Despite the saying in the image for this post, I do believe that both inbound and outbound sales calls are created equal.

 

There are many opportunities for us as business people and entrepreneurs to turn those interested, EVEN SLIGHTLY, with our product or service into paying customers.

 

One of most raw forms of public interest come from those who call or email asking questions about our business. You know the one’s I’m talking about…

 

“Hi, I’m just curious… what color is XYZ?” They might as well ask what color is my logo because it’s right there on the website.

 

However, these leads are like candy to the prepared. Because they know that half the battle of getting someone to their website or blog is already done. It’s now just a matter of converting him or her.

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Meet Abba Medical Transportation (http://www.abbamt.com/) . Abba is a family owned, Medicare approved New Jersey based company that provides ambulance and wheelchair emergency and non-emergency transportation.

 

They pride themselves on always answering the phone and never letting customers hear a recording when they call. Makes sense for a business that needs to provide immediate medical transportation access.

 

Currently, when a customer calls, he or she is generally fishing for information without any real intention of buying the service. This act of casually shopping happens across all service oriented businesses at some level because people are sometimes too lazy to look for information right on the website.

 

This doesn’t mean they don’t want to buy.

 

When a customer call comes into Abba they will answer the questions and the conversation ends.

 

After coaching Abba on The Polite Persistence System, it was obvious how many leads they were letting fall out of their sales funnel.

One thing any business owner or entrepreneur should do is take down email addresses from interested parties in anyway possible.

I’ve even recently seen someone use the Mailchimp Chimpadeedoo iPad app to capture emails on the spot at a tech meetup event when getting into conversations about his business.  http://mailchimp.com/features/mobile-signup-forms/

Here’s how Abba should adjust their incoming lead management system and take advantage of building relationships from inbound phone calls:

 

1) Develop a script that sounds something like one of the below for answering the phone. I’ve purposely left the script broad for easy adaptation.

 

Script 1: Offer Related Articles

1) Hi, thanks for calling [NAME OF COMPANY]. How can I help you?

2) [ANSWER THEIR QUESTION(S)]

3) Is there anything else I can help you with?

4) [IF THEY ANSWER NO] Happy to be of assistance, also, we like to send helpful articles related to [YOUR NICHE] [HOWEVER OFTEN YOU WILL SEND THEM (i.e. a couple times a month] What’s your email address?

5) Great. Look forward to keeping in touch. Take care.

 

Script 2: Offer More Information for Topic

1) Hi, thanks for calling [NAME OF COMPANY] before we begin I am curious who am I speaking with?

2) Thanks for calling [FIRST NAME] How can I help you?

3) [ANSWER THEIR QUESTION(S)]

4) Is there anything else I can help you with?

5) [IF THEY ANSWER NO] Happy to be of assistance. I would like to send you more information as it relates to [THEIR QUESTION]. What’s your email address?

6) Great. Will send that over shortly. Take care.

 

Script 3: Make it a Requirement

1) Hi, thanks for calling [NAME OF COMPANY] before we begin I am curious who am I speaking with?

2) Thanks for calling [FIRST NAME] and in case we get disconnected what is the best email for you?

3) [ANSWER THEIR QUESTION(S)]

4) Is there anything else I can help you with?

5) [IF THEY ANSWER NO] Happy to be of assistance. Thanks for calling [NAME OF COMPANY].

 

2) Send a personalized follow up email immediately after the call. This can be something simple like:

 

[FIRST NAME],

Just wanted to say thanks for calling. It was a pleasure speaking with you.

[IF YOU PROMISED AN ARTICLE OR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDE IT.]

Let me know if you ever have any further questions about [TOPIC].

Thanks, [INCLUDE AN ACTUAL PERSON’S CREDENTIALS AND NOT ‘The [COMPANY] Team’]

 

3) Since one of the goals of Abba is to increase their social media following, specifically on Facebook, they should use a tool like PolitePersistence to schedule another follow up email to be sent three or five days from their first interaction with the lead.

This email should contain a link to their Facebook Fan Page as well as an offer to answer any further questions.

 

4) Using PolitePersistence, Abba could also schedule a third follow up email to be sent automatically two weeks after the last communication that contains a possible coupon or discount on their service for this lead.

 

5) If Abba wanted to go above and beyond and win a Customer Service Award they could always make note of when their last PolitePersistence email is being sent then set one reminder to give this particular customer a call a month after the last email was sent.

 

This call should be made not in an attempt to sell anything particular but rather check in on this lead. This lead should be told that your company values customer service highly and simply wanted to see if you could be of any service.

 

Since after talking to Abba it seems like the majority of their customer base prefers phone calls I would suggest sticking to phone calls and emails.

 

Implementing a system like the one described above will allow Abba to take advantage of their inbound leads.

 

Even if most don't give up their email address... Let's say that 100 called in a month and a quarter provided their email. That's 25 new contacts who you can be politely persistent with via email in order to build a customer relationship.

Other aspects of The Polite Persistence System involves incorporating social media but we will cover that in a future post.

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How do you handle inbound leads? What kind of ways do you capture emails when someone calls you or your business? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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