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Article Title:
5 Winning Ways For Your E-Business To Convert Phone Inquiries

Article Description:
Let's get right to the point. If you don't have your telephone 
number displayed clearly on your website, then you are losing 
sales and leads. It's that simple.

Additional Article Information:
966 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Tue Feb 14 07:57:08 EST 2006

Written By:     Jason Schwartz
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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5 Winning Ways For Your E-Business To Convert Phone Inquiries
Copyright © 2006 Jason Schwartz
Creative Cash Flow Solutions

Let's get right to the point. If you don't have your telephone 
number displayed clearly on your website, then you are losing 
sales and leads. It's that simple. I'm aware, of course, that 
many major ecommerce sites don't do this ( being a 
prime example). I'm also aware that dealing with telephone 
inquiries can add both an extra time and an extra financial 
overhead to the costs of running your online business. 
Nevertheless, with the right approach and sales process in 
place, accepting telephone inquiries will result in more sales.

It is a simple fact that some people will want to call you 
about your products or service. They may just want to check 
that there's someone on the other end of the phone if they 
have problems, they may want more information about a specific 
product. Whatever the reason for the call, this is an opportunity 
for you to get a new customer. Don't waste it. Here's five ways 
to help ensure that you convert your telephone inquiries into 

i) Answer Customers Questions:

This may sound obvious, but I've lost count of the number of 
times I've called a company only to be told "that information is 
on the website". The information may very well be on the website, 
but I'm on the telephone and personally, I don't think it's much 
to ask for you to tell me what I want to know ! After all, if 
someone has gone to the time and trouble to pick up the phone, 
then it is in your interest to answer their queries as best as 
you can. By answering questions accurately and politely, you 
establish both credibility and expertise in the mind of the 
person you are talking to. Once you've done this, it's a simple 
step to convert that inquiry into a customer.

ii) Don't Ask Them To Call Back Later:

It is just possible that you might not know the answer to a 
question or might not have the information to hand. In which 
case, don't ask your potential customer to call back later. Offer 
to call them at a time that's convenient to them. They will 
appreciate it and will think better of you and your company. 
Again, you are establishing a relationship with that customer 
that is more likely to lead them to make a purchase and 
subsequently recommend you to their friends and colleagues.

iii) Put Appropriate Systems In Place:

Many online businesses are very organized about tracking online 
sales and online inquiries and have processes in place to 
streamline the way in which they deal with such leads. However, 
when it comes to dealing with phone inquiries, it is often a 
different story. Details written on a Post-It note in 'specially-
designed-to-be-illegible' notetaking handwriting does NOT count 
as a system, I'm afraid.

It is fairly easy for businesses to track the origin of telephone 
calls. A simple Perl or PHP script that appends a special code to 
the end of a telephone number can be used to determine the origin 
of a call. All the operator needs to do is to ask for this 
'priority code' et voila : you're tracking your phone inquiries.

Secondly, a customer database that has all the information you 
wish to record about that potential customer is definitely 
required. At the very least, you want to capture an email address 
so you can send offers and information to your telephone 

iv) Learn Everything You Can :

As an online business, it is often true that one-to-one contact 
with customers is rare, so use this opportunity to find out as 
much as you can about the sort of people who are calling you, 
what they want, what their concerns are. You will gain 
information and feedback that can be used to improve your website 
navigation or add something to your 'Frequently Asked Questions' 
page or maybe even change the focus of your pre-selling text. All 
this will mean more sales and higher conversions online as well 
as offline. 

One of the things I have noted about people who call about 
products or services rather than email or simply order online is 
that they tend to be older people who are not so comfortable with 
the web as a purchasing mechanism. These people are potential 
customers too and you ignore them - and their spending power - at 
your peril. You will likely find that people who call up your 
company are looking for reassurance - about the legitimacy of 
your company, the quality of your products, the cost of shipping, 
etc - more than anything. Reassure people and they will become 
your customers. If....

v) Accept Orders By Phone and Fax : make it easy for them to order from you. Many smaller 
online businesses do not have the facility to accept orders by 
phone, let alone by fax. This is a mistake. There are now many 
third party payment processors who will allow your business to 
accept credit cards AND checks over the phone and via fax for 
only a small commission charge.

Because many of your telephone inquirers will be older people, 
choice is absolutely essential. After all, you don't want to lose 
a sale because the person at the other end of the phone doesn't 
have a credit card. Let's face it, everyone has a checking 
account, so you will maximize your conversions if your online 
business accepts check payments over the phone.

The better check processing companies have no monthly minimum 
number of transactions making this an ideal solution for the 
smaller online business. With this kind of payment system in 
place, you will see telephone inquiries turn into sales more 
and more frequently. Give your business the advantage over your 
competitors and convert those telephone calls into new customers.

Creative Cash Flow Solutions provides check payments processing 
solutions allowing your business to accept checks by phone, fax 
and online. Learn more at: . 
Jason Schwartz is CEO and has been welcoming telephone inquiries 
all day!



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