“Stop answering your phone until you and your staff know how to use the dang phone!”
Many years ago, I opened an ISA conference seminar with that quote. The audience looked puzzled, then I told them I was going to play a tape (yea, it was that long ago) of appraisers answering the phone. The groans could be heard for miles. “Gee, I hope it’s not me,” one appraiser said.
Actually, I did not play calls to appraisers, but I did use calls from other professions. It was very interesting and entertaining, but sobering just the same.
The person who answers the telephone at your firm, IS your firm. The voice that the caller hears represents your company and speaks volumes of how you can help the caller.
If the initial contact is not an outstanding exchange, it is an uphill battle to land them as a client.
The telephone contact with a prospective client starts BEFORE you pick up the phone, and continues long after the call has ended.
Here is handy checklist for you to place by your phones. Train your staff and practice.
TELEPHONE TECHNIQUES for Professional Appraisers
Before You Pick Up The Telephone
- Take a Deep Breath
- Know What You Are Going To Say (outline or key points)
- Have Paper & Pen Handy (or your contact program running)
Answering the Telephone
- Let it ring at least twice
- Always Sound Relaxed
- Start With A Friendly Greeting (hello, good morning, etc.)
- State your company’s name – AND Mention your name
- Project an Unrushed Tone Smile!!!
- Ask: “How may I help you?”
Ending A Conversation
- Always Ask: “And What Else?” to make sure you have answered their questions
- Suggest the next step: “Can we make an appointment to meet” or “May I send you a proposal”, etc.
- Make certain you have their contact information, for follow-up
- Conclude With A Sincere “Thank You”
REMEMBER, You prospects can call many other businesses.
Make them glad they called you.
An excerpt from: NAC Professional Appraisers’ Business Development and Education Newsletter ~ A paid subscription newsletter for professional appraisers who are dead serious about building a more profitable and successful appraisal practice.
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