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Old 04-08-2010, 11:47 PM   #1
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Default The First Call

Last Sunday Rob and I were in the truck, his phone rang and I answered it without thinking and just said "hello". The caller said "umm, is this RC Painting", it was someone wanting a bid. It caught me off guard, and I was scrambling for pen and paper, but it worked out. I just felt like I started off on the wrong foot!
Then I read this and felt even worse!

The First Call

By Tim Nagle


One step in a prospective customer relationship that is commonly overlooked or mishandled is the first phone call. I have found that the first phone conversation from a prospective customer plays a critical part in the overall sales process for remodeling businesses. When this call is handled correctly, your customer will begin to like you and develop their trust in you. The first phone conversation is a crucial moment in the overall sales process and, sadly, many opportunities are lost by mishandling this critical stage.

more at remodeling online

Granted, it is geared towards remodelers, but a good read.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:52 PM   #2
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You are so right, and I like you feel bad when I answer like that. I don't have it too bad, My company name is my name so I just answer "Hello, This is John"
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:16 AM   #3
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mista johnpaint #1 yerrow room painta how can I help you?!
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:34 AM   #4
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Always answer professionally, this is the first contact with the customer. First impressions are everything.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:58 AM   #5
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Also, don't forget to have a professional voicemail message!

I love when i calls guys on their "work" (cell) numbers and the voice-mail is something like "You've reached Ray, please leave a message," or even beter, just "leave a message," or even better yet, (in computer lady voice) "You've reached 7-7-3, 4-6-7, 3-3-2-4. please leave a message at the beep."

If you use your cell phone as a work phone as well, you should have a voicemail that's professional and mentions your company name:

"Hello, you've reached John from Platinum Painting Plus, I am sorry I missed your call. Please leave a message and we will get back to you shortly."
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:07 PM   #6
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At only about $50/month, I really don't see why people aren't using actual PBX systems from guys like freedom voice, kall8, get1800, etc etc.

Transfer your local number to one of these companies and then you can set up forwarders to your cell, home, office, whatever from there. You will get a professional greeting system, menu options if you choose to do so, etc, etc.

You never have to miss a call, just set up the forwarders correctly for when you're out of the office.

A nice primer video: http://www.freedomvoice.com/how-it-works.shtml
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Old 04-11-2010, 02:53 PM   #7
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I love the guys who have music on their phone when a client calls, man that sounds professional. A fellow painter who I call, never anwers his phone, and has " a country can survive" playing for his ring tone! I love that song by the way, but I am not playing any music on my business phone. I also think it is tacky to even answer a phone in front of a client, much less have a silly ring tone the client hears!
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salestrainer View Post
I love the guys who have music on their phone when a client calls, man that sounds professional. A fellow painter who I call, never anwers his phone, and has " a country can survive" playing for his ring tone! I love that song by the way, but I am not playing any music on my business phone. I also think it is tacky to even answer a phone in front of a client, much less have a silly ring tone the client hears!
I leave my phone in the truck when meeting with a client, then it's a non-issue.

As far as my ring tone.....it sound just like the ol' fashion rotary dial phones did.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:18 PM   #9
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I answer my mobile in a pro manner to numbers I do not recognise. I let it go to v/mail (w/ business name mentioned and other lines to call on) if unable to answer i.e. sticking wallpaper or driving etc. I ring back asap if it has gone to v/mail and the caller has not remained 'anon'.

Salestrainer: I have a song for my ringtone and see no probs with it TBH.
But, a phone ringtone shouldn't be loud/annoying e.g. Bodies by Obscure etc.
I think us Brits are a bit laid back with our ringtones at work. JMO.
Like you tho', I don't condone in your face, loud tones or vulgar tones either (as funny as some are, they are not fit for business ).

My ringtone is - Your Silent Face by New Order... Quite calm I guess (hope).

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Old 04-12-2010, 07:51 AM   #10
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2 cell phones; 1 for business and 1 for personal. Business phone was always answered "professionally" but the personal phone usually got you "Hello".....or if I knew the guy; "What the hell you want?!?"

And phones were always either turned down or left in the vehicle when meeting with a customer.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:13 AM   #11
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Wolf that is probably the best way. I have only 1 # and wouldn't you know that people call at like 8pm and I answer normally.. they are like "is this Atlas Coatings & Construction??" YEP. Just after hours that is all
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCP View Post
Last Sunday Rob and I were in the truck, his phone rang and I answered it without thinking and just said "hello". The caller said "umm, is this RC Painting", it was someone wanting a bid. It caught me off guard, and I was scrambling for pen and paper, but it worked out. I just felt like I started off on the wrong foot!
That's one reason I don't give customers my cell phone number or use it in marketing.

Brian Phillips
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