Continued from page 1
One great tip is to record a new phone message each day with date included. For example, “Hello, today is September 17th, this is Dave with Home Income Digest. I’ll be out of office from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. today, please leave a message and I will get back with you as soon as I can. Thank you for your call, have a great day”. Immediately your customer knows you’re still alive and actively in business. They are also more likely to leave a message because it’s obvious you’re serious about keeping your customers informed. Do this every single day; it will pay off.
Fax – With rise of e-mail, which can use attachments, faxing isn’t as common as it used to be. However, not everyone is handy with creating and using attachments, and there are still situations where fax machines are still better choice, such as sending a document with a signature. Since a fax machine is dormant vast majority of time, there really isn’t a need for a separate phone line for your fax, unless of course it’s your primary means of communication for some reason. Most likely, it’s better to get a phone feature called ‘multi-ring service’. For a few dollars a month, this allows you to have two separate phone numbers and ring patterns on one phone line. You set fax to pick up on a double ring, and you know to pick up phone yourself on single rings. If you have yet to buy a fax machine, I would recommend getting a multi-function laser unit that does faxing, printing, scanning, copying, and attaches to your computer as well. This will give you a lot of options for storing and editing documents, along with options for communicating with your customers. But always remember most important thing about a fax machine - keep it full of paper!
Above all, most important, and simple, thing you can do to impart a professional appearance is to physically be in your office at all times during business hours. In end, no one likes getting passed to an answering machine. But more importantly, there is no way to calculate how much potential business you are losing simply because you’re not there to answer phone.
David James is the editor of “Home Income Digest”, a publication, updated quarterly, presenting more than 40 of the best home-based businesses currently available in the country. Located at http://www.homeincomedigest.com, Home Income Digest includes only well-researched, established, small business opportunities. For more information on the author, visit http://www.homeincomedigest.com/aboutus.htm