Let’s face it. Phone tag’s a tough game. Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can use to get homeowners to return your calls – so that you can focus less on the fine line between persistence and stalking and more on winning new business.
1. Call within 10 minutes of an inquiry – and do be persistent:
Whether you’re receiving inquiries via your website, your voicemail or another avenue, do your best to respond within 10 minutes of initial contact. Providing an immediate response will not only show homeowners that you’re serious about earning their business, but it will also ensure that you get ahead of any potential competition. If you don’t reach a homeowner on the first try, leave a voicemail and call back again later. If you don’t hear back after the first three calls or so, wait a few days and make an effort to get back in touch.
2. Leave a call-to-action voicemail:
When leaving a voicemail with a potential customer, be sure to leave a well-developed call to action. If you’ve got ratings and reviews on the web, for instance, encourage the homeowners with whom you’re leaving a voicemail to check them out -- and be sure to let people know what they’ll get in return. You might say, “If you’re interested in hearing what other customers have had to say about our work, check out our ratings and reviews at (website),” for example. Then, on your web profiles, you might include a special offer that customers must call back to receive. If you can’t point customers to offers or ratings and reviews, find another way to motivate them to return your call. Create a sense of urgency and briefly state the benefits of getting in touch with you directly. It’s a simple gesture, but it builds rapport and makes it hard for homeowners to ignore your efforts.
3. Call early or late in the day:
People are busy, and they’re unlikely to answer the phone or remember to return your call if you reach out when they’re tied up in the middle of the day. If you’re calling outside of the 10-minute post-inquiry zone, you’re far more likely to get homeowners to pick up the phone early in the morning -- before they’ve headed into work – or after they’ve gotten home in the evening -- before they’ve settled in for dinner.
4. Enunciate and repeat your contact information:
You’d be surprised how many homeowners complain that professionals fail to clearly state their contact information – or fail to include their contact information altogether. Don’t be that guy. Clearly and briefly state your name and the reason for your call (with call to action) and clearly enunciate your contact information. Then, be sure to repeat your name and contact information once again for good measure. The more likely it is that a homeowner will have to replay your message; the less likely it is that you’ll receive a call back.
5. Be courteous and friendly:
Be sure to speak with an upbeat and enthusiastic tone when leaving messages or speaking with potential customers on the phone. It may go without saying, but the importance of being courteous and friendly can’t be overemphasized.