Picking up from last week’s nail biting cliff-hanger, the thing that starts with a “P” is,
Phones!! This includes your office and cell.
PS. We are only going to talk about Inbound calls today. Outbound calls are doable but fall under the sales category, so we will cover in a future post.
Last week we talked about how important it is to win small battles in order to achieve our goals and win our war. Here comes your next battle win.
Here’s why this is so big. Phone calls are like emails, they are a distraction and the world’s desire to consume your time. Yuck.
Here’s 3 good reasons to throw your cell phone off the next overpass or bridge.
- Decreased stress
Have you ever taken a phone call that stressed you out for the next hour or two, or day or two?? I have – many times. These calls come from people who “don’t get their way” or are “having a bad day.” They are eager to make sure you feel their pain. Misery loves company right?
Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
- Getting rid of time wasters
There are a lot of sales people trying to sell us stuff (shame on you homes.com for not removing me from your telemarketing list after many requests).Some people just want to waste your day. It’s nice to get a message from your VA, emailed to you, that you can return when it’s convenient. Think you will ever get the 5 minutes back when you stepped away from your child on the swing to answer a phone call? Worse yet, after you hang up the phone, are you really engaged with your youngster, or are you distracted?
Taking the time out to answer a call during prospecting or family time is craziness and puts us on the path to the poor house. (financially and emotionally)
I am not saying that we need to go full on Howard Hughes recluse here. Your VA can be a buffer between you and the rest of the world.
- Higher conversion rates of leads-to-customers.
We are not always able to answer our phones. When you’re with clients, watching a movie with the kids or whatever. Here’s a FACT – Phone leads dealt with within the first 5-10 minutes convert 90% more often than a lead called back after one hour.
Converting even 50% more leads would be a great reason to always have someone answering those calls live for you.
Here are 3 quick steps to slash your phone time in half.
Let’s use the Virtual Assistant that started helping you with email last week 😉
Step #1 – Forward your office line to your Virtual Assistant.
There are several online “soft-phones” available that allow your Virtual Assistant to turn their PC and a USB headset into a phone switchboard. We use Ring Central and Grasshopper, but there are many more. The average cost is about $30.00 per month per line. They have voicemail as well.
Pro-Tip, have your VA transcribe all your voicemails before you start work for the day as part of their daily routine. It’s much quicker to read an email than to listen to a voicemail. Also, emails can be forwarded, so if it’s a message about something you don’t have to handle, you can just forward it to the person who can handle it. That includes back to your VA.
Next, you need to forward your office line to your VA’s new phone number and begin a training session where you observe the VA answering the phones.
Next, we set up the rules for each type of phone call and write them down together with your VA.
- If caller is inquiring about one of our homes for sale => transfer to our buyer agent. (We have a sophisticated process for this one, but it works – I would be happy to share privately if you are interested)
- If caller is calling to set up a showing, obtain 2-3 acceptable times available and then contact our seller, then call agent back and confirm the showing.
- If caller is an appraiser, coordinate the appointment with everyone.
- If they are a new seller client – patch them directly to my cell phone.
- Broker questions on properties – answer if possible, if not, type up an email and send to me along with callers email address.
- Etc. Etc. There are several scenarios
I am going to tell you something with no exaggeration. Getting rid of my phone calls was the best thing I have ever done for my career. It has reduced my stress and my working hours on weekends by 90%.
My phone VA has been with me for so long that he helps most callers on his own using his own common sense and experience. All for $6.00 per hour.He routes people around me and is my gatekeeper.
Step #2 – Forward your current cell phone to your new office line answered by your VA
This step is going to be quick and easy.
Now that the VA understands what to do with phone calls, and you are comfortable with them answering the phones, it’s time to transfer your old faithful cell phone to them as well.
I know this sounds insane, trust me. It’s exhilarating.
Create a list of personal people that you want to give your new phone number. Keep it tight and keep it stress free. In the next step we are going to wrap up this phones project with –
You guessed it…
Step #3 – Your new cell phone
Your new cell phone is going to be your Batline.
This line will be strictly for friends, family and transferred calls from your VA that you decide you want to take.
Now that your VA is helping you out on your email, why not allow them to answer your phones while they are at it. Get as much value as you can out of your VA right?!
P.S. Ok – So far we have covered outsourcing your –
Email and Phones
Next week’s final topic will be on, Daily Routines! A daily routine is a group of tasks that you perform daily and brings you closer to your goals.
Tune in next week to view a daily routine blueprint. This blueprint allows my Virtual Assistant to take over 2 hours of work daily for me – and this doesn’t even include email and phones. This is a routine I used to do myself. For $12 per day, it’s now done for me 🙂
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