Monday, March 31, 2008

Using Voicemail to Jazz Up Your Sales

Whew! I called someone today whose voicemail greeting went on for 75 seconds. It gave a lot of "If you are calling about X, then do this" type instructions. By the time I was supposed to leave the message I was so worn out that I forgot why I called. I literally hung up, collected my thoughts, remembered why I was calling and then called back.

In general, voicemail does not jazz up the sales of your business. Having a live person talk to your clients is always preferred. But for many of us voicemail is a necessity. So keep the following in mind when creating your voicemail message:

  • Keep your voicemail greeting to 15 seconds or less.

  • Make sure it sounds professional and upbeat. Be genuine, not fake.

  • I suggest this script: Hello. This is (NAME) of the (DEPARTMENT) of (COMPANY NAME). This is the week of (DATES) and I am in the office this week. Please leave your name and phone number and I promise to call you back today. If you need to reach someone immediately please dial “0”. Thank you.

Click here to read some great Voicemail Etiquette tips. I also enjoyed this article on voicemail etiquette.

But don't use voicemail as your phone screener if you are running a business. Customers get frustrated when they need you and get your voicemail. Don't give your customers an excuse to call someone who will answer their phone!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jazz Up Your Sales by Showing Excitement

Jazzing up the sales of your business is fun (more money for you) and people want to buy from people they like so....GET EXCITED!

I just left a pack and mail store where everyone who worked there seemed ticked off and bored. And I was such a pain to wait on. It was like I was disturbing them. Sound familiar? It was making me cringe because they did so many things wrong!
Your excitement about your business transfers to the positive experience your customers will have and directly impacts repeat business. Keep the following in mind to show excitement:
  • Hire for attitude. When you have a business you can't always control the attitude of the people who work for you so consider that when interviewing potential employees. Hire people who have a good attitude vs. hiring for skill level. If they have a good attitude they will learn the skills.

  • Answer your phone fast. On the first or second ring as much as possible. Be eager to serve your clients.

  • Greet people. Wal-Mart has perfected this with employees designated to be greeters. But have you ever been to a doctor's office and the person slides the window open and looks at the sign-in sheet without acknowledging you? (Rude!) Even if you cannot help the customer immediately, always greet them.

  • Smile. So cliche - but this is critical. How many excited people have a frown on their face? When you smile it is human nature to mirror the behavior. Smile and your client will smile back.

  • Focus on your customer. Have you ever been to a store and seen 2 employees standing around talking and not helping you? Or have you ever been at the at the grocery store listening to the checker and the bagger plan their weekend? This is like answering your cell phone during a business meeting. It says, "I'm not excited about focusing on you, my client."