What’s up everybody. It’s Steve, “The Hurricane here, and on today’s episode of “A Drink With The Hurricane” we’re going to talk about handling prospect calls. So when it comes to handling prospect calls, this is something that at a recent event, several people asked information about. The best way to handle an incoming prospect call in any business is to be prepared for that prospect, that inquiry call. And one of the best ways to be prepared for it is to have an official incoming-prospect call sheet.

Now I know a lot of people have systems and you can pull up systems on your computer. You can do that too, but I always like having a sheet because you can’t, you can’t predict when your internet is going to go down. You can’t predict when the power might go down and all you have is your cell phone, and somebody calls you and you need to be able to write it down. That’s why I’m a big fan of having the sheets, still, even though technology does exist to help with it. But, alongside having the sheet, ’cause the sheet only really helps you to be collected, and you know what questions to ask your prospect, the other aspect of it is making sure that every single person in your organization is trained on how to use your inquiry sheet.

First off, on my inquiry sheet, I have some vital information. I need to know who the person is who’s contacting me. I need to know what their contact information is in case we get disconnected, in case the phone cuts out and I have to call you back. I need to be able to reach back out to you because it happens all the time. And then, I also have to find out “how did they find out about my company?” Because I’m spending a lot of money on advertising, promotions, marketing, and all these other things to drive people to my organization. I need to know how you found out about my company so I can see where my marketing dollars are giving me my return on investment. Something that I recommend all business owners do annually is take a look at what you’re spending for sales and marketing and see if you’re getting the return you should. If not, take money from something and then reinvest it in something else. How do you know what does it if you’re not tracking where your inquiries are coming from? So that’s the vital information at the, at the beginning.

Then, you basically go through and you determine what the need your customer has. What happened? Why, why are you calling us for services or help now? What is the situation that’s presenting? You can go into some specific things depending on what your business is, where you may want to find out some more qualifying questions to determine if the person can afford it… To predetermine what you think the price is going to be, to determine if you need to come out and do an assessment or look at the place or whatever it is- All those things you want to have in this section here, that your people are going to fill out. Then you will want to have a section on your sheet where there are bullets or key points that have to be communicated.

So, when somebody calls my company, we always ask them some questions and we always start off with the first question of, “Is it all right if we ask you some questions to determine if we’re the right company for you? Because if we’re not, I’m not going to try and sell you something or tell you about what we do. I’ll tell you that we don’t do that and here’s a couple of companies and you may want to call. If we are the right company, then I will tell you about who we are, how we operate, and what our services are. So, is it okay if I ask you a couple of quick questions?” And everybody says “Yes” because it makes sense when you do it that way. Once we determine, “Yes, you are the right customer for us.” Then “Let me tell you a little bit about our company.” And the reason why I like having bullets versus a full script is if you’ve ever been on the phone with somebody who’s clearly reading a script, how do you feel? You’ve probably feel like the person on the other end, doesn’t know what they’re talking about. “Can I speak to a manager? I have some specific questions.” You start interrupting the person. And then when you don’t, you don’t feel confident in the person on the other end of the phone, you’re probably not going to spend money with that company. You’re going to need something more before you would spend money with them.

On the flip side, if it’s just bullets, the person can make those bullets very conversational. Something like, in this example here, saying the services we provide, we provide hourly services. So it says right here, minimum visit of five days per week, four hours per visit. I’m not going to say it word for bird, word. What I will say is, “Well, you know, we do have a minimum here of about 20 hours of services per week, but based on your situation that you told me, you’re going to need a lot more than that. What we’re going to do is help you find something that fits your budget, that addresses your need. How does that sound?” And then they’re like, “Oh, that sounds great. That’s exactly what I was hoping for.” So that’s how I would read that bullet. But again, this comes with experience. And so the last part of this tip for you besides having this is to role-play inquiries in your office on a regular, consistent basis.

Then go even further and maybe pay a company like mine to “secret shop” your entity, or you can “secret shop” them yourself to make sure they’re answering the phone the way that they should be. By having a process that’s tried and true, this will make it a lot easier when you have to increase your rates, because with what’s going on in today’s society with businesses trying to get labor and how difficult it is to get staff to work for you, you’re paying more for the same work than what you used to pay. That means you have to charge more for your services, charge more for your products, which means that you need a solid inquiry process to handle it because your prices are more than they used to be. If you need help in this, this is what we’re experts at doing here at Hurricane Marketing Enterprises. Pick up the phone, give us a call and I promise we’re going to help you blow away the competition.