As a small business owner, overcoming challenges is a regular part of your day-to-day. According to a recent study by Small Business Trends, roughly half of small businesses don’t make it past the first four years, and only 40% are profitable. When you’re up against these odds, you can’t afford to let any leads slip through the cracks.
You may already be using virtual receptionists to take your messages and transfer your calls, but did you know an answering service is also a powerful lead capture tool? Using your virtual reception service to make sure every possible lead finds its way to your business will increase your customer base and give you that leg up every small business needs. Below are three ways to capture leads with an answering service:
When bankruptcy attorney Peggy Hammerschmidt of Hammerschmidt, Stickradt, and Associates first signed on with an answering service, she was hesitant. “There’s nothing that happens overnight or on the weekends,” she says. “And I can’t fix it if it does, because we’re not open. So we’ve never thought we needed a virtual receptionist.” However, over the first weekend alone her answering service scheduled two appointments that resulted in bankable clients, earning her firm $4,000 to $5,000 dollars.
You may think you won’t get many after-hours calls, but you’d be surprised how many potential customers choose to wait until after work, on the weekend, or even over holidays to take care of things. Your business may be 9 to 5, but your customers’ needs are full-time.
Let’s say it is during business hours, but you’re already on the phone. Yes, you have voicemail, but according to Forbes magazine, 80% of callers who reach voicemail don’t leave a message. They won’t call back either. Customers are quick to go to the next listing on the Google page when they feel inconvenienced.
In contrast, when’s the last time you’ve hung up on a live person? Having a virtual receptionist greet them with a warm, friendly voice will make sure your callers’ information is captured while making a great first impression.
Radio- and TV-Generated Leads
You’ve carefully planned out your marketing budget. You’ve invested good money in a well-crafted radio or television ad campaign. Make the most of it. You can set your answering service up with a toll-free number specifically assigned to your ad campaign. You can even integrate your virtual reception service with your favorite CRM to ensure every lead is organized and ready to be acted upon. Keep your regular business line free and rake in all those new customers.
The first few years of starting a small business is an uphill climb. We get that. Give yourself the best possible chance to succeed by getting the most potential out of every possible lead.
Don’t have an answering service? We can fix that.