Inbound – how good are they in your company?
Whether you are a one-man band, or a multinational organisation, you will inevitably be spending a chunk of your budget on marketing and promotion. The idea of course, is that you will encourage sales, or at the very least, leads and enquiries. So what you do with these leads is critical.
I do a lot of work with companies who have a front line sales/customer service team and, despite pouring loads of resources and effort into generating interest, suddenly seem to lose the plot a bit when it comes to responding to the leads that marketing generates.
Let me tell you what I mean.
These are just 4 of the things I see frequently when inbound calls are not handled properly:
No proper introduction
Have you ever rung up a company to be greeted with just ‘hello’? It doesn’t inspire confidence. After all, have you got the right phone number? As a potential customer it makes you feel uneasy and slightly wrong-footed. So use this SIMPLE formula every time – it’s clean, professional and straightforward:
• Good Morning/afternoon
• Name of company
• Your name
• How can I help?
So for me, this would be: “Good Morning, Tadpole Training, Janet speaking, how may I help?”
Don’t ask the person’s name
What is one of the easiest ways to build rapport? Yes, use a person’s name. How do you get their name? You simply ask: “Who am I speaking with please?”
Don’t get a contact number
I used to head up business development at an international college. We got enquiries all the time from overseas and often, the line was dreadful and conversations vanished. If we lost an enquiry, that could mean that £6,000 in fees had potentially just evaporated. So we developed a simple strategy to ALWAYS get the phone number as soon as we had the person’s name. Try this:
“[their name], just in case we get cut off, what’s the best contact number for you?”
It is simple and people then understand why you are asking.
Don’t find out the source of the enquiry
Remember that we are talking about your marketing money here. Often inbound staff don’t ask how people get to the stage of picking up the phone to enquire. You need to know how they found out about you. Apart from anything else, you need to understand which of your marketing pounds are pulling in the punters (spend more if required) and which are not (get rid, reduce or change).
This simple question will not only tell you how they heard about you, but it also gives you the opportunity to position yourself as a trusted company to work with:
“Who recommended you to us?” [wait for answer]
Whatever they say, then respond with:
“The reason I ask is that most of our business comes to us from personal recommendation.”
And before you worry that ‘most’ of your business does not come from personal recommendation, simply adapt the wording to ‘a lot’ or ‘X%’, whatever is authentic and accurate for you.
So there you have it, some simple tips to get your inbound team answering the phone more effectively and making sure they have the most important details of every single call.
If you would like more information about how we can help you transform your sales team, please contact Janet on 07748 994 334 or email firstname.lastname@example.org