Home – New Forums Marketing mastery When not answering the phone when with a client cost me money.

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  • #966818
    marvelit
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    So today I was at a clients office having a meeting with him and my phone rang. Out of courtesy I very rarely answer my phone when with a client, so I hung up which gives the busy tone.

    exactly 11 minutes later I call the client back and they have told me that they have found someone else.

    I guess some times not answering your phone straight away instantly can make you lose money! For those who take lots of client calls, and brush them off, think about this next time it rings :)

    (having said this, if answering the calls all the time on site in a meeting would piss people off, it could also lose you customers hehe.)

    #1021235
    Barb
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    marvelit, post: 25082 wrote:
    So today I was at a clients office having a meeting with him and my phone rang. Out of courtesy I very rarely answer my phone when with a client, so I hung up which gives the busy tone.

    exactly 11 minutes later I call the client back and they have told me that they have found someone else.

    I guess some times not answering your phone straight away instantly can make you lose money! For those who take lots of client calls, and brush them off, think about this next time it rings :)

    (having said this, if answering the calls all the time on site in a meeting would piss people off, it could also lose you customers hehe.)

    I have found a similar thing. I’ve noticed that if I can’t get to the phone in time and the phone goes to voicemail, people don’t bother leaving messages. In some cases I can call the number back, but it is a little frustrating.

    Regards,

    #1021236
    BB
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    You know, even if you had taken that call there was a 50 / 50 chance that you weren’t going to get hired anyway.

    But – by treating the client (the one you were with) with good manners and respect will always be remembered and there’s probably a greater chance of getting another customer through a good ‘word-of-mouth’ referral.

    If you’d answered the phone whilst in a meeting with me – you would have made me feel that I was not important enough for you.
    That would have led me to believe that you didn’t really want to work for me. I’d have ended up looking elsewhere also.

    Good manners and treating your clients with respect will add many dollars to your income.

    Cheers,

    B.B.

    #1021237
    Astrid
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    So right, B.B.

    A potential client (the caller) who is interested in your particular services and who would then be greeted by a voicemessage like: “Sorry I’m just with a client or on another call, please leave your number” … etc, will call back.

    If not, then he was just randomly shopping around. The client you were with at that time has the right to get your full attention – unless he mentions that you should take the call (had that one or two times happening to me).

    Astrid

    #1021238
    FletcherTax
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    Should work in reverse too!

    Personally can’t stand it when clients pick up their phones during meetings!

    #1021239
    Barb
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    In addition to what I last posted – I don’t answer the phone while with a client either. I just get frustrated that if I don’t answer the phone, people don’t leave messages. But that’s the way things go. I believe that when you’re meeting with someone, then they should get your full attention.

    Regards,

    #1021240
    Jake@EmroyPrint
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    FletcherTax, post: 25097 wrote:
    Should work in reverse too!

    Personally can’t stand it when clients pick up their phones during meetings!

    hahaha … Kind of like when you I were on the phone this afternoon?

    Jake: Hang on, hang on… My phone is ringing … one sec.
    Janna: Oooh My phone is ringing now… One sec.
    Jake: One sec, my phone is ringing .
    ….

    #1021241
    FletcherTax
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    Jake

    If we were having an official meeting – then yes.

    To be fair, I did call during your peak hour and got off topic quite a bit. But you were very polite and apologetic so no harm done. Will call again! :)

    #1021242
    wordmistress
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    It’s a double-edged sword, isn’t it? Problem is, we live in an instant gratification society. I can’t even stand waiting the 3 seconds or so for the Foxtel programme information to come up with I press the little ‘i’ button! Imagine having to wait for a phone to be answered! Unfortunately, I’m not unusual and people do crave to be answered immediately.

    Could you consider hiring an answering service that answers with your business name? Or turn your phone off so that calls go immediately to voicemail, and you’re not disturbed during your meeting, and have a better-than-usual voicemail message? My eyes glaze over when I hear the same old, same old message:

    “Hi, this is xyz, I can’t take your call at the moment but your business is very important to me. Please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible. And please remember to press hash before hanging up.”

    *Yawn!* I don’t even bother to listen to the entire message usually, and just hang up. Also, I’m not convinced pressing the hash key really does anything.

    I would suggest a more compelling message, such as:

    “Don’t hang up! This is Xyz from Marvelit. I believe in giving my clients and callers my undivided attention so please allow me to call you back when my meeting is finished.”

    • It’s quick so it doesn’t take ages to listen to.
    • People know they have to leave their name and number and don’t need to be told.
    • It tells the caller why you have your voicemail activated.
    • It lets them know that they will be just as important when it’s their turn.

    Worth a try anyway :).

    #1021243
    Burgo
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    If your in a meeting with a client the phone should be off.
    Should a potential client try to phone you whilest your phone is off they have a choice . They can leave a message or they can hang up.

    So make it company policy phones off when with clients….problem solved.

    #1021244
    answermyphone
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    Hi Marvelit,

    I have only just joined Flying Solo and was getting a feel for how it works-that is can I make a straight out sales pitch? Your thread has come up again so I thought I’d weigh in.

    I set up my business-Answer My Phone after working for some time at a company where business’s small and large spent a lot of money to get their phone to ring and quite often the prospect or valued customer would get a voice message or a ring out.

    Some people ring back, some people don’t but why risk it? Especially in the early days when you are still building loyalty and word of mouth.

    The small cost of diverting your phone to a live person to answer your phone when you can’t is probably a lot less than the cost of someone not reaching you and ringing your competitors.

    Outsourcing phone answering, admin and marketing functions is likely to become more common as business’s understand the value of spending more time quoting and winning jobs and actually on the job.

    Let me know if you want some more info. My website will be up and running by Tues/Wed so you can have a look there.

    Nicci
    Answer My Phone
    [email protected]

    #1021245
    Chromatix
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    An idea that might work for you is getting a Virtual PA. There are companies out there who will take calls for you (i.e. you get to speak to a real person not an answering machine). It’s something we considered during our initial business development stage.

    Cheers
    Irwin

    #1021246
    marvelit
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    yeah I agree to everyones points here. Very good replies.

    I have thought about an answering service, my friend uses one but half the people who call it dont get that its an answering service, and think its the business receiptionist lol.

    I think I might change my voicemail to something like wordmistress said and see how that goes! 99 percent of my clients are fine though, I rarely miss out on a client because of this. If they cant wait 10 mins then do I really want them as a client? Probably not.

    #1021247
    Adam Randall
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    There was a song from the 70’s about this……

    Ah thats right – love the one your with!

    #1021248
    wordmistress
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    marvelit, post: 25493 wrote:
    If they cant wait 10 mins then do I really want them as a client? Probably not.

    Hmm, not sure on that one. It could just be that their only time to call was between their own clients and they ran out of time. Benefit of the doubt, I suppose. Every call has the potential to be very important so aim to answer them all as best you can, whether by responding to voicemail or by hiring an answering service. Why not give Nicci from AnswerMyPhone (above) a try? She’s new and I’ll bet hugely enthusiastic to do a great job for you!

    If people think they’re the business’s receptionist, that’s great! But how your phone answerer responds to questions is up to what you dictate.

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