Companies like yours spend thousands of dollars for leads, but sometimes leads fall right at your feet in the form of incoming calls from potential customers who are interested in your services.

Unfortunately, these hot leads are mishandled by many businesses and what could have been a relatively easy sale is lost.

Don’t miss out on income and potential referrals; follow these simple tips for improving your business’ handling of incoming leads.

First Impressions

First impressions are everything, and once it’s made, you can’t change it.

Here’s the deal: You want the caller to spend a significant amount of money with your business, so you need to earn their favor and their trust.

A brusque receptionist isn’t the way to do either. Hire personable, well-spoken people to answer your phones, and have them use a standard greeting, such as “Thanks for calling Penntek. This is Maria. How can I help you?” This greeting is more personal than just using the company name, and will better engage the caller.

Have the Answers

Nothing is more frustrating to a potential customer than asking a basic question and being unable to get the answer. While discussing cost should be avoided on these initial calls (Penntek offers scripts for dealing with questions about cost), the answers to other simple questions should be easily available.

Take a look at these two scenarios:

Scenario #1

Receptionist: Thanks for calling Penntek. This is Maria. How can I help you?

Caller: Hi Maria. I’m wondering if your coatings can be used on a walkway.

Receptionist: Yes! They work great on outdoor spaces. If you leave your number, I can have one of our concrete coating specialists call you right back to answer your questions in more detail.

Scenario #2

Receptionist: Penntek

Caller: Um, hi. I’m wondering if your coatings can be used on a walkway.

Receptionist: I think so, but I’m not sure.

Caller: Is there a way you could find out?

Receptionist: Hang on.

The first scenario shows the perfect way to handle that call. The question was answered and the offer was made to have someone (your salesperson) reach back out. The customer is left with a good impression and the stage has been set for a fruitful follow-up call and, hopefully, an in-person consultation.

The second scenario shows how to lose these prime leads. In addition to not making a good first impression as discussed above, the receptionist’s complete lack of knowledge about the product won’t give the caller confidence in the company as a whole. There’s a good chance the caller is going to hang up and call a different company once she’s placed on hold.

The Importance of the Right Receptionist

The above examples show just how important it is to carefully choose and properly train your receptionist. While they don’t have to have in-depth knowledge of every service you offer, they should be able to answer basic questions and have a general idea about your products and services.

That initial call is a chance to establish your company as the area’s experts in the caller’s eyes, and your receptionist plays a big role in that. Encourage the receptionists to sit in on training occasionally, to browse product brochures, and even to visit a job site or two.

When it comes to incoming calls, your receptionist is an important part of the sales team, so make sure she has the knowledge she needs.

Follow Up

So, your receptionist has handled an incoming call beautifully and the potential customer has agreed to a follow-up call.

This is your chance to secure an in-home consultation, so being available is a must. Even if your salespeople are out on calls, they should be reachable. The receptionist should be able to get in touch with them within a half an hour or so, and they should make the follow-up call as soon as possible.

A quick callback does two things:

  • 1.Shows the caller you value them and that they can count on your business to do what is promised, and
  • 2.Keeps the conversation about the service going while the customer is still thinking about it and before they’ve have a chance to do further research on their own that may lead them to a different company.

Penntek Industrial Coatings has all the tools you need, including scripts for handling calls and overcoming objections—especially for callers looking for a ballpark estimate—that can help you make the most of every call.

We’re here to support your success, so contact us at our become a dealer page to learn more about the available tools and materials that can help you grow your business!