Every customer who was going to buy from you, but who then decides to take his business elsewhere represents far more than a lost sale.
They represent a repudiation of your advertising.
Because they don’t just quietly buy from someone else. No. No. No.
They tell their friends about who they DID buy from and why.
And in many cases, they’ll also tell them about WHY they didn’t buy from you.
So whatever wonderful things your ads HAD persuaded them to think about you — that got crushed the moment they decided to go with someone else.
The more well known your brand — and the more your brand is based on responsiveness and superior customer experience — the more likely this is to happen, and the worse the repudiation will be.
So, let’s take this out of the realm of the theoretical and into the here and now…
How good is your phone staff?
Putting a finer point on this:
- How many calls go un-answered or into Voicemail?
- How many calls get answered only to immediately be put on hold
- How many calls go through an automated “tree” before the customer talks to a real person?
- How solicitous and responsive is your staff in answering the customer?
- Does your phone staff receive sales training?
- If your business is seasonal, how often do you backlog in-season appointments so far out that they cancel before you can get to them?
- Do your phone staff use the same language when answering the phone as your ads use when speaking to customers “on air”
If you run a service-based business and a customer calls you, the sale is essentially yours to lose.
That prospective customer is calling hoping to book an appointment.
So every time a customer call doesn’t end in a booked appointment, that represents both a lost sale AND a repudiation of your advertising.
It’s snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
What are you doing to track this?
As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
Are you measuring non-booked customer calls? Do you know your phone staff’s close rate for incoming customer calls?
If you are measuring this, what are you doing to minimize and eliminate non-booked customer calls?
Giving sales training and scripts or rubrics (what some people call “key words at key times”) is often one of the highest-impact things you can do for improved revenue.
And the more you don’t think of your phone or front desk staff as “sales people” the more you need to consider this.
When attempting to raise revenue, the natural inclination is to look to advertising to bring in more calls.
“You bring in the calls, and we’ll sell ‘em. What we need is more sales opportunities”
But if your staff’s dysfunctional handling of those calls is actively repudiating that advertising, the best thing you can do is to fix that before investing in more mass media advertising.
Compare the cost of improved training to double your close rate vs. doubling your ad spend.
This isn’t a conversation most ad guys would have with a client.
But the Wizard of Ads partners aren’t most ad guys.
Our pay is linked to the success of your ads, as measured by increased sales.
That level of “aligned interests” helps us to bring more to the table when it comes to driving growth.
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