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Answer The Phone

“You only get one chance to make a first impression.”

It astounds me how so many companies work so hard and spend good money to get their phone to ring…only to have them hear “please leave a message”.

If it’s a Prospect calling, there’s a good chance they don’t leave a message. They’ve got someone else they can call.

How you answer the phone has a major impact on your conversion rate.   Here are some tips on how to answer the phone and what to do if you can’t always answer the phone.

  • Designate someone on your team to answer the phone. Ideally, your phone system can route calls to a designated team member. If they’re not available, have the call automatically forward to a second person. Many phone systems have a “find me / follow me” feature that will ring your cell phone if you’re not at your desk.
  • Develop a simple script for answering the phone so everyone does it consistently. Be sure to train and practice for TONE of voice. You want to come across as friendly and attentive, not rushed and interrupted.
  • If you can’t have the phone reliably answered most of the time, consider getting an answering service. This can be great if you’re in a business that often gets after hours calls.
  • As a last resort or fallback for those times when the phone just can’t be answered, make sure your voice mail greeting is awesome. We had our auto attendant voiced by someone who had a warm, personable voice.
  • If you’re working with a team and have someone handling reception, do a “secret shopper” test. Have a few friends call in posing as Prospects and get their impressions of how their experience was. You can call in yourself and at least hear how the phone is being answered. (You may be surprised!)

For a bit of fun, check out the Carol Burnett comedy sketch as Hotel Operator:

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