Thursday, April 6, 2017

4 Simple Ways to Increase Your Income

Whenever I’m wearing my “sales hat,” I notice that when I do these four (4) things, my business does much better:

1. Take Calls
2. Return Calls
3. Leave Text Messages
4. Call Back People (Follow-up)

These seem simple, but it amazes me how few people actually do them.  They're easy to do, but they're also easy to ignore and overlook the impact they have on the bottom line.

See Also: Having trouble making the calls you should?

They're things that an average person can do to get above-average results.

Let’s take a look how each of these makes me more money… and will make you more money, too.

1. Take Calls
It’s no secret that companies with call centers are at a huge advantage.

Many one-man bands (i.e. “Chuck in a Truck” companies) often are too busy DOING the work to actually take incoming calls.  They finish one job, and THEN they start scrambling to get another job.

That is absolutely foolish.  It always makes sense to keep your pipeline of work done in advance.

Of course, business owners KNOW that, but they’re too busy fulfilling orders (i.e. doing the actual work) so they can get paid.

The larger companies with call centers are at a huge advantage here.  They have 1 or more people dedicated to taking incoming calls.  The people answering the phone might not know as much as the person actually doing the work, but a partially informed person ANSWERING the calls is much more effective than the know-it-all who is never available.

I’ve found that places without call centers tend to take fewer than 50% of their calls.  Actually the percentage is a lot lower than that.  I haven’t measured closely enough to offer a figure, but I’m comfortable putting in writing that it’s LESS THAN 50%... MUCH LESS.

So if you take (even most of) your calls, you’ll be in the upper half without actually doing any work.

2. Return Calls
Sometimes, we just can’t get to our calls.

A friend of mine has a father who owned a construction company for over 30 years.  There were many evenings where he was returning people’s calls as late as 9:00 PM, but more often than not, they were happy he called, even that late, because they (often) said that NOBODY else returned their call.

So if you can’t take the calls as they come to you, at least return those calls.

Again, by returning calls, you’ll give yourself a lot of opportunities that many other competitors aren’t willing to do.  That’s more opportunity for you to make more money.  I promise!
3. Leave Text Messages
Here is a place that I have an advantage over many larger companies.

If I call someone and get their voicemail, I will send them a text.  Sure, sometimes, I find that I’m sending a text to a landline, which means they never get it.

However, how many people use their cell phones nowadays?

More importantly, how many people let calls go to voicemail, especially when they don’t know the caller’s number?

How many people have a knee-jerk reaction to checking their text messages?

Many people will continue to ignore you when you leave a text, but it’s amazing how often they’ll respond… especially if they’re serious about needing help.  (They’re in the market for a reason, right?)

Many people in big companies get paid by the hour, and they’re happy to leave a voice mail or an email… often hoping that the person never returns their call.  However, as salespeople and business owners, we actually want more sales.

Many people in large companies sit at a desk with only a landline – no (company) cell phone.  So they cannot text, even if they wanted.

However, YOU do… and you can use it to your competitive advantage.

Text for dollars.  It’s an advantage you have over most of your competitors who don’t.

4. Call Back People (Follow-up)
So you left a voicemail, and they didn’t get back with you.

It must mean they’re not interested, right?

Maybe, but more often… they lead busy lives… and you were on their mind WHEN they called, but other parts of their lives started tugging at them afterwards.  THEN… they have to remember that they still need what you’re offering, and most people aren’t excited to “get back to calling” service companies to spend money they’re not excited about spending… but need to buy.

So… I suggest that you make it easy for them… Instead of waiting for them to start calling people again, simply remind them… and make it easy for them… to call you.

Let them tell you that they’re no longer in the market to buy your service.  Maybe they got it from someone else.  Maybe they found that they really can’t afford it.  Perhaps they realize that they don’t want to deal with the hassle of it, anymore.

Otherwise, they just aren’t making it as much of a priority as you are, because it’s your business.
Recently, I helped a customer get an order from someone who initially called them over a month ago.  I called and asked whether they still were looking for that type of service, and they said, “Yes, we’d love to have someone come over to get us an estimate.”

Without calling them again, I would have never found them.  It was over a month, and they still hadn’t gotten anyone.  Was it because they were calling for help and nobody was answering?  Maybe, but probably not!  Most likely, they stopped calling, and none of the competitors called to follow up.

Another name for these is called aged leads.  Not all aged leads will result in a sale.  Obviously, new, fresh leads convert better than aged leads, but aged leads still have value.  It’s just up to you to mine them to find the gold you covet.

These are ways I increase my income, and all of these sound simple and basic.  They are, but many people don’t do these (simple?) things.  That’s why they’ll make you money if YOU are one of the few who actually do them.  That’s all it takes.

Do YOU have what it takes… to do the simple things that will make you more income?

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