sort of system where you can send out emails at least on a monthly (though preferably on a weekly) basis to your email database.
We always ask clients if they have ever sent out emails to their contacts. If not, we will have them gather all the email addresses they have and put it into a system like MailChimp, iContact, or any other email service provider, and then send out at least an email or two to their list.
There are no shortage of things you can send. Maybe you have some sort of sale or special promotion going on that you could share. Or maybe it is just a great story about one of your customers. You could send them a video, which will help develop a closer bond between you and your potential customers. You could also send a good article you have written or a helpful tip. Basically send things that will keep you in front of them regularly and continue to build a relationship with them, which can help generate more business and referrals in the future. If you are not using email marketing and email follow up, you are leaving a ton of money on the table.
One of the great things about email is you can completely automate it. Once a prospect gets on your email list, you can have a series of emails automatically sent to them without you ever having to click send. This form of email marketing is called an autoresponder. A good autoresponder strategy can easily double your sales conversion.