Phone. You have one, I have one but are we using it right to get and receive business. I will share with you real examples of things happening that are literally sucking money out of your pocket and how you can beat out all others in your industry by changing or tweaking just a few things with regards to how you answer, call and text others and respond - with your phone.
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You're going to expand your mind a little bit more today. My name is Cheryl Spangler, and welcome to the Relentless Pursuit of Excellence. Every episode is defined by one(:
Word. Today we're talking about phone, that might sound what weird people. One word. One word. There's massive problems with right now in the industry, in business on how people use their phone. And I wanna run through a couple excellence in standards of practice. If you're listening to this and you own a business, listen up. If you're listening to this and you contact business owners, listen up because I am on both sides of the spectrum. Number one, I've run a real estate business for 22 years. Number two, I recently, in the last five years purchased a, a local small business, a home inspection company, after which we re built apps, built systems, hired amazing inspectors, and then sold it for more than what we bought it for. During that time, I have had a, a
And today, even today, every day, I receive messages from people, whether they're inquiring for my services or whether I'm inquiring for someone else's services. You know, you have this, it doesn't matter if you're an entrepreneur, business owner or, or, or you're, you could be a nine to fiver for the last 50 years. You need work done on your house. You need to contact people that do service, that have some service that they provide, and you want to hire them. So here is the practice when you are on the owning a business side that I beg people, beg people to start doing in the age of ai, internet automation, something that I am all about, I'm all about automation. That's literally how we just doubled our money on a local service business in two years, less than two years. But there is one thing that people want not automated, and that is the phone. Now, I'm speaking right now on the side of you are a business owner.(:
Answer the phone. And I mean, for, I'm gonna tell you how to answer the phone.
Number two is to get signatures on things where you sell stuff, whether your product or service. But your real job, your real job is to speak effectively to people so they understand who you are, what you do, and where you serve. And when you are a business owner, you need to answer the phone. Why? Because used to be everyone answered the phone way back, and then it was like, oh, get an answering machine. And then it's like, okay, do voicemail. And now people, some piece of, and I've been at fault of this in the past 10 years, never answer their phone. Only call back people. And if they really want to contact you, they'll leave a message. Nope. If you run a local service business, okay, that means you're not an internet marketer. You don't sell info products, you're not a course creator. You are a local service business.(:
You will live or die on whether you answer that phone because people are not loyal, your customers are not necessarily loyal. When things are time sensitive, they will call based on Google. They will call you first if they're a loyal past customer. And if you don't answer, they'll go to Google and they'll find next, next, next, first person that answers the phone gets business. This is including real estate agents. Past customers will call you first. They'll ask you questions, but if you're not available, they have something that they need in their timeframe. And it's all time sensitive. All time sensitive. They will call until someone answers the phone. Now, if that someone is a call center, at least the call center's answering the phone, if that call center cannot speak effectively to people, they'll be like, this is a waste of my time. Click. And then they will go on to the next Google list.(:
When people call, the response should be short and sweet and you should represent your business. Like, here's two examples. Thank you for calling Cheryl Spengler Real Estate. How can I help you? I've identified who I am. Now, whether I'm Cheryl or not, doesn't matter. It is actually better if you are the person who runs the business and you answer the phone, still answer it like that because it doesn't matter that you are the owner. They don't know that. And it allows them to speak freely. Maybe you are a receptionist and you could eventually then hire a receptionist or an administrative person who answers your phone and that will always stay the same. Here's another example. Thank you for calling Secure Home Inspection. How can I help you? It's a little bit long, but you name the company who you are, how can I help you?(:
Okay, it's not like, hello? Hi, this is Cheryl. What's up? This is like, oh, how many business owners you call, how many companies you call, they never answer the phone. They're one man shows and one woman shows doing it all. But yet, somehow I have been a one man show many, many times, and yet I still answer the phone and implement some kind of business line where you can route it to different people if you're not available or a business line where you know when it comes in, it's the business, yes, you're gonna get a lot of spam and you can recognize those by the delay when you pick up an answer and then there's like a boop, and then you hear that and you know it's spam, okay? But you have to answer the phone. So if you own a business, specifically a local service business or local product based business or local storefront of any kind, answer the phone, the answer to answer the phone is either you or someone you designate or a call center.(:
But you need to answer the phone because in the age of automation, there's one thing people want and that is they want to speak to someone. One, to validate that the business is open. Two, to validate that you are legit. Three, that you can speak effectively about what you sell and what you have. And they can decide at that point. 'cause they are deciding, they are not calling you to book you, they're not calling to pay you. They're calling to see if you're worthy of them to buy from you. And how you answer the phone, if you answer the phone. And if you can speak effectively to people will determine whether you get their business, period. Absolutely. Period.(:
