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Give 'Em a Call

Using telemarketing in your business

When the day comes that you retire from your business, there will be several changes to your daily routine. One will probably be that you are on the telephone a considerably less amount of time. While they seem to run in cycles, our business experienced repeated calls from companies wanting to sell alarm systems, stocks and bonds, wanting to write our insurance policies, or groups wanting donations to their particular charity.

These were the telemarketers. And for the most part they were annoying. Most times you could easily detect that the person on the other end of the line was sitting in a cubicle, reading word for word from a script. You would often hear in the background several others performing the same task. And if you decided to get rid of the caller by asking for written material, there was rarely anything in the mail from them. They simply went to the next call.

During a seminar that we attended several years ago, we heard Jack Rice, a leading retail consultant and speaker, tell about a business that had a unique way of bringing in business -they created their own version of telemarketing and called their existing customers on the phone. There were some interesting statistics to explain why this dealer was successful.

In the traditional dealership, when the business is experiencing a slow sales day, the sales staff, and mechanics are given instructions to help clean up the store. What if you could put that time to better use by checking up on your customers?

Or, have a new sales person go through all of your sales tickets for the past three years and list the names and phone numbers of all customers that purchased equipment from one of your employees that is no longer a part of your store. The conversation could go something like this:

"Hello Mr. Smith, My name is Bob Jones. I work at Bill's Mower Shop over on Broadway Street. I see where you purchased a new lawn mower from us two years ago. Do you still own that mower? How is it working for you? Our records show that Steve was the salesman that sold you that mower. Steve is no longer working here, but I wanted to call to give you my name and our phone number so that you would have someone to contact here at Bill's Mower Shop if you needed service or were ready to trade that unit in." If your mechanics or sales staff are on commission, and you ask then to do this in a down time, you can provide an incentive to them by having them address a post card to the customer. Put the employee's initials on the card, and you have a basis for tracking the incentive bonus.

If the person comes in for service, just make sure that the customer tells your service ticket writer so that you credit the proper person.

If your caller engages the customer in conversation, there is an appropriate time to ask, "Is there any reason why you haven't shopped here lately?" One in 30 customers will give you a complaint about your business. Here is an excellent opportunity to retrieve a lost customer. Twenty six of the 30 will explain that they have not been there because they haven't needed anything. But, six of these twenty six, will be in your store within 2 weeks because you called. This means that if you have three people in your shop, each making only 10 phone calls per day, then you can expect to see additional 6 people walking in the door, every day, within the next two weeks. These are 6 people that have shopped in your store before, but had no intention of coming into your store until you took the time to call.

The strategy just proves one of the adages that Mr. Rice has so often stated, "Never forget a customer, and never let the customer forget you.

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This article is copyrighted by Tom Shay and Profits Plus Solutions, who can be reached at: PO Box 1577, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33731. Phone 727-464-2182. It This article is copyrighted by Tom Shay and Profits Plus Solutions, who can be reached at: PO Box 1577, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33731. Phone 727-464-2182. It may be printed for an individual to read, but not duplicated or distributed without expressed written consent of the copyright owner.may be printed for an individual to read, but not duplicated or distributed without expressed written consent of the copyright owner.
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Profits Plus Solutions, Inc.
PO Box 1577
St. Petersburg, Fl 33731
(727) 464-2182
Fax: (727) 898-3179