Probably the only thing that business owners the world over dread more than not being able to deal with the volume of calls they receive every day is not receiving any calls at all. The idea of potential customers hanging up because their calls are not being answered in a timely manner is bad enough but at least there are a number of simple, cost effective solutions to this problem. Silent phones, on the other hand, are a completely different problem and one that is not so easily solved.
Any solution that is likely to be effective and get your phones ringing again must be based on letting your target audience know just why they should use your products or services instead of those that your immediate competitors supply. In other words, you need to market your organisation more aggressively and make sure that the companies and individuals who may stand to benefit from whatever it is that you are selling are aware of what you have to offer them.
Considering Your Options
It may be tempting to act first and think later when faced with silent phones and rapidly diminishing profits but the key to finding a successful solution lies in carefully considering all your options before taking any action. You should pay special attention to the costs of the various choices with which you are faced, how quickly they can be implemented and how effective they are likely to be at generating enquiries from potential customers.
- An Advertising Blitz – An all-out frontal assault on the marketplace, consisting of bold advertisements on radio, television and the internet, as well as in national newspapers, is one option that you may wish to consider. On the positive side, this approach is sure to raise your public profile but on the negative side, at what cost? Something else you should consider when evaluating this option is that it is not very selective: you could spend hundreds of thousands of pounds, or even millions, on such an all-out assault and not even manage to reach your target audience.
- A Carefully Targeted Mailshot – This is a much more measured approach that will be far cheaper but will it be any more effective? Whether you use snail mail or email to communicate with your target audience, there is no guarantee that recipients will actually read what you have to say, even less that they will consider acting on it too. Whether a mailshot is likely to be effective for your particular company will depend on the industry in which you are involved and the type of customers you are pursuing.
- Hiring More Sales Executives – If your company still uses travelling sales representatives to communicate with existing and prospective clients, one possible solution to silent telephones is to employ more personnel. Hire new sales executives with impressive track records and set them to work on your target audience. The only possible flaw with this plan is that with no enquiries finding their way to your corporate switchboard, your new sales representatives may have very little to work with in the way of leads, which is something the final two options seek to address.
- Updating Your Customer Database – If your sales team are lumbered with an out-of-date, badly formatted database, with duplicate entries and missing information, they will struggle to gain any traction from the start. Avoid handicapping the talent you recruit to market your products and services by ensuring they have an accurate customer database to work with as soon as they arrive. Companies such as ours are not only good at dealing with incoming calls, we also offer services such as database formatting and maintenance, which are often just as valuable to our clients.
- Making the Most of Calls You Do Receive – One way to generate more interest is by making the most of the opportunities that already come your way. Hiring an outside company to make follow-up calls every time that a new enquiry is received is an excellent way to ensure that no opportunity for a sale goes unnoticed. Small companies with a low head count often don’t have the resources to take a proactive approach like this to every call that they receive but by hiring an outside firm to do the heavy lifting, it is possible to increase revenue at a reasonable cost. You will probably find that simply by generating more of a buzz about what you have to offer among your existing clients, you will naturally attract more interest from new customers as well.
Nothing is Working!
If you have tried all of the above options – or at least those that your company considers practical from a financial standpoint – and you are still receiving very few new enquires on a daily basis, the time for drastic action may have come. However, rather than trying an all-out advertising blitz as suggested in option number one above, you might like to consider a more targeted approach that doesn’t involve pushing your company off a financial cliff, and that at the same time is far more likely to reach those people who may be genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
Advertising in trade publications and launching an email marketing campaign that is aimed at addresses in your now carefully curated customer database are two possible ways in which you can get your message across to interested parties. What you really must consider, preferably before you launch any new sales and marketing initiatives, is how you are going to cope with the expected influx of new enquiries that these initiatives will hopefully generate.
Call Handling Services
The call handling services that we and other companies operate are designed precisely to deal with situations such as the one outlined above. Message Direct can help your company to make the most of the interest it generates from a new marketing or direct response sales campaign by ensuring that all calls arising from the new campaign are dealt with quickly and efficiently.