One of the challenges of being a lean business or a start-up is winning the confidence of your prospects or clients. It’s often that you may be a small outfit – if not a one-man show – but you are more than capable of handling their business or project.
So, here’s some of the simplest signs that prove you are not helping them to think otherwise: Do you answer all your business calls via your mobile phone? Is there an alternative number or someone they can leave a message with when you are busy? Seriously, if you need to attend to every call immediately, just how capable are you?
No, of course I am not suggesting you to hire a receptionist tomorrow because that’s bound to cost you more money and time. Besides, where will you put her? Rent an office or convert your garage into an office so that you can have your receptionist there to answer all your calls?
Here’s a solution for you: hire a virtual receptionist. A virtual receptionist is a call answering centre’s professional at which you will be provided with a designated landline number. When someone calls your number, the virtual receptionist (a real human, not a machine) will answer your call on behalf of you in your company’s name.
Imagine your calls being answered with a smiling, professional voice…“Good morning, Mr Lonely’s office.” Mr. Lonely is no longer lonely. J
If you are still not convinced, imagine another scenario where you are doing your million-dollar presentation to a very important client. Half way through the presentation, your mobile starts buzzing – it’s your other million-dollar client! Do you pause your presentation or do you continue? I guess that’s the million-dollar question now. Can you afford to take this risk?
Well, Mr. Lone Ranger is not exactly a one-man show. He had his sidekick – Mr. Tonto. Capability shouldn’t be a doubt at this point anymore. *wink
By now you may be wondering; is hiring a virtual receptionist as expensive as hiring your own? Absolutely not! Most call answering services are on a monthly or yearly subscription. They are very affordable and the setup is fast and easy as ABC (possibly easier).
Here are a few quick tips while you shop for the right call answering service:
- Do they actually answer in your company’s name?
- How long will it take to activate the line?
Usually no longer than 3 to 5 working days.
- How long is the contract?
No harm going for the yearly ones if they have a satisfaction guaranteed option. Some shorter ones are more expensive.
- Do they provide call forwarding services?
They usually do but it comes with an additional monthly telco charge.
- What if my company has 2 or more people?
Can we share the same number? Yes, you can share the same company number and unlimited extensions with a small setup fee.