I work with wedding groups, Bridal show producers and other associations where from time to time we take the pulse of Brides in their area. We mostly do this by putting together focus groups where we invite Brides in to play 20 questions (more like 100, but who’s counting). I recently did one of these focus groups and you may be surprised, maybe shocked to hear what the #1 frustration of Brides was. Are you ready…. Wait for it…..The number one frustration was that they would call (not email, call) leave a message with wedding professionals to ask questions and ask them to return the call, but 9 time out of ten (according to the Brides involved in the focus group) the vendors do not return their calls.
Are you kidding me? A potential client is reaching out and they can’t get their calls returned?
Think about this; the number one thing you need to be great at (not good- but great) is getting Brides to progress in their buying process. The biggest step that they take that matters to you is they reach out and connect with you. If you are not valuing and respecting that step, your business will suffer some dire consequences (i.e. not get business that it deserves and suffer financially)
I recognize that it is near impossible to be on or near your phone 24/7. In fact, running your business becomes a necessity. I just don’t want “running your business” to become the priority over “getting the business”. When you lack prospective customers, you will have plenty of time to take care of your business. I want you to realize and act upon the importance of these girls calling you. The fact that they are calling indicates that some form of your marketing worked for them and that they are interested. To leave them there to cool down is just not a good business decision.
All that said, let me clarify things from a different point; the person who is in front of you has earned the priority of your attention. Years ago I worked at a retail electronics store who had the mandate to answer the phone by the third ring. So even if you were working with a client who was there and in person (in other words they took the time to show up) you had to excuse yourself to answer the phone of someone who had less priority. This chain has since gone out of business.
When a prospective client takes the time to call you, you must take the courtesy of responding in a reasonable amount of time. There is direct benefit to responding quickly. The top benefit is apparently very few are responding, so you will stand out from your competition.
Psychologically speaking, there must be either fear or comfort which is driving the inaction on the phone. Fear that you won’t get the sale is not reasonable, because 1) you have not gotten the sale, so you don’t have a sale to lose and 2) you will realize your fears by not acting, whereas you can overcome that fear by simply picking up the phone. Comfort is also unreasonable. Feeling comfort in an unrealized sale is like thinking that a package of vegetable seeds is as good as a prepared meal. The Bride taking one step is what it is- a step and nothing more.
Strategize and develop a plan if you have not already- write it down as well on how you are going to treat your incoming phone calls from Brides. They deserve it and so do you~!
What think you~?