4 Tips for Effective Client Conversations - Using the Phone Professionally

Essential Phone Tips for Impressing New Clients

Every time the phone rings, it could be a chance to impress a potential client. Answering professionally will ensure that you make a good first impression and set you on the best path to earn the business.

“It is so important to connect immediately and with a positive attitude because this relationship needs to be one of trust, warmth and friendship,” says Mary Miller of Sketches, An Interior View in Cincinnati. “I always answer cheerfully with ‘Hello, this is Sketches, An Interior View, Mary Miller speaking.’ I firmly believe if you can make a personal and emotional connection with the caller within the first minute, they are more inclined to hire you.”

Remember these four tips whenever you answer the phone.

1. Answer Professionally

Potential clients are assessing whether you will be a good fit for the job from the very first contact. No callers should ever have to ask whether they’ve reached the right person or business. 

Here are a few ways you can answer the phone to start impressing clients from the beginning:

  • “Thank you for calling Jane Doe Construction. This is Hope. How may I help you?”

  • “Hello! This is Hope with Jane Doe Construction. How can I help you?”

  • “Good afternoon. This is Jane Doe Construction, Hope speaking. How can I help you?”

Create your own version and make sure it’s a reflection of you and your brand. Be sure to include some variation of these three elements:

  • A greeting

  • Your name

  • The name of your company

2. Call Back Quickly

If you’re unable to take a phone call, the homeowner may already be calling other pros. Returning the call promptly shows potential clients you care about their business and shows how responsive you will be if they choose to work with you. 

“I try to return messages within 24 hours, but I typically get back to the caller on the same day,” says Eva Healy of Avenue Design in Burlington, Ontario. “My best practice is to get back to them, thank them for reaching out, let them know I’m interested and then ask if they have a few minutes to chat on the phone.” 

3. Listening Is Key

The first call is not the time to jump into your sales pitch. Asking questions and listening to the caller’s needs will help build trust and establish a relationship with the client early on. 

“Take every inquiry seriously. If that homeowner had the time to source you, take the time to assist them,” says Carmella Ebert of Bartels Doors & Hardware in Dania, Florida. “On our first call with a homeowner, we allow them to explain what it is they’re looking for. A homeowner may feel intimidated speaking about something they are not confident about, so our goal is to instill trust by listening and answering their questions with accuracy.”

A few rules to follow while talking on the phone:

  • Focus on the caller and don’t get distracted by other activities.

  • Make sure your colleagues know not to interrupt you while you’re on the phone.

  • If you have to put a client on hold, keep it brief.

  • If you have to pick up a call while on a noisy job site or in a busy office, find a quiet place to talk.

4. Set Up the Consultation

If the conversation is going well and the client fits your ideal client profile, make sure you determine next steps, such as an in-person meeting, a site visit or another phone consultation. 

“If the client feels relaxed and excited with ideas and concept; understands the payment process with no concerns when I ask for retainer; is willing to be flexible if scheduling issues could happen; and communicates with no difficulty, then I set up a one-hour, no-fee consultation,” says Deb Gronseth of Affordable Chic in Scottsdale, Arizona. “The in-person consultation is the next step for confirming if this will be a good fit and whether we will move forward.”

Tell us: How do you handle phone calls? Share with us in the Comments.

This story was written by the Houzz Industry Marketing team.

Contributed By HouzzComment