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Business Owners & Managers

A Few Tips For Better Phone Etiquette

By Brian Fullerton from Brian’s Lawn Maintenance

I see it all too often in business when hanging around new business owners, and even the seasoned vets.

People making little mistakes that can be costly, and hindering, versus helping their businesses grow. It all comes down to 3 words: better phone etiquette.

I wanted to share a few quick tips, although not an inclusive list, to help you get better on the phone, and to have better phone etiquette.

Here are my 3 biggest tips I can share: some from personal experience, and others from observing others in the industry. Let me give you my top 3 biggest sins when it comes to using the phone for your business.

Not answering the phone with a proper greeting

Most folks I've observed, answer the phone in an almost drunken like fashion, with a ruffled "hello", versus an upbeat, "Hello, this is Brian!" declaration, or something like, "Thank you for calling Brian's Lawn Maintenance, how can I help you?"

Unfortunately, most people don't understand that when you're a business owner, you need to act like one 24/7, 365 days a year.

You have to act and be professional, and that starts with answering the phone as a proper business owner.

Not returning phone calls or voicemails

I know most of us are looking for that awesome new client or customer to be able to service. During that, most of us receive a few inquiries a week, or even per day, on misdirected phone calls or inquiries.

Perhaps it's someone with the wrong business they're searching for, perhaps someone just dialed the wrong number entirely.

One golden piece of advice I can give you is, return those darn phone calls, regardless if they turn into new business or not. It just fosters good will.

I always take 30 seconds to call them back, just so I don't "leave them hanging" as I call it. Take the time to return calls, whether it's a business lead that you're interested in or not! It's the professional thing to do.

Not purging your voicemail in a timely fashion

Let's assume for a minute that you already have a great voicemail set up, and you update it regularly.

But what happens when you have customers calling, especially in the craziness of spring, and no one can leave a message? Most folks these days don't spend any amount of time purging their voicemail, or clearing old messages, making room for new inquiries.

I know we all get busy, but take some down time once a day, once a week, and clear out those old voicemails!

These are my three biggest pet peeves I see people making mistakes on when it comes to the phone and their new (or established) business.

To avoid them, take the time to answer the phone with a proper positive, up beat hello! Take the time to return voicemails, whether you're interested in the work, or not. Pass them to someone else if you can't take on the work, but never let a lead die on the vine.

And lastly, make sure you keep an updated voicemail, and purge your old voicemails regularly. This will allow you to take on new work and business, and keep the wheels on the machine greased!

I know these are simple tips, but they're the ones I see all of us, including myself, forget from time to time. Let's take our business to the next level, and continue to remember the basics of good phone etiquette!

Brian Fullerton
Brian’s Lawn Maintenance
2018 UAG Pro

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