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Dialing For Dollars

The buzz on telephone tactics

This story appears in the August 1999 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

What's the one office essential that can market your , deliver a message about your product or service, enhance your 's image and even take orders--24 hours a day, whether you're in the office or not? The answer is your phone line. And if you're using it just to take and make calls, you're not getting the most out of this potential powerhouse. Here are four low-cost, high-tech strategies you can adopt now to get immediate results:

1. Do more with voice mail. Each time a prospect or customer contacts your business, you have an opportunity to communicate information or even close a sale. But what happens when you're out of the office or on your line and can't take the call? If you're using a basic answering machine, your prospect will either get your standard outgoing message or a busy signal. Not much help there. But with voice mail and multiple mailboxes, you can give callers the option to get more information, leave a detailed message or even place an order. You also project to your clients the image of a solid, professional company that's focused on serving its customers.

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