This Month’s Business Tip: Call Handling Services for SME’s

Did you know that up to 50% of people who hear an answering machine tend to hang up the phone?

You could be missing half of your calls!

So this is YOU. You are a small business, just about to break that ceiling of being a start-up company to an established business. Your business has been going for about 2-3 years. You have met your targets, business is now making money and you have the dream within reach.

Now, imagine you are standing in front of Sir Alan Sugar; you are in the middle of selling your famous widget and your mobile rings! Or even worse, the calls go straight through to your answering machine!

Trying to get hold of you is Richard Branson! He is returning your call to set up an appointment because he is also, interested in stocking your widget.

What would you do?

How does Richard Branson feel, getting a dodgy answering machine hearing, “SORRY I missed your call…..blah, blah……..”? Or even worse – an SMS saying “Sorry, I’ll call you later”.

Do you think he would leave a message, call you back?

How do you feel when it happens to you? I know how it feels to get an answering machine, especially when I am conducting some telesales. Sometimes, you can’t blame people for thinking – Is this person avoiding me????

Now, put yourself in this position. You are still standing in front of Alan Sugar sorry Sir Alan Sugar, and your mobile is now diverted to a virtual assistant or Call Handler. The phone is then answered “Good morning XYZ Widgets. How can I help you?”. Richard Branson then asks to speak to you. “Please excuse Mr/s Jones, but he/she is in a meeting. Can I help in any way, Mr Branson?”

Mr Branson, sorry Richard, then says that he would like to book that appointment. How do you think he would feel if that person then says “I can do that for you Mr Branson, let me check the schedule. When would be convenient for you sir?”

I know that I would definitely prefer the above than an answering machine!

And how much do you think this would cost? What if I told you this could cost as little as £1.00? Would this be the best pound you have ever spent? I know it would sound like a good investment to me.

Now this is not everyday practice for most of us who run a business, but the help or assistance is practically the same. If you are in a meeting it would be more professional to have someone actually answer the phone and take a message. In this day and age, I feel that we are moving ourselves away from old school personal contact and relying too much on technology, emails and answer machines.

On top of this, the service you offer to potential customers or clients is something many businesses should consider as marketing. Even if the person calling isn’t a client or customer they should still be left with a certain image.

Furthermore, what about those days, when you really can’t get anything done? You have a pile of paperwork which you MUST get through. We have all had days when the slightest thing can distract you. If you are like me, and hate admin, when a call comes in its hard not to show your frustration about the call getting in the way of the thing I am in the middle of doing.

What about when you want to take a break or long weekend. What about breaking up for Christmas?

No matter what business you are in, you can always get your calls answered in a profession manner and maintain a professional image.

How to choose the right Call Handling Service

There are many different services offered by many companies, but I would suggest calling Janine from Zeb.PA. first, and there are 2 main reasons for this:

1. Zeb.PA is an independent small business, who understands each of their client’s individual needs.

2. Zeb.PA is much more than a telephone answering service. They provide vital admin and support functions virtually. A PA service that acts as an integral part of a business, meaning they can handle more than just an inbound call.

Sorry…..3. Zeb.PA is offering a FREE Trial of their services!

 

But, if you are going to shop around, then ask someone you know if they have used a service. There is nothing like a personal recommendation. Then test the services of that recommendation they are using.

A good professional call answering service can leave you feeling (as a potential client or customer to the business you are calling) confident that you are dealing with a good reliable and professional business and you are happy to buy their services because the person who answered the call spoke to you in the way you would expect to be dealt with.

A good call handling service will be able to help your potential clients. If you use a service like Zeb.PA, they could even book client appointments, chase up payments (credit control), and set up a call transfer if the caller is Richard Branson. This service can be provided anytime, anywhere. If you want to, just divert your calls for an hour a day or even for an entire month, a call handling service can help your business. NOT TO MENTION ALL THOSE DAMNED CANVASSING CALLS FOR PPI!

A call handling service isn’t for everyone, but if you have a lot of inbound calls, or calls to your mobile number, then having someone who can screen the calls saves you a heap of time.

Take a look at Janine’s Website, and think about it…… How much better would your day be if someone at Zeb.PA was looking after your calls?

