Learn How To Use Improved Call Handling Strategies To Charge More For Your Services!
As a local service business, it can be annoying when you get price shopper phone calls. However, the reality is that we are ALL price shoppers! Don’t shy away from giving price quotes and estimates over the phone, because that is what customers really want. In this episode we’ll cover some of the best tactics and strategies we’ve uncovered to handle price shoppers, and convert them into great customers while your competition turns them away!
- Best practices for new customer call handling to convert more prospects into new customers
- How to quickly instill confidence in new callers and win them over
- Tactics to identify “price shoppers” and quickly convey your value
- Leveraging a call handling script to funnel customers into your sales process
- Why price checking your competition is so important
- How to use text message follow up’s to convert more prospects into customers
- The 3 R’s – Referrals, Reviews, and Repeat business
- Using the “bookends” price quoting method to give an estimate to every single inquiry
- How the “bookends” price quoting method builds confidence and converts more customers
- How to “tell” a customer you’re going to follow up, instead of “asking” them
- How to avoid providing free tech support and wasting time on the phone for DIY callers
Thanks for Listening!
Here is a preview of the transcription from Episode 12 – Charge More For Your Services and Close More Customers With Improved Call Handling;
Jesse: Hello everyone, welcome back to Local SEO Tactics. Jessie Dolan and Bob Brennan. We’re going to be talking to you this week more about handling phone calls, and again, kind of that after somebody has found your website, after your SEO has worked, and they’ve engaged with you. How to turn those into good customers, get some ROI on all this marketing that you’re doing. And you’re going to start to move the needle through your business.
We talked a little bit last week about some call tracking software, how to implement that into your business to really help gauge what’s working, test some things, and get a good baseline on what’s happening with your business, your marketing, whether it be web-based or other medias as well.
Today, we’re going to take kind of that next step in that conversation, and we’re going to talk about how to handle those phone calls and some good processes that we found internally in our service businesses here in the Twin Cities, and with hundreds of our customers across the United States over the past years for all kinds of industries.
The things we’re going to be talking about here aren’t particular to any one product, service or industry niche. This is going to be universal to all you guys to apply out there.
Bob: Yeah, I mean processes are important. I think that the key thing in processes is really getting in the mid of the customer and having some empathy, and understanding. You’ve used this phrase before, and I think it was very true, is the first thing you have to fix the customer, then fix their problem.
We’re all under stress, we’re all over-worked. Our furnace goes out, you’re staying home from work to get it fixed, and you want to call somebody that can give you a price, that can give you a feeling that they know what they’re talking about. Nothing’s worse than calling somebody and they’re just waffling. They really don’t know. They’re not instilling confidence.
Really, at the end of the day that’s what you have to do, is instill confidence in these people, take it down a notch, and then once you’ve done that, you can give them a price. I just think it’s really imperative that you and your team develop that skill. It’s one that takes time to develop and hone, so to speak.
Jesse: I think you’re hitting on the first place where you start is, you gotta understand that you’re fixing that person first.
Jesse: They’re calling you, usually again, we’re talking on the context of service business here, but also if you have product you’re selling. As long as it’s not the latest, greatest widget they’re just looking to get. They’re coming to you for a need, to solve a problem, provide a solution, help them get out of a jam, or fix something. They’re calling you, you’re the expert. They’re already in a tizzy, and something’s wrong, they’re looking for you to fix it.
So, exactly like you’re saying, you don’t even have to win them over on that price, and a lot of stuff right off the bat. They just want to know am I in the right spot. Do you understand what I’m talking about here? Am I talking to the right person or not? You started there, and you fix them, kind of get them calmed down. Then, you can address their problems. But first, it’s person to person.
Bob: Yeah, I mean they want to know that you’re familiar with their type of product, whether it’s a type of car, whether it’s a type of furnace, and that you have the ability to understand what they’re going through, and give them that feedback and just say, “Hey, I’m really sorry you had that happen. Let me see what I can do,” and then give that feedback and that assurance that you can solve their problem.
And you can’t really fake it. If you’ve never done that type of business, well you’re going to have to go through your lumps to get to a point where you can do this properly.
Jesse: That’s right. I was just going to go how many of us, I think it’s all of us, have had these two scenarios. One, where you’re talking to somebody and the response you get is, “Oh, I’ve never seen that before,” or, “I’ve never heard that before.” On one hand, right there, okay, that doesn’t do much for your confidence. You’re already starting to question your decision making that led you to this point to engage in this person.
But on the flip side, if somebody is like, “Oh, yeah. People ask us about that all the time,” or, “I’ve seen that a bunch of times,” how that makes you feel, you know as the person seeking that service, you’re like, “Okay, good. I don’t have to try to explain any further what’s going on here. This guy/gal gets it,” and you’re on to the next step.
Bob: Right, and it’s tough to do. I mean, again, we’re all busy. You’re answering the phone, you’re stressed out yourself, and that’s something, too. People can kind of pick up, and you’ve got to be able to take it down a notch and just stay calm and whatever, and for somebody like myself, I’m more ADD, and just kind of go, go, go, it’s just hard to bring it down into that first gear, if you will.
Jesse: Yeah, again, fix the person first. Calm them down, get established. Depending on the context, and the product or service that you’re selling here, different circumstances, but get them in the right frame of mind so you can communicate to each other, and really not only give the accurate information, but I think if we’ve all been in a stressed out situation, your recollection of things … If somebody is telling you all this stuff, and you’re not paying attention because you’re stressed out trying to even figure out what’s going on or whatever, so you just calm them down. Like a good 911 operator or something, just have your questions ready.
