In this day of email blasts and texting, calling customers can be a valuable marketing tool when done correctly. Why not call your larger accounts at the appropriate time and remind them that they can save money by reordering early; or that you have a great new design idea for them to try? If you’ve got nothing new, you could just call and ask how they liked their last order. Even if they have something negative to say, you can hopefully use this opportunity to turn it into something positive. You may learn something very important about how to improve your business, even if you don’t get a re-order. Before picking up the phone, take a few moments to write down some speaking points. Plan to ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. For example, you could ask: How did your employees like the printed caps you ordered from us last May? This will prompt them into a discussion. Avoid asking: Do you need more caps? If they say no, the conversation will probably be over. Another classic phone call/sales technique which can be used is “offering choices”. Here are some more examples:
1. Should I try to reach you again on Wednesday morning or Friday afternoon?
2. Would you be more interested in parka-type jackets or bomber jackets next fall?
3. We have a lot of new design ideas to share with you. Would you like me to show you text only designs or one using your mascot?
4. I would love to send you a free sample. Would you prefer to see our GlitterFlake, matte finish or metallic finish?
One more important phone calling tip–take notes. Even if you don’t have a software program that makes this easier, you can still use old-fashioned pen and paper. Keep the notes in the file, so that the next time you pick up the phone to call that customer, you will remember what you talked about. And the customer will be shocked that you remembered the names of his kids. If you do outbound follow up calls to customers, we would really enjoy hearing some of your tips and techniques. Do you agree that phone calls are still important? Or are you now texting your customers? There are many companies that both text and call, it all depends on the customer.