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  #11  
Old 04-26-2014, 10:52 PM
recycledsole recycledsole is online now
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Originally Posted by tthomass View Post
If you find yourself overwhelmed with phone calls, hire a call center. We use a local one in the spring to take calls because with three phones we simply cannot keep up. They answer, collect the information we need, I get an instant email and the appropriate person returns the call. Calling us people never know it's not our "office" answering the phone and it doesn't matter when someone calls, 24/7, they will always get an answer and never a message. Just a thought. Costs me $65 a month.
What kind of service is this? How do they answer the phone? Why not just leave a message on your voice mail? isn't that the same, except the customer talks to someone?
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  #12  
Old 04-26-2014, 10:54 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
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Originally Posted by recycledsole View Post
What kind of service is this? How do they answer the phone? Why not just leave a message on your voice mail? isn't that the same, except the customer talks to someone?
They answer the phone as if they are your secretary

Mine actually has a jobber login and fills out their information out for me. They can take payments for a delivery etc

It's a huge help. A customer doesn't like leaving voicemail
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  #13  
Old 04-26-2014, 11:18 PM
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zedosix zedosix is offline
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People don't call anymore, I'd say 90% of my clients first response comes in as an email. For me it's quickest, and it's a great way to track a conversation.
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  #14  
Old 04-26-2014, 11:18 PM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Whatever works for ya
A $50k (+) job does not magically appear
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2014, 01:22 AM
landscapedesignpros landscapedesignpros is offline
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"A $50k (+) job does not magically appear"

couldnt agree more
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  #16  
Old 04-27-2014, 01:30 AM
Red Shed Landscaping Red Shed Landscaping is offline
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I guess its not as much about the physical phone calls since it is 5-10 a week. It is more of an issue about the time it takes to go look at them and get a estimates back to them and do the other daily work.

You guys have given some good advice to put into practice that will help take a little less time for the ones who are "shopping" around. Still is there a way to tell the waste of a time client that you aren't going to come look at there yard without coming off as rude or like I am too good for them?

I have also been contacted through email more the last couple of years and like Zedo said it is a great way to track conversations.
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  #17  
Old 04-27-2014, 08:55 AM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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The initial email contact is fine.

But we have clients that want to email me with 2 pages of conversation. I do not have time to read, interpret, respond, proof read, edit, proof read, and send. That takes way too much time. I can have a verbal discussion way faster than I can type.

The contract is the final word. The contract supersedes all verbal, written, and digital conversations.
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  #18  
Old 04-27-2014, 09:23 AM
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zedosix zedosix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Shed Landscaping View Post

You guys have given some good advice to put into practice that will help take a little less time for the ones who are "shopping" around. Still is there a way to tell the waste of a time client that you aren't going to come look at there yard without coming off as rude or like I am too good for them?
.
Its hard to decipher who is a "waste of time" and who isn't, but just be honest with them and if you are not interested in their project just tell them. You aren't being rude, you're just doing what is necessary to have a life. I spend alot of time getting my clients to come on board, and once they are "on board" its often a life customer.
I would rather have someone tell me they aren't interested in my project then have them show up with a less than enthusiastic attitude.
Stick with it, the benefits are great.
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  #19  
Old 04-27-2014, 09:29 AM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
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Originally Posted by DVS Hardscaper View Post
The initial email contact is fine.

But we have clients that want to email me with 2 pages of conversation. I do not have time to read, interpret, respond, proof read, edit, proof read, and send. That takes way too much time. I can have a verbal discussion way faster than I can type.

The contract is the final word. The contract supersedes all verbal, written, and digital conversations.
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Times are changing gramps. Especially our area
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  #20  
Old 04-27-2014, 12:10 PM
PaperCutter PaperCutter is offline
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Originally Posted by whiffyspark View Post
Times are changing gramps. Especially our area
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I don't know. Maybe it's different for you guys but what I find is if they just want to do the whole thing via email, they're way less likely to turn into a paying client. It's a lot easier to conversationally determine if someone's a good fit, first off, and I've also found that the ones looking for 8-10 "bids" will start with an email blast. Weed that crap out asap.

If someone emails me and doesn't include a phone #, I thank them for contacting me and let them know I'm very interested in their project and would love to speak with them. The next step is to please read through the design process and fee structure (include the link) and provide me with a phone # and best times to call, and we'll discuss the project at more length and set up a consultation if we're a good fit. A small percentage (maybe 10-15%) of email contacts then go away, which leads me to believe they probably weren't a good fit for my company.

What I'm struggling with (and maybe this IS a sign I'm old) is customers who want to text. I called a referral from a contractor yesterday to discuss her job and set an appointment and within 20 minutes she was texting me with questions about some of the pics in my portfolio. Holy crap, wasn't expecting that.
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