Tel:     020 8234 6104

Email:   janine.kirkland@zebpa.co.uk

Web:   www.zebpa.co.uk/swlondon

Don’t forget to ask for a FREE Trail and let her know that you got her number from Omni Local.



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Business Tip: Vision Boards

Vision Boards

I try to help everyone in my daily life, and one of my favorite things is shooting ideas from the hip. Some are creditable and some seem completely mad….either way doing something is always better than doing nothing. I suggested to someone a while ago to have a vision board and they had no idea what I was talking about. The topic of a vision board also came up during one of the many networking meetings I went to. So in this blog, I am going to show why you would want one, how to make one and will explain how they work!

So what is a vision board?

A vision board is a set of images, notes, inspirational quotes or clippings that are located somewhere for you to look at every day. It’s a bit like a cartoon story board, but for life.

Some like to have their vision board in their place of work, where they can see it at all times. There are different types of vision boards, but I am talking about a desire type of vision board. This is designed to help you achieve everything you want out of life.

A vision board should be the center of everything you want to be, desire, achieve and to have in your life. Your vision board is extremely personal and something which you can’t just copy. The images, quotes and anything else included on your vision board should be your true desires and represent everything you dream for.

It’s a daily reminder of what you want out of life for yourself, and possibly your loved ones around you.

Why would you have one?

I would reply, “Why not? What harm can it do?.” If you have ever been to my office, you will see I have a very simple one. I have 3 sheets of paper on the wall. The first sheet is my business for sale. It details turnover, profit and the eventual sale price. The second is the car I will buy when I sell the business and then the third one is the house I would put a deposit on with the change of buying the car. Now mine is very narrow but it works. When it’s hot outside and my friends are in a beer garden, I look at my vision board and it motivates me to stay and get the job done!

Your vision board may be to keep you on track, have a sense of a target or even something to dream about on a stressful day. Nothing wrong with having dreams right?

How do you start building a vision board?

You will need:

A source of images – Internet, magazines, photos showing any image of what you want.

Poster Board or Space on a wall

Glue or Blu Tack

Scissors

This is a lot of fun! Seriously, the sky is the limit. I would advise you to sit down and really imagine where you would like to be, what you want to be and most of all how you feel about getting everything you truly desire. You need to make sure you have no distractions, turn off the TV and switch off the phone. This is all about YOU!

Like all projects, I always say start at the end. Imagine what your life looks like and then work back from there. Build a list of everything you want. Forget about the images or statement to be too big or unachievable.

Do a real brain dump of absolutely everything you want. I would suggest making a large pot of your favorite coffee, tea or open your favorite bottle of wine, and scribble down everything!

 

Get as many magazines, images, quotes or statements as you can to match or represent everything your heart and soul desires. You can do this in stages, and you may not find the perfect image which matches what you want, so always be on the lookout for the nice things you are looking for. Go for it….Don’t hold back. GET MORE THAN YOU NEED. Don’t forget to clip out any words to text that you find positive, and anything which makes you smile.

You then need to go and find a space big enough for you to stick all your images to. You can buy a poster board, or canvass, but simply making a space on a wall is good enough. Just remember the location is important.

Then find a really nice photo of yourself. Make sure it’s a good one! Nothing from bad hair days or hungover from the night before….A really nice photo of you at your best! (I’ll come back to why later).

Now that you have all your desires in text or images, start taking out anything which you are not really interested in. Make sure the images you have are what truly represent what you want. If you have two or three images of the same thing, then it is clear that’s what you’re looking for. You have to try and keep hold of your dream here, but be clear about what you REALLY want.

Now start sticking these chosen images to the outside of the board or space and leave the centre empty. If you are someone who likes things to be formal and really organized, you can have images of health in one area, wealth in another, happiness in one corner and so on. I would just suggest getting started and making it happen. Once you have everything you truly desire stuck to your vision board, place the good photo of yourself in the centre.

The idea behind this is that when you can see yourself, surrounded with images of the things you want and who you want to become, the house you want to buy, the holiday you are looking for… your mind is tricked into thinking that you must have that lifestyle.

It may take a while, but if you are truly dedicated to everything you want out of life then your whole life will start to work towards the goal you have set yourself.

You only get one life, why settle for second best?

I’d love to hear if you have had any experience with building your vision board, or if you want any advice. Give me a call or drop me an email.



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