Get a Business Line and Protect It!

Your telephone line is the lifeline to your business. If you miss calls, or your calls are mishandled, you will lose tons of business. If you want to get quality clients, then you need to answer your telephone professionally. Remember that you will take up a position in the marketplace whether you realize it or not. The way you answer your telephone will tell your clients and the industry what kind of business you are running. Here are 4 mistakes that business owners make. If you are making these mistakes, it is costing you opportunities.



Get a Business Line and Protect It!

Your telephone line is the lifeline to your business. If you miss calls, or your calls are mishandled, you will lose tons of business. If you want to get quality clients, then you need to answer your telephone professionally. Remember that you will take up a position in the marketplace whether you realize it or not. The way you answer your telephone will tell your clients and the industry what kind of business you are running. Here are 4 mistakes that business owners make. If you are making these mistakes, it is costing you opportunities.

Mistake # 1: Not having a business line. Many cleaners, especially when they start out try to save money by not having a business line. Remember that people don’t keep your card with them. Many times they call information. If you don’t have a business line, you won’t be listed.

Mistake # 2: Answering “Hello”. People want to do business with a legitimate company. If you are not getting high end clients or big fat juicy accounts, it could be because you are not positioning your company at a professional level. Step up to the next level by answering your phone “Good morning, or Good afternoon”, or “It’s a great day at…” Try it. You will be amazed at the difference in attitude your callers will have. Don’t worry about what your friends will think. They aren’t paying your bills.

Mistake # 3: Letting a child or family member answer your business line. This is a real no no. Don’t do it. Put your business phone in a place that is off limits to children. If your wife, or other family member answers your telephone for you, teach them how to do it professionally.

Mistake #4: Not answering live. Using voice mail is okay if you are in big demand or you are a high paid consultant, but not for a cleaning business that wants to grow. You may feel that you can’t afford to have someone answer the phone live for you. You can’t afford not to. If you can’t convince yourself of that, at least get an auto attendant (a system that answers your phone and routes it to several destinations) and route non paying callers (such as friends, general business, and solicitors) to a voice mail. Take the cleaning calls live. It would be better to take the call on the job and ask if you could call them right back than to just use voice mail. And by the way, forget about answering services. Answering services do not enhance your business image. People would actually rather leave a voice mail message than try to explain what they need to an answering machine.

BONUS TIP: If you do restoration, don’t ask the customer to dial a pager number. This creates a window for them to “opt out”. Instead, invest a little in your phone system so that they can connect directly to that pager. Better yet, have it go directly to a cell phone.

The bottom line: Answering your telephone live and professionally will increase your business and your reputation (therefore your referrals). Also, be prepared to take care of their needs on the spot. Every time you have to “call them back” also decreases sales.

Note… If you are a high paid consultant that offers something unique that is in demand and needed, and you are already reaching your goals, you can get away with using voice mail. Until you reach that point, follow the rules outlined in this article.

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