Seven seconds. That’s all the time you have to make a good impression on the telephone with those prospects calling your business to inquire about purchasing your products and/or services. Though today’s target market of buyers often use the Internet to investigate purchases, they still may call you to determine whether or not your products will make the short list of possible choices for their purchase.

Your telephone is a powerful marketing tool. Are you taking full advantage of it? Do you know what it costs to make your phone ring with a qualified prospect on the other end of the line? With even a simple formula that takes your total financial investment in your child care business divided by the number of inquiry calls you receive in a year, you may be very surprised. Your ringing phone will no longer be an annoyance, but one of the most expensive investments you have made.

To take full advantage of the sales opportunity your telephone gives you, it is imperative that you – and anyone you have answer the phone representing your center – make a good first impression with callers. Here are some tips for making the first seven seconds count.

Smile and take a breath. For many years, I have quoted a successful business person who once told me, “You can hear a smile on the telephone.” She was right. Do it.

Slow down. It’s easy to zip through the dialogue you say when you answer several calls a day, but when it’s a prospect, you have only one chance – and only seven seconds – to give them the perception that you are in control, not rushed, and professionally ready to handle their inquiry.

Pay attention to your volume and tone. Did you just step in from busy tasks outside? You may need to lower your voice or professionalize your tone as you answer the call. Call your own center sometime and then make sure your phone’s volume is set a level that is not too loud or too soft.

Use appropriate dialogue. What I have found works best to make a good impression is to answer with a greeting, the name of your center, your name, and an open question that elicits a detailed response, such as “How may I help you?” It’s a mouthful, yes, but to an inquiring prospect not yet sure about your center, it’s music to their ears.

Be professional, yet friendly. Think in your prospect’s perspective. The center where the prospect parents will enroll their children has to be one with whom they feel most comfortable about the education and care their children would receive . Your demeanor can help assure them that you are just that – or not.

Your telephone offers you an extremely positive return on your investment. Never take it for granted. And to maximize its value to you, use those first seven seconds to make the best impression you can.

To learn more about converting telephone inquiries to purchases click on the link below or call 800-876- 0260.

Julie Wassom
“The Speaker Whose Message Means Business”
Marketing and Sales Speaker/Consultant/Author
Call me: 303-693-2306
Fax me: 303-617-6422
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