When is the first time that you give any idea of who
you really are and what you really do for your potential
clients, customers or prospects?

One important way is the telephone. You use phones
everyday, but do you know the most efficient
procedures for using this instrument as a marketing tool?

Every call you make and receive is a sales opportunity.

If you are a sole proprietor and the only individual who
answers the telephone, use the call as a marketing tool for
advertising your services. Whether voice mail or an
answering machine, have your message state who you are,
what you do and who you do it for.

Tell people how to contact you. You can provide your
fax number, your pager, your cell phone, and your
e-mail address as a method for communication.

If someone else answers your telephone, decide that the
method used represents how you want the world to view you.
Old ways no longer apply, especially if you are a
service provider. Attorneys and doctors have their phones
answered by label, i.e., "Doctor's office" or by the
telephone number, "421-3456". Make it more user friendly
so people will want to buy your services.

The first contact someone has with your office must be
impeccable. Your voice should be friendly and the responses
must be professional. No matter what you provide, it's all
about sales.

The surprise comes when you're put on hold without
even knowing why!

Callers should only be put on hold if they give permission.
It may sound a little farfetched to ask a caller if they
are able to hold, but it's vital. When someone says to you
"Please hold", they are not creating a relationship; they
are ordering you to do something you may not be able to do.

On the other hand, if someone says, "Are you able to hold?"
you have a choice. Say ‘Yes’ and it's difficult to complain
about being on hold unless you go into what is called "Ignore".
Ignore is what I call being on hold for over a minute without
someone getting back to you.

If you say you are unable to hold, you remain in charge of
your time and environment. You can then choose to call back
when it works for you.

It's also quite acceptable for a receptionist to ask a
customer if they can be called back. This avoids 'Hold Hell'
and the caller feels taken care of.

Change your message frequently. Some people change messages
daily, others have a different routine. Your voice needs to
be energetic and you have to hear that smile. Get a mirror,
place it on your desk, take a deep breath, smile and then
pick up the telephone.

Copyright 2011

Author's Bio: 

Joanne Victoria, co-founder of Gemma & Bixley and a Professional Business Intuitive, has been a business practitioner for over 25 years as a Real Estate Broker/Owner, CFO of an investment company, CFO and Sales & Marketing Director of a home-building company and CEO of her former business, New Directions. Joanne provides insights into Big Picture outcomes for clients and offers action steps essential to make dreams come alive.

Victoria guided numerous organizations from insecure financial circumstances to increased levels of success.

Joanne is the author of 5 books including: Vision With a Capital V- Create the Business of Your Dreams, Lighting Your Path-How To Create the Life You Want, How To Achieve Your Dream Business and Pushy For a Moment-Instant Solutions to Everyday Challenges.

Joanne’s observations on what people can do to succeed have been reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, national Business Journals, Success Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Marie Claire magazine and national television and radio programs.

Joanne‘s ability to see the big picture allows her to leap over logic presented by circumstances and individuals. Joanne’s philosophy cultivates methods for identifying commanding life choices, then trusting those choices to promote growth.

What people are saying:

“For good advice, common sense approaches and all-around good stuff that translates to profits and sanity (at the same time!), call Joanne Victoria. It doesn’t even matter what business you’re in — she’s that good, giving more than you might expect. That’s rare these days.” Rhoann Ponseti, Owner, Ponseti & Partners, Modern Marketing

“Joanne is not afraid of the truth and provides information in an open way, inviting you to choose what works for yourself. She is clear and motivated to help people pursue personal excellence and higher power.” -P. Roseanne Hughes, VP, First Bank and Trust

“I can honestly state that my business and I would not be in our current position as leaders in the Integrated Medicine movement if it were not for your vision and expertise. Thank you, Joanne.” -Elson M. Haas, MD, Author, “Staying Healthy with Nutrition