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Leveraging Your Virtual Phone System to Close the Sale

When it comes to being successful in business, regardless of industry, closing the sale means everything. Unfortunately, not everyone is a master salesperson, and not every small business owner has the budget to hire an expert sales team. The good news is you can actually leverage your virtual phone system to help reel in that big client and seal the deal – and for much less than it would cost to pay salaries for a sales team. Here’s how.

Superior Customer Care – What better way to endear a prospect to your brand than by providing them with the utmost in care and attention. A virtual phone system allows you to give your callers all of the options they need to reach who they want, when they need to, helping you to score a home run when it comes to customer satisfaction. When prospects see how well you treat them, they’ll want to give their business to you!

Access to Information – If a potential customer has to jump through 20 hoops and sit on hold for 10 minutes just to find out what your address is, chances are slim you’ll be hearing from them again any time soon. With features like IVR and custom greetings, you can provide your callers with important static information quickly and easily. Customers love hassle-free transactions!

Personalized Service – The truth is most consumers prefer personalized service from one, trusted salesperson. Virtual phone systems allow you to set up extensions for every member of your team, so that customers can always reach exactly who they want to speak with, without having to go through a slew of other people first, or having to talk to a new person every time they call. This personalized service will create brand loyalty and may even lead to some valuable word of mouth marketing as well!

Mobility – Any good salesperson knows that in order to truly be successful, you can’t be tied to a desk all day, just in case the phone rings. The mobility of a virtual phone system will free you up to focus on growing your business while also keeping you connected. Features like advanced call forwarding and find me / follow me let you make and receive calls anywhere, any time so you never have to worry about missing that important call.

Closing that big sale can be challenging no matter what industry you’re in. Successful salespeople use all of the tools available to them to get the job done. One such tool is a virtual phone system. Ready to see for yourself what one of these innovative systems can do for your business? Start your free trial today!

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 1:13 PM

Turning a New Customer into a Repeat Customer in 3 Easy Steps

In the business world it seems we’re always so focused on getting more leads and landing more new customers, but that’s only half the battle – and frankly, some might say it’s the less important half. The key isn’t so much bringing in new business, but its doing what it takes to keep those newbies coming back for more once they make that first purchase. Customer loyalty is one of the most important components of ongoing success. That said here are 3 simple things that you can start doing today to hook those customers and draw them back again and again.

Provide Superior Service – Customer service is one of the main things that keeps people loyal to a brand. It’s also the biggest reasons people will jump ship and find another business to work with. How you serve your customers can mean the difference between a string of one-deal shows and a fiercely loyal customer base. Always take the time to listen to what your customers want and do your best to give it to them. Show them that you value them and their business, and always keep them at the top of your priority list and you’ll find yourself recognizing those same faces again and again.

Stay on Their Minds – Unless you’re in some incredibly unique niche, chances are you have ample competition to contend with. Standing out means keeping your brand on the top of your customers’ minds so that if and when the need for your product or service arises, your business will be the first they think of. You don’t have to bombard them with advertisements to do this – just keep in touch. Send out a regular newsletter, keep up with your social media activities and always follow up after the sale to show your customers that you care and are thinking of them.

Offer a Customer Loyalty Program – It’s simple, really. If you want people to keep coming back, you have to give them a reason. Loyalty programs are an excellent way to keep people dedicated to your brand. Whether it’s sending out an email coupon to be used on a future visit, offering some type of points program or “punch card” that will allow customers to earn something free after so many purchases, or extending a “repeat business” discount, these programs are incredibly successful because they are a win-win for everyone. Your customers will feel rewarded for doing business with you and you’ll be rewarded with their ongoing patronage.

Any business owner worth their salt understands the importance of not just reeling new customers in, but keeping them hooked for the long haul. These three simple steps will allow you to improve the loyalty of your existing customers, and entice new ones to keep coming back for more, which means continued success for your brand well into the future.  

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 9:29 AM

Entrepreneur? Check Out These Awesome Benefits to Having a Virtual Phone System

Being a successful entrepreneur takes tireless effort, thankless hard work and never ending determination. You need all the support you can get. It also helps when you have technology on your side. Virtual phone systems have opened the doors to so many opportunities that were once only available to large enterprises. Now anyone can harness the power of cloud telecommunications to stay connected and remain one step ahead of the competition. Here are just a few of the many benefits a virtual phone system can have for an entrepreneur.

