I wonder how many businesses lose sales because their staff cannot handle an enquiry to buy something when you ring them or walk in to their store.
In the last couple of weeks I got a flyer in the letter box for a trade service I needed. I rang and the lady said she would have someone ring me back to give me a price. To this day nobody has ever called back. That is a waste of marketing dollars for the flyer and letter box drop and a firm decision by me never to use them if I need that service.
One week later I rang one of their competitors and the receptionist put me straight through to someone who gave me a price and asked when could they come and do the job. Needless to say they got the work worth a few hundred dollars.
Also in the last week I phoned 4 different businesses to get a quote for professional services and asked to speak to someone to get a quote. In all 4 cases the receptionist said they will get someone to ring you back. To date not one of those 4 businesses have rung me back. So I found someone else that I could actually talk to and they got the work also worth a few thousand dollars.
I know a friend who went to a car dealer to buy a new car he had decided on. They could not find a sales person to talk to him then and promised to have someone ring him back. They never called back so he bought a $60000 car at another dealer that looked after him from the time he walked in.
The point I am making with your business is that you get one chance to make a sale, at the first point of contact. If you spend money on Yellow Pages or advertising you get one chance if someone responds and wants your services or product. They may be a walk in to your store and never get served and walk out or they may be someone like me who rings up in response to an ad only to find they have nobody available to talk to you and then never call back.
How many sales is your business losing if your first response is not set up properly? Maybe get some friends to walk in to your store or ring your business and have them tell you what response they got.
How good were your store staff or receptionist in greeting them and asking how they can help?
You will note that when I rang a competitor they gave me a price immediately and then asked when they could come and do the job.
That means you’re not only have to talk to the potential customer right now but when you provide a price also follow up and actually ask for the business. I cannot tell you how often I have been offered a product or service information but never been asked for my business. How often have you walked in to store and sales staff have asked “are you right mate?”
One business I know calls their receptionist “Director of First Impressions” which is cute. The impression she left with me was of someone who did not want to be there and did not really care about me or my enquiry to buy something from them.
Marketing costs make it expensive getting prospective customers to ring you or walk in so why waste that money by missing sales when you often only get one chance to make a sale, at the initial point of enquiry from that potential customer. You no doubt have plenty of competitors the customer can go to if they do not get a good response on the first try.