Recently I needed an electrician to install a new light in my kitchen. The experience of finding an electrician has been quite frankly eye opening.
I started off by asking my friend who is a builder and has done work for me in the past. He shared one of his contacts who I duly called.
No answer, so I left a voicemail (yes I am old school and still leave a voicemail).
I explained who I was, how I got the number and what I needed, “could he call me please”.
I waited a day or so (electricians are busy and can’t always answer the phone).
Still nothing, so I sent a text message, “Hi I left a message about needing a light installed can you please contact me”.
Three days later still nothing, not even “Sorry I’m fully booked”.
So I went to Google and searched for an electrical firm I had seen advertising in my local community newspaper.
I gave their number a call and it rang out. At first I thought, OK I must have entered the number wrong so I tried again.
Still no one picked up the phone.
OK, weird but I though I would try their big form on their website telling me to enter my details to make a booking.
I filled in the information and waited.
Not even an email response telling me they received my booking request.
So I went back to Google and called their competitor, “Hi I would like to book an electrician to install a light”….
What does finding an electrician have to do with selling flowers?
The way business works is a customers wants something you have and you want to sell it to them to make money. (I’m telling you to suck eggs here right?).
Imagine instead I was trying to get a quote for event flowers.
I started off by getting a recommendation off someone and tried to call the florist, even tried to text them but go response.
Then I followed up an advert in the local community newspaper no one answered their phone and I used their booking form online but got no response.
In then end I called another florist until someone answered and got them to quote for the event and gave them my deposit.
Now imagine that you were one of the florists that didn’t respond and you just lost a $5000 booking.
Why didn’t you respond?
- Did you not get the voicemail, text message or booking request?
- Did you get it but were too busy to return the call?
- Do you get tongue tied on the phone?
- Did someone else in your business get the request and do nothing about it?
You have a problem and you need to fix it.
What’s the first rule of sales?
Always respond to sales enquiries in a quick and timely manner.
How can I respond effectively.
If you get a telephone message good sales techniques suggest you should respond back as soon as practical if still in business hours or the next day in business hours.
If it’s via email from your website you should be sending a “thank you for your enquiry email” immediately.
Pre-plan your marketing emails and messages
I’m a business person selling floral websites & digital strategies to florists, Just like you I get the same types of customers who ask the same questions. So I have created a marketing process and have pre-written emails and responses so I can quickly and easily respond to people.
As a florist you can do this too!
- Wedding Floral Packages
- Frequently Asked Questions about Wedding Packages
- What's in season when
You don’t even have to site down and write these from scratch you probably have all of the information in emails that you have sent to various people.
It won’t take long to build up your standard responses.
My light has been installed and I am a happy customer of the electrician that answered my booking requests. As for the other electricians I can only assume they are so busy they don’t need my money.
Don’t be that florist who doesn’t answer you phone or email requests. Winning business is hard enough without ignoring perfectly valid business!
- Put a process in place for dealing with enquires and make sure everyone in the business knows about it.
- Pre plan your responses to common requests
- Actually respond
- If the request can’t be done tell the customer don’t leave them hanging.
Business is hard enough, don’t make it harder!