Stay Productive While You’re Mobile – One of the most common complaints of busy entrepreneurs is that they feel they are being pulled in a dozen different directions, making it hard to stay on top of everything. A virtual phone system alleviates some of this craziness by allowing you to take and make calls from anywhere. Have calls transferred to your home or mobile phone and stay connected no matter where you happen to be.

Remain Professional When You’re Unavailable – Nobody wants to miss a call, especially an important business call. But, the truth is there will inevitably be times when you simply cannot pick up the phone, like when you’re in an important meeting or on another call. One of the nicest features of a virtual phone system is the option to record a professional, customized greeting. This will assure callers that they’re important to you, even when you’re not available at that very moment.

Project a Big-Business Image – Another challenge most entrepreneurs face is competing with bigger organizations. Virtual phone systems allow you to portray a much more professional image with things like toll-free numbers, robust phone trees, advanced call routing and more. Give your customers the same service they’d get from your bigger competitors but with much more personalized service and stay in the game!

Scalable to Grow with Your Business – While you may be a one-person show right now, chances are your goals include future growth. You don’t need to worry about how that growth will affect your telecommunications because virtual phone systems are completely scalable to suit all your changing business needs. Add unlimited extensions at no extra cost as you expand your team and create new groups at the click of a button.

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck – Any small business owner knows that time and money are the two most important commodities. With a virtual phone system, you’ll save on both! Enjoy a variety of advanced features for a low monthly price and deliver professional phone handling to your customers every time without breaking the bank. Save time with advanced call routing and IVR so you can focus on more important things – like making your business a success!

Technology is one of the entrepreneur’s most powerful tools, and a virtual phone system is the perfect example. Stay connected and competitive while always maintaining a professional image and superior customer service. Ready to see for yourself just how beneficial virtual business phone systems can be? Give us a call and start your free trial today!

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 9:34 AM

Could Your Sales Use a Boost? Check Out These 3 Tips

I suppose the question I posed in the title of this article is rhetorical, because, really….what business owner would say ‘no’? Of course you could benefit from increased sales! That’s fine and good in theory, but actually finding a way to do so can be a challenge. Sure, you’ve heard the old adage, “think outside the box” or “be creative”, but these are just sayings. What you need are real, actionable steps you can take to do more than just imagine your sales numbers going up, but to actually see it happen.

Understand Your Customers – This is perhaps the single most important part of marketing, because if you don’t know who you’re trying to sell to, you could very well be missing the mark. There are a number of ways you can learn what your customers and prospects want, such as doing web research, conducting surveys and asking for feedback. The key is to learn exactly what the needs of your customers and prospects are and deliver a solution to meet those needs. When people begin to see you as a resource that can help them, they will naturally want to work with you and you’ll see your sales steadily rise.

Examine and Refine Your Strategies – The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. That being said, if what you’re doing hasn’t been working for you in the past, that’s not going to change in the future if you don’t take the time to change your tactics. Conduct regular analyses of your marketing campaigns and sales techniques to determine what’s working, what might need some tweaking and what might be better off scrapped altogether. Otherwise, not only will you be wasting your marketing spend, but you’ll be missing out on potential business. 

Improve Your Presentation – This can be applied to everything, not just your sales pitch. Take a good, hard look at your business as if you were a potential customer. Is your website professional and easy to use? Does your logo really convey your message? If you’ve been in business for more than a couple of years, chances are there are some things that can be improved to make a better first impression on potential customers. Be honest with yourself, and address what needs improvement – it may cost a few dollars, but it’s a priceless investment into the future success of your business. 

Of course, these are just three of the countless things you can do to boost sales and improve your bottom line. Above all, you should consistently strive to be engaging, dynamic and attentive to your customers. Remember – they are the very reason you’re in business in the first place. When you put these steps into action, you will be better poised to achieve the numbers you want and need for continued success.

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 4:16 PM

How Your Small Business Can Compete with Lower Priced Competitors

One of the biggest hurdles that small business owners face is competing with larger organizations that have certain advantages – namely, the ability to offer lower prices for their products or services. The cold hard fact is that being able to sell a higher volume can do wonders for costs, which can then be reflected in the final price to the customer. So how can a small business compete? Well, there are certain tried and true ways that you can stand out and win over those customers, regardless of price.

Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Most marketing experts agree that for a business to succeed, they must figure out what makes them different – better - than their competition. This is called a unique selling proposition, and you’ll need to identify and nurture yours if you want to stand out. Maybe your USP is offering the highest quality products, or perhaps it’s superior customer service that sets you apart. Whatever it is, embrace it. Reference it in all of your marketing material, and incorporate it into your slogan if you can. When your customers and prospects understand exactly what makes your business so special, they’ll be willing to pay a higher price to work with you.

