© BokanPhotography | Istock

Your telephone is, without a doubt, one of your most valuable tools to help secure new customers and business. But it can...and often is...a costly liability.

All of your marketing and advertising is designed for one purpose and that is to persuade someone to pick up the phone and call you. If you blow the call, you have wasted a lot of time and effort.

When I owned my pest control business and was in the office every day, I was quick to answer the telephone. I can’t tell you the number of times someone would say to me, “You are the first person I’ve talked with who actually took the time to answer my questions and explain to me what I need to do. The other people I spoke with weren’t interested in helping me. They just wanted to schedule an appointment to send someone to my home.”

Guess who got the business. It was the person they felt was sincerely interested in helping them solve their problem. The person answering your telephone should:

  • Have an outgoing personality.
  • Be energetic.
  • Be a genuine people person.
  • Be very patient.
  • Be sympathetic.
  • Be empathetic.
  • Be compelling.
  • Be seductive.
  • Be hypnotic.
  • Be well trained. Then train some more.
  • Be knowledgeable about your ser-vices and be skilled at selling them.
  • Understand the Law of Reciprocity and how to use it to get people to say YES. (Remember, The Law of Reciprocity states that if I give you something, you automatically want to reciprocate and give me something in return. If I do you a favor, you want to return that favor.)
  • Understand how to schedule an appointment without pressure.
  • Be willing to listen for a long time.
  • Be able to handle major stress with a smile and a wink.
  • Be a take-charge person when it is necessary.
  • Understand that once a prospect hangs up the phone — if there was no help given and no problem resolution — the odds of you hearing back from them are slim to none.

I once hired a young woman as an office assistant. Her main job was to answer the phone. She was the least qualified of all the others I interviewed. I asked her, “Why should I hire YOU when you are the least qualified?”

Her answer was exactly what I was looking for. She said, “Because I can light up the people on the other end of that phone. I don’t care how mad or upset they might be. I can put a smile on their faces. I can make them believe that your company is the greatest pest control company in the world.” I knew that if she could do that, it would be putting money in the bank.

The author is a pest control marketing consultant and president of Coleman Services. Visit www.pestcontrolmarketer.com or call 770/993-0004.