A Golden Opportunity To Make Your Next Sale
[Video Transcription]: A couple of weeks ago I was an exhibitor at the Vision Expo in Kansas City was a great Expo and in conference and you know if you haven’t gone there maybe I’d suggest putting on your calendar for next year. While I was there I had a shop owner approach me and asked to give him a call to chat a little bit more about how I might be able to help him with his business. Long story short, I had been trying to reach out to the shop owner for for quite a few days. I’d call and get an answer machine, I’d call get an answering machine, call answering machine, and I couldn’t figure it out. Driving me nuts thinking, well, no wonder this guy had a car count problem.. He’s never answering the damn phones! It’s going straight to the the shop’s answering machine so I figured you know what, if he wasn’t answering the calls live, he was too busy to talk with me so I didn’t even bother to leave a message. Finally, after doing all of this I decided I was going to go ahead and leave a message for him.
About an hour later he calls me back and said “Hey I got your call sorry.” You know and as we started talking I let him know that he’s got to fix that problem of the answering machine and not answering calls because he’s missing an opportunity for sales. He tells me “we answer almost every one of our calls live but if we see an out of town area code we never ever answer the phone. It always goes to voicemail. We push it directly voicemail or we just let it ring because it’s just salespeople trying to sell us stuff.”
I understood his logic, but it got me thinking. If you’re not answering the phone, then what if it is really a sales opportunity calling? So I started looking and I got a little some numbers for you to kind of back up my my initial thought process. So I looked out and I found that only 6% of Americans have a landline only, in other words they don’t have a cell phone they only use a landline about 34 percent of Americans have both. They’ve got a landline and a cell phone which basically it’s telling us that the overwhelming majority of Americans only use a cell phone.
That means around 65% percent give or take only have a cell phone. Now you couple that with the fact that according to the U.S. Census every year 36 million Americans move households. They’re not always moving within the same area code. As a matter of fact, if you’re in a larger city there’s multiple area codes just for a single city maybe a moving across the street get you into a different area code. And by the way when most people move they just give up their home phone and only go with their cell phone.
Potential Customers Are Living Near Your Auto Repair Shop, But Have Different Area Codes
It’s going to voicemail and if it’s legitimate customer, they’re calling the next person on the list of auto repair shops in your area. If they’re not a current customer of yours and they’re a prospective customer, you’re missing the golden opportunity to make a sale simply by not answering the phone. Now like I said before, I get it. You know it is kind of difficult to be answering those phones all day long with salespeople. I mean that’s irritating. It’s it’s it’s horrible but it’s a fact of life.
I understand why you might be just allowing calls from out of state go to voicemail. However, all you got to do is if you pick up the phone if it’s an out of state area code pick up the phone, if it’s a salesperson, just hang up! It shouldn’t eat up more than 10 seconds of your time but it could in a lot of cases be a golden opportunity that you’re letting go by the wayside. You’re letting them call the next person on the list. So if they found you on Google or they found you on their their cell phone they’re just going to call the next person because they may assume just like I did when I was calling that shop owner that asked me to call. I assume that he was just too busy to handle the call because it’s going to voicemail or I also correct incorrectly assumed that this guy has no idea how to run a business because he doesn’t even have a professional person answering the phone.
He’s letting it go straight to voicemail. So you know that’s what I call sales prevention. Look you put a lot of effort into getting a lot of great reviews into your marketing having a nice website, you might be texting clients, and you’re doing great stuff to attract customers, but you’ve got to understand as a shop and business owner that that’s designed to get your phone to ring. So without a doubt, make sure every call gets answered.
Today, the very next call that you’re going to get might be from an out of town area code. And if you usually push that the voicemail. Go ahead and pick it up.