Quick example, we are, we were selling the local service business that we bought two years ago for double our Money. And the number one thing that everyone that inquired all these people, these business owners, potential people inquired, they wanted the business, right? They wanted to buy it. The one thing I was very emphatic about was, if you are not currently owning a local service business, that means in my mind they don't know how important it is to be able to answer the phone. I mean, it could be that you own a local soap shop downtown somewhere. You still need to be able to answer the phone, okay? So it doesn't matter what it is. Most of them that inquired wanted everything to be completely remote. Automated people don't leave voicemails. They want to speak to you because Google's only a second away. They can go find 10 other people that do what you do because they are time sensitive.(:
They do not have time to waste. Their attention span is now down to 8.6 seconds and they have time only to do one, one thing, and that is to call that number. And within five seconds, even more than three rings is too much. So check your call center, ring, ring amount. You pick up, you actually answer the phone. You identify yourself and you sell them on what you, what you offer. That's it. So if I could give advice to everyone in the world, it would be pick up your phone and answer it effectively or get someone who can speak effectively to answer your phone for you. Now, let's talk about the side. Well, oh, let's talk about the side of the customer. Now, let's pretend you don't own a business. You are a customer. Like every single human that exists in the world is a customer to someone.(:
Now, I'm gonna give you some standard of practice that I wish you would implement, including myself. And I've only learned this to this degree because I'm on the side of the business owner who receives these messages, receives these calls, receives these text messages nonstop. But when I say nonstop, I mean nonstop all day, every day of every week, of every month, of every year. We the business owners, if your company receives text messages, okay, that means either you have a business line that receives text messages, which by the way, if you don't have that, you need upgrade and change to something like that. Okay? Like Verizon One talk, that's a business line or RingCentral, stuff like that. They all receive text messages or you're using your personal phone, you know, for your business, like a lot of real estate agents do. Here is standard protocol.(:
As a customer consumer looking to inquire about the product or service that that business owner is selling. Do not randomly text what it is you want to know from that person or business owner. If your text is a random asking of a question, you will never get a response. Or maybe 10% of the time you'll get a response. Most of the time you'll get blocked because as a business owner, we get spammed, scammed and everything in between 24, literally seven. So when you inquire about anything, if you are texting, identify who you are, first name, last name, phone number, email, and what you are inquiring about. Probably the worst example. The worst examples of this are people who inquire about homes on the market. And if you're a real estate agent and you have a business line that accepts text messages or you have your personal phone, you get all kinds of messages.(:
Now these are messages we get, we get messages from companies, investor groups, individuals, buyers, sellers, renters, landlords, and almost all of 'em, may 10% do what I'm about to say. 90% do not. They just text what it is they want. They do not identify themself. Now, how are we supposed to know whether you're spam? How, how are we supposed to know that you're not scamming? Right? Of course, the phone, if it doesn't recognize the number, uh, right below the, the the text, it says report junk, of course. And most of the time they're gonna do that to you. If you're a consumer and you wanna get a response from a business owner, doesn't matter what it is, what product, what service this could include. Also connecting with people online for info products. It doesn't matter where, identify yourself, first name, last name, phone number, or email.(:
If you don't wanna do phone number or email, at least identify your first and last name and what it is you want, not just what it is you want. Okay? What you want is important, but we're not gonna respond to random people. Confidential, secret, private, special or unique information.
Hi, my name is Cheryl, blah, blah, blah. But as, as a business owner, we also wanna know who are you that you want something from us we don't know. Could be robocaller, robos, spammer, robo texter product, sending stuff out. And if we respond, it downloads some malware to our, our phone. Identify who you are by at least first name, last name. Now, and you know this, you know, I'm passionate about this topic and, and it's frustrating on both ends. If I'm doing an entire podcast on the word phone, because you spend all day on your phone, you download apps, you want things, you Google things. But as a consumer, you never identify yourself. If you want to be taken seriously and you want discounts and you want service, and you want products, and you want a business owner to treat you with respect, then treat the business owner with respect.(:
Identify yourself. Because the world is full of scammers and spammers. And until this is resolved, we will not respond to people who not, who do not identify themself. I respond with, please identify yourself. What happens when I do that? I don't get a response. People don't respond. They're like, well, that's weird. She wants my name. Yeah, you want me to help you do something in real estate for free, by the way, until the end. But you don't wanna gimme your name, report junk. So my advice to people on the business end, identify yourself and answer your phone. On the consumer end. Identify yourself and send your question. But identify yourself. Comment what you think about this and what best practice you use with your phone, whether you're a business owner or a consumer, to get the best response.(:
Be a person that someone else aspires to be. And don't forget, leave a review about this podcast so other people can hear your thoughts.