First phone call gets the biz

In sales?  Like leads?  My business is connecting seriously interested consumers with seriously committed business people.  Sales people today are spending an unheard of amount of time, energy and money to generate referrals or leads.  But would you be shocked if I told you that a majority of small biz people today spend the time and money to make their phones ring & never return the calls?  It’s true. 

I was recently at a real estate confernece and the speaker said that nearly 75% of all the referrals sent to real estate agents never get opened

Even with our own referral program, even after we interview, screen and find the very best people in the business who commit to serve our referrals, the most difficult challenge is getting them to simply call the referral quickly.  Now because we are so hard on quick call backs, we now have a group that carry blackberries and call the referrals back often within 15 minutes, often while they are still at their computer (talk about a good first impression); but getting biz people to understand the importance of an almost instant response to an online referral is still an uphill battle. 

The great news is this:  If you will do this one thing ten times better, you will win.  You can have an average website, an ordinary name for your business, and speak highly of your own competition…and if you will find a way to have someone from your office call back every missed call or email within 5 minutes, you will win the customer every time. 

What we have learned is that when your customer does not understand the technical in’s and outs of the thing they are calling you to do for them, whether it be investing, taxes, insurance, real estate, car repair, etc., they will use something they do understand to determine whether or not to trust you.  An instant call back = trust.  A slow call back or no call back = no trust.  And once trust is lost, it’s lost. 

The only call back that’s more important than a first impression call back is a complaint or concern call back.  When an existing customer calls you worried because the stock market is dipping or because their car is making a funny sound…don’t miss this…everything is on the line.  A quick and sincere call back makes 95% of their worry vanish because they were afraid you would disapear once you had their money.  A slow or non call back confirms their worst fear that you were only interested in their money.

If you’ll do this one thing 10x better, your customers will not be able to wait to tell their friends that they’ve finally found someone they can trust.  It is the most important single thing you can do to win or lose your customers and clients.

“The person who knows “how” will always have a job.  The person who knows “why” will always be his boss.”  – Diane Ravitch

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