There’s a Time and a Place
When and where do you conduct your conversations with your potential clients? Have you ever been guilty of answering the phone to a client while in the supermarket checkout queue? What about returning a client’s call 10 minutes before you’re due to head out for the school run and end up having to carry on the conversation as you drive?
If you’re guilty of this then just stop for a moment and reflect on all the effort you have put into marketing your services – the money spent on advertising, and the time spent networking, blogging or working hard to reach out via social media. Can you imagine what it might it have cost you in time and money to get to the point where that client has decided to reach out and contact you?
Value your ‘Hot Leads’
In the world of sales and marketing a potentially interested client is called a “lead” and companies spend huge sums of money generating “warm leads” that their sales teams can then approach. Warm leads are the lifeblood of any organisation. Now, I know you are not a big corporation, but that person who has just called up to enquire about your reiki service, your coaching or your yoga course is your very own “hot lead” and is no less valuable. In fact, if you could work out how much it cost you to get that one person to approach you, you might be very surprised – it will have cost you more in time and money more than you realise.
So that interested client is like gold-dust. They are the most precious and valuable thing your business has in that moment. So I urge you – treat that client like the VIP that they are. If you don’t, you may not get a second chance.
Treat them like the VIP they are
This means sound really pleased to hear from them, welcome them with a warm and friendly greeting, and most importantly only speak to them when you are able to give them your full, undivided attention. And if you have to return their call, do so only when you can speak without interruption – and make sure that they can do the same.
While not always practical, ideally I would recommend a separate phone line or mobile phone for calls relating to your business so that you can answer and return calls at convenient times. If you do happen to answer the phone at an inconvenient time always give them a warm welcome and thank them for calling, and then arrange to speak again at a time that is convenient for both of you.
This way they will feel like the VIP that they truly are, and you will have the opportunity to focus fully on taking them through a structured sales conversation that may – if they are the right client for you – lead to them saying a resounding “Yes please!” to working with you.