Understand Your Customers

Just because you think your product or service is fantastic doesn’t mean that your customers do. To truly be successful, you need to understand exactly what it is that keeps people coming back to do business with you. This will also help you hone your USP. Ask your customers what their favorite thing about your business is. Do they like how quickly you respond to their requests? Do they appreciate that the product you offer is of a higher quality, or that you go above and beyond when it comes to service? Conduct ongoing analysis of your current customer base so that you can continue to keep them happy, as well as draw new prospects in. You may not offer the lowest price, but if you’re listening to and keeping your customers happy, it won’t matter. Never underestimate the power of feedback and how it can help you improve your business.

Take a Stand

The truth is that if you are successful at what you do, there will inevitably be someone who will come along and find a way to duplicate what you’re doing at a lower price. You can pretty much bank on those customers who are price chasers jumping ship and going with this lower-priced competitor. As tempting as it may be, be careful not to fall into the price war trap. Remind yourself of your USP, and stand firm on what made your business a success in the first place. Accept the fact that there will always be customers that will go after what’s less expensive, and focus your efforts instead on continuing to please your loyal customers and attracting new ones that will stick with you for more than just your prices.

When it comes to prices, it’s a given that larger organizations simply have an advantage over the smaller players. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they will always get the customer. Quality, loyal customers care about more than just the price tag, but rather they gravitate toward the company that can offer them the full package of what they need. By learning what your customers want and using that to hone your unique selling proposition, and then standing firm on the value of what you have to offer you’ll be able to rise above the price wars and stand out as a success amongst your competition.

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 8:18 AM

The 3 Models of Cloud Technology

These days more and more businesses are choosing to forgo expensive and antiquated computer systems and move instead to innovative cloud technology. In past articles we’ve gone over exactly what cloud technology is, as well as how it can help your small business. Now it’s time to take it a step further and delve into the three main implementation models of cloud technology, what they are, and what they may mean for your business. That way if you’re considering migrating to a more modern virtual office environment, you’ll have the knowledge to make an informed decision as to which model is right for you.

Public Cloud

The public cloud provides an external location where you can store large amounts of data. The benefit of the public cloud model is that it is cost-effective – some public cloud services offer a certain amount of storage for free, and anything you use above and beyond that you pay for, but only for the amount you need. The word “public” makes many small business owners wary because it implies a certain lack of security, but this is actually a misconception. In fact, public cloud storage is generally more secure than personal data storage because providers specialize in data security, making them less vulnerable to hackers. Additionally, because all data is ready and safe whenever you need to access it, and from wherever you are able to connect to the internet, public cloud technology is convenient and flexible. 

Private Cloud

The private cloud, sometimes called the internal or corporate cloud, is the perfect business solution for managing sensitive data, such as client information or trade secrets. It offers similar flexibility as the public cloud, but because the business owns or at least controls the cloud facility, there is an added level of protection. A private cloud facility doesn’t necessarily have to be a part of the physical business, but it is typically secured by the company’s firewall. The private cloud provides delivery and access to servers, storage and applications, whenever and wherever they are needed, and can be scaled up or down based on business needs.

Hybrid Cloud

Ah, there’s always a happy medium, right? Many businesses need the security of a private cloud, but also want the affordability that comes with the public cloud. Hence, the hybrid cloud, a combination of both models. All of the business’s sensitive data can be securely stored on a private cloud, while other information and data that is less critical can be maintained with a more cost-effective public cloud service. There is also the option of a virtual private cloud, which provides the safety and security of a private cloud, but on a public cloud platform. With a virtual private cloud, the business owner essentially pays a public cloud service provider to use a private cloud system that is located within their facility. Hybrid cloud services provide the best of both worlds in terms of security, flexibility and affordability.

Like it or not, cloud technology is here to stay, and professionals everywhere are starting to jump on the bandwagon. In fact, a recent poll conducted by CIO revealed that a whopping 92% of the CIO’s and IT professionals surveyed believe that cloud technology is good for business. 67% of those surveyed also felt that cloud technology helps deliver better systems for less money, which is music to the ears of business owners everywhere! If you’re ready to take the leap and see for yourself what the cloud can do for your business, give us a shout. We can help you get started!

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 11:46 AM