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  • Steph Sides

Maybe it's old fashioned, but a phone is still an important sales tool.


I work and train many business owners on the best ways to grow their brand and business through social media marketing. We review, discuss and analyze their audience, their business plans, their marketing plans and I help them integrate it all together into their digital marketing presence. They spend a lot of time and often a nice chunk of change for training, software, apps, graphics, etc. etc. If they do it right, they see their brand and sales grow.

But, I recently encountered a situation personally that made me stop and think how too many business owners are getting away from some very basic marketing tactics that in fact is hurting their business.

I asked for recommendations from my friends on my personal Facebook page for a pet groomer. I was in need of one who came with reliable, first-hand good reviews because the dog in need of grooming is my boyfriend’s mom’s new six-month old puppy! (You understand why this needed to be a good referral! LOL)

I was given several recommendations. The first number I called was the personal cell phone of the owner given to me by a close friend. I mentioned in my voicemail that this friend gave me the referral. I never heard back from him. So I gave him a second chance and called the company phone. Again, got the voicemail. Again, left message—a very specific message. Again, I never received a return call.

I went to the next company recommended to me. This time, I couldn’t even leave a message because their mailbox was full. I called three times over a 24-hour period and was never able to leave a message.

Are you kidding me?? I am a HOT, lead! I am ready to spend my money, right now for their services and I can’t get anyone to PICK UP THE PHONE!

I tried one more company (frankly, I was getting really annoyed). AGAIN—voicemail. Thankfully, a few hours later they returned my call to tell me that although they are a mobile service, they don’t go any further than 2.5 miles away from their store. (Those details would be nice to see on a website.)

So here’s my BIG, HOT marketing tip for businesses who would like new clients: Answer your phone. Return phone calls promptly. Clear your mailbox. It is basic Customer Service 101. It doesn’t take any extra time, money or strategy.

What are some of the business basics you make a priority? What are some you may be neglecting? I’d love to hear.

Now, I still have to hunt down a groomer for my future MIL!


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