We talked a little bit in the previous episode about scripting, you know, that kind of stuff is important as well for this. I can’t underscore enough, first things first, worry about the person. Get them comfortable, bring their stress level down, and now you can engage with them, and their mind is literally going to change.
Bob: A lot of our customers will use a deal that, “Hey, I get a lot of calls, and there’s a lot of price shoppers.” Well, guess what? We’re all price shopping.
Bob: So you’re going to lose every time if it’s always about a price. It’s your job as the business owner to innovate and bring value to the customer, and figure out a way to … Your price is your price, but you just gotta defend it in a way that you can’t just say, “Well, I’m the best in the industry, and this is my price.” You have to say, “Hey, we’re the best because we’ll get you in and out of here in this amount of time. We guarantee our work. We’ve got a wonderful lounge for you to wait for while your car is getting ready,” or whatever the case is.
You’ve got to figure out a way to value add it in such a way that you don’t go broke, obviously, but in a way that is a real value to the customer. You have to politely be able to say that up front. What I usually tell my team is when somebody says, “Okay, what’s your price to do this,” say, “Just so you know, we do it in 15 minutes. You get free coffee and donuts,” or whatever, “While you’re waiting.”
Jesse: Yeah, whatever the benefits are.
Bob: You’ve got to give those benefits up front, and then deliver the price.
Bob: They still may hang up or move on, and there’s other dynamics here in the process that we can talk about, which is-
Jesse: Then it goes back to the script.
Jesse: Once you figure ot what works, and again, certain questions are going to be asked anyway. In your case here, the mock scenario, when somebody was asking what the price was going to be, and you’re instructing your team to … One of the first things to say is, “What’s the turnaround time going to be?” Right?
Jesse: Well, you know darn well they’re going to ask that as a second question, right?
Bob: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jesse: So, I think a couple of things to point out there, what happens with that script, if you will, is number one, you’re starting to answer these customers’ subsequent questions before they even ask them. Again, you’re an expert. You know why they’re calling, you’ve dealt with people in their shoes, and that’s helping that whole process. Secondly, if they truly are just price shopping, and looking for that lowest bottom end price, you want to give that distinction of what makes you different, because they’re going to call around, and for most industries, come on, the prices aren’t like crazy different across the board from business to business.
This is your shot to tell them what makes you different. It can be a little weird. Again, we talked the last episode about call tracking and scripting. It can be a little weird, it sounds forced at first. When somebody asks you for price, your initial reaction is just to tell them the price, instead of saying, “Well, here’s how long it takes, and here’s what we’re doing while you wait.” That sounds a little artificial, but trust us, it’s well worth the effort. When you listen to these calls back, if you’re doing the call recordings, you’re going to hear how these customers engage and respond.
You might cringe a little bit at first, like, “Ugh, it’s taken us 20 seconds to get to the price.” You’re going to have so many customers that happier, the phone calls are going to be shorter because these other questions they would have been asking, they already got the answer for, and it really kind of disarms them. That might not be the right word that I’m looking for, but it kind of, again, just brings that stress level down even another notch.
Bob: Psychologically, they’re interviewing you. Right?
Jesse: Yeah. Right.
Bob: Yeah, they’re asking for price, but really, psychologically, they’re saying, “Do you really know what you’re doing?”
Bob: And that’s … They want to know that they’re taking their problem to the right person.
Bob: It’s really kind of the reason you want to do that, is if you can answer a person’s questions before they even ask them, that’s an indication you know what you’re doing. That’s the big question you need to ask yourself, if you’re not converting these, why am I not converting them?
Well, you’re not answering their real problem before they even ask it. I know that’s kind of woo-woo, but you really gotta get into that, and that’s by, again, listening to the calls, you’ll begin to see a common thread, what questions are they asking. When you do answer that question, are you answering it the way they want to hear it?
No, we’re not? Okay, what do we gotta do to adjust to that? Sometimes, again, it doesn’t mean you have to lower your price, it actually means you can raise your price because if people want their car fixed, if you’re getting all these cars when people want their car fixed now, you find this common theme. Give it to them. Fix it now, but double the price, or increase the price, or whatever the case is.
At least experiment with that, and that’s where you’re going to go through this process of saying, what if we do this? What if we lower our price? What if we raise our price? What are the results?
Jesse: I think, too, on that particular topic, in handling these calls, of price, which again, it’s going to be a part of every conversation. When we say that, we’re all price shopping. It doesn’t mean we’re all seeking the lowest price. It means we all want to darn well know what the price is going to be though, right?
Jesse: We all want to know what we’re going to pay, so matter of fact, we’re all price shoppers. A very good tip that we give all of our customers, and our teams internally here is, price check the competition. Another layer you can add to this … If I call Bob how much to fix my car, and he tells me it’s $200.00, okay that’s one thing.
Now if he tells me, “We’re going to charge you $200.00, and then we’re going to turn that around in 12 hours for you,” and all the local shops around here, their prices are going to be between $200.00-$250.00, but X, Y, Z, but A, B, C, or things like that. Again, these customers are probably, not always, if you’re knocking their socks off, they won’t. But probably, they’re going to call to some other places.
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