The phone rings.
You’re at dinner. Or at the movies, trying to get some quality time with your family. Or maybe you’re in a meeting with another seller. Heck — maybe you’re on the porcelain throne.
So… you send the call to voicemail.
I’ll call them back in a minute.
If they’re a good lead, then they’ll leave a voicemail, anyways.
No big deal, right?
In fact, while letting a lead go to voicemail seems rather trivial, doing so repeatedly can seriously cripple your business’ potential for growth… and give your competitor an unintended advantage.
But first, let’s talk about you.
The most annoying part of your business…
Look, I get it — you set out to build a thriving business, one that increases your monthly income and time freedom. But when the phone is ringing like mad, when tire-kicking sellers take up your time for no reason, and when they’re doing it while you’re trying to enjoy the freedom which your business was supposed to create…
…the whole thing feels a bit… futile.
What was the point of building my business if I just have to work all the time?
Of course, it’s good that you’re generating leads — your business couldn’t survive without that. But it’s also not surprising that you’re letting calls go to voicemail every now and again.
With so many different things to get done during the work day, it’s easy to push answering the phone to the sideline.
(*cough* Burnout was just categorized as a real medical condition, according to Inc. *cough*)
After all, one missed call can’t be that damaging to your business…
The obvious cost of a missed call
The phone rings. You let it go to voicemail.
More than likely, you call that lead back within an hour or two. The problem is, every five minutes that you wait… your chance of having a meaningful conversation with that person statistically decreases by some 80%.
Sure — you might still convert that lead and get them to work with you, but your chances ain’t pretty. And anyone who’s been in sales for more than 6 months isn’t surprised by that fact: the faster you respond, the better. Actually, 35% to 50% of sales (or conversions) go to the vendor that responds first.
Here’s how the reporter over at Harvard Business Review explains it…
“Firms that tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead (which we defined as having a meaningful conversation with a key decision maker) as those that tried to contact the customer even an hour later—and more than 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or longer.”
In other words, when a lead goes to voicemail, you’re chance of converting that lead decreases drastically…
That’s the obvious cost.
But now let’s talk about the long-term, more damaging repercussions.
The REAL cost of a missed call
The phone rings. You let it go to voicemail.
On your end, not much else happens — you plan to call them back when you have a chance and that’s that.
On the prospect’s end, though, the story continues…
If they’re a truly motivated seller (the kind of lead that you want) then they probably don’t give you a call, leave a voicemail, and then patiently wait by the phone for you to call back.
More than likely, they lose a tad of trust for your business (let’s be honest — how do you feel when you call a business during open hours and they don’t answer?), they Google search for other options, and (here’s where it hurts) they call your competition.
Ever tried to call a high-quality prospect after they left a voicemail only to get an endless ring tone?
It’s probably because they found someone else to work with who did answer the phone when they called — not throwing shade, just being honest 🙁
Here’s the thing: 72% of people switch business providers because of a poor customer experience.
That indicates that people care more about the way your business treats them than they do even about the service you offer.
If you start off on the wrong foot, by not answering the phone, that can do a few things…
- It gives your competition a lead/deal which could have been yours.
- It gives your competition the future referrals and free word-of-mouth advertising from that lead/deal which, again, could have been yours.
- It hurts your reputation in the eyes of that prospect and your business must endure any negative word-of-mouth caused by not answering the phone or responding to that prospect.
If you get a consistent reputation for not answering the phone, then those three repercussions can damage your business even moreso (a bad reputation can spread like wildfire).
Still, knowing how damaging ignoring the phone can be for your business doesn’t magically increase your bandwidth or ability to actually answer the phone…
So what is a busy entrepreneur like yourself to do?
Call Porter can help…
A few years ago, Ryan Dossey (my brother) was asking that same question. With leads consistently calling him, he was scrambling to find time to actually grow his business.
But he’d worked hard to generate all of those leads, so he didn’t want to let them go to voicemail…
(He knew the damage that not answering the phone can cause)
…so he created Call Porter, an answering service designed specifically for real estate investors. We train our reps to speak with motivated sellers, qualify those leads, and then schedule a follow-up call with you or your acquisitions manager. We answer 99% of calls when the phone rings. And our members love us. Here’s what one had to say (that’s me on the right 😎):
I’ll finish with this: what would happen to your business if you could trust someone else to answer the phone for you? How much more time might you be able to spend growing your business? How much faster might your business grow? How might you be able to enjoy more freedom in your business and work on the things you love?
“Might,” “Maybe,” “If,” “Could,”…
But isn’t it at least worth a try?
Call Porter revolutionized Ryan’s investing business — I think it could do the same for yours.