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Today, we’re going to talk about whose fault it is when you lose a sale because you have to call somebody back.

Here’s a situation that happened to me recently. I had a flat tire, about 100 miles away from our usual place.

I called a few local shops. For the most part, each one of them said, they would call me back. They took my tire information down, and they had to call me back, which I thought was a little odd because in this day and age, you should be able to look something up right on the spot.

I would’ve stayed on the phone, but regardless, for the most part, each one of them said they’d call me back.

We have this thing called the Internet today. While I was waiting to be called back, I just looked online a little and found a couple of places that allowed you to see what the price of the tire is and to schedule an appointment.

I wish they were local, but they weren’t. One was a chain.

So I scheduled an appointment and then, within an hour or so, I got called back by a bunch of these places. I didn’t need them anymore. I already solved my problem, so to speak. There are some lessons here.

The first one is, if you let the customer get off the phone, you risk losing the sale. You do so because they can contact anybody.

The Internet’s right there so while you’re finding your price and figuring out your markup and everything else, they’re moving on and calling other people.

You must remember that. They have contacts at their disposal. The other thing is they’ve got a problem.

When you have a bad tire, you need to get it fixed right away.

You don’t really want to wait forever, so you’re going to solve the problem as fast as you can.

Then the other thing is, if they get off the phone, there’s usually someone else out there who’s prepared to solve the problem or begin to solve the problem without letting the person get off the phone.

What can we do? The first thing is to be prepared when someone calls for something that’s common.

When a tire goes out, people need a new tire. Typically, they need two tires.

You should have that information available, know what your markup is, if that’s what you do, and go, “What’s your tire size?”

Then give them a few ideas for pricing. You can ask them a bunch more questions, but still, know what your product costs, know your markup and give them some information right away. That’s what they’re looking for.

Place them on hold, if you need to, and then get back to them every minute. This whole process should take less than five minutes.

You should say, “Let me place you on hold after I get your information,” and every minute or so, even use a little countdown timer, connect with the customer and let them know you’re working it.”

They’re willing to do that. Now they might be looking on the Internet while you’re looking it up but, at least, they’re not hanging up. The third thing is to arrange a time to get them in there.

Set the appointment and say, “I understand you might be shopping around still. Why don’t we make an appointment? If you find a better deal, you can let us know when you come and get some written estimate, for example, and you can do that when you come in?

That’s the value of it. You want to get them scheduled.

Now, you and I both know, which is why a lot of times we don’t want to get our cars repaired is that when you go in there, many times there are other things that need to be fixed. Even if you lose a little bit of money on that first item the person needs, you have to remember, you’re now beginning a relationship with the customer and the client. There’s an opportunity for you to build on that and make money year after year because you solved their problem.

They trust you. They don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding somebody new, etc.

You should always do your best, if you’re a business that takes phone calls, to try to take care of that potential customer when they call get them in there to your place.

If you don’t, there’s a good chance they are probably not going to pick up the phone when you call them back because they’ve probably already solved their problem.