I believe that the telephone/smartphone is essential for every marketing program, as we interact with people on the phone every day. I think that we can all get better at contacting people by phone, and making better use of the phone in promoting our business. This includes writers and editors, as we still need to reach potential clients.
So, here are my top 8 tips on making more effective use of the telephone in marketing your services-oriented business:
- Start with people you know, such as past and current clients. People like hearing your voice, particularly when they know you, and it is a good way to remind them that you are available and present.
- Call with an obvious purpose – to get together, catch up, discuss a project, ask for advice, do research, etc. (do not call “just to chat” or “to see how they are doing”). Other ideas include:
– You are new in town or you have a new business or product/service.
– You are doing research on an important topic.
– You want to invite the person to join your newsletter or receive information.
- Create a benefit-oriented message if you get their voice mail so that they have a reason to call you back.
- Aim for “warm” calls ahead of “cold” calls. Send a letter or email ahead of your phone call, or ask someone who knows the person you want to call to provide a connection or introduction before you make the call.
- Don’t give up – the average sale requires five calls, and many people give up after two.
- Be prepared when you make the call; you can use a script, but you should at least write down your goals or key questions.
- One tactic when making a phone call is to offer a package of your services. For example, for $400, the client can purchase a 4-hour training session, where I will teach their employees to write better emails, business letters, sales and marketing materials, etc. Or they can purchase a 5-hour block of editing, where they can use five hours of my editing services over a period of one month, one week, several different days, etc. This allows them to try the service without spending a lot of money, and it could turn into a long-term relationship.
- Hire an assistant (or professional telephone salesperson) to make phone calls on your behalf. In most cases, their hourly rate will be less than your hourly rate. Your time is best spent doing work that pays more than what you are paying them to get appointments, client leads, etc. You can test it by spending $500 for a specific number of phone calls or hours, and then measuring the results. If it turns out to be cost effective, continue employing that person to make phone calls on your behalf so that you can do what you do best.
What tips do you have on being better at using the telephone to market your business? Let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.