Effective telephone handling is what affectionately referred to as “Good Phone.” Good Phone presents your company with a wonderful opportunity to clearly differentiate your business from its competitors, enables to put your positioning efforts into motion, and dramatically improves the likelihood of getting a sales or at least retaining a qualified prospect for future solicitations.
The first three things to execute a Good Phone are a.) stating that you’re happy to help, b.) giving your name to quickly establish cordiality and rapport, and c) obtaining the prospect’s name. Entering all the information going to get during this call — while she has the prospect on the line! — into her contact management program (be it a special software program, an MS Word form created internally, or a handwritten form).
Entering this data, proceed to ascertain the particulars of her caller’s potential order. In the course of the conversation, ask politely, “How’d you hear about us?” She’ll record the lead source, be it identified as being from the Internet, a business directory, newspaper ad, a business-to-business event, radio, direct mail. word-of-mouth, etc. After giving the caller the pricing requested, proceed to get prospect’s phone number, confident he’ll give it. With practice, doing so almost guarantees you’ ll get all the data almost all the time.
After the call ends, prepare a written quotation via a pre-programmed computer-generated form, or, if for a company that lacks this resource) a fill-in-the-blanks (by hand) standard quotation form. The quotation, should be on its way via e-mail (or fax) with in minutes.
Whether this particular call results in an order this time isn’t critical within the context of a strategic marketing system, in which the harvesting of the data is of far greater importance. That’s because the prospect will receive several pieces of propaganda online and via snail-mail during the next year along with follow-up calls or from an outside salesperson who’ll be assigned this lead. The company’s game plan is to first convert from a prospect into a customer, then work on getting re-orders or orders for additional products and making relationship-building contacts from time to time to see to it that he becomes a loyal client. His account will be worth several hundred to several thousand dollars a year, year after year. And he’II be a good source for referrals.