How to Sell Your Business or Product over the Phone
If you want potential customers to call your business, make your phone number large and bold, and give them a reason to dial it by helping them understand what you offer in your ads. And then be ready to treat every call as a very valuable business opportunity — which it is.
Here are some ways to make sure that your business phone calls don’t get fumbled:
Answer calls promptly. Pick up after the first or second ring whenever possible. Even if you have a receptionist, train others to serve as back-ups, answering if calls reach a third ring.
Transfer calls as quickly as you answer them. Be prompt about getting the caller to the appropriate person in your business. If that person isn’t available, say so immediately. Offer to take a message, put the caller through to voicemail, or find someone else to help.
Get everyone in your company to answer the phone in a consistent and professional manner — always starting with the business name. In this age of personal lines on every desk, people too often answer all calls as if they were personal calls. “Hello, this is John” is not an appropriate business greeting unless you’re a one-person business that receives calls only from people who know they want to talk with John.
Keep voicemail messages brief and friendly. Use wording that conveys your business purpose and personality. Avoid long, overly programmed greetings.
Ask your phone company to monitor and report on your hang-up rate. Multiple rings, lengthy hold times, and voicemail responses can prompt callers to abandon their efforts to reach your business.
Consider placing mirrors near the phones if your business relies heavily on telephone contact. A smile can make a voice more attractive — and more natural, friendly, and enthusiastic. You’ll be able to hear the difference — and so will the person on the other end of the line.
If a phone conversation with a potential customer doesn’t naturally uncover how the person obtained your business’s phone number, take a few seconds (but only a few seconds) to ask something like, “I’m glad you called us. We’re always working to improve our communications and I’d love to note how you got our phone number.”