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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Tricky business Ľ Ľ How many answer the phone when it rings? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Danny Hustle
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Boston, MA USA
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I get voice mail, I hang up. I refuse to be bothered with voice mail unless I HAVE to.

Tech support things, you are forced to deal with it, but if I am trying to buy something? If I get voice mail, I hang up and call the next guy.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! Iím so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
TomBoleware
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I agree itís getting to a point where we do expect to get a recording. But donít you just hate it when itís during regular business hours? I do. It makes me think, "Why in the world are these folks in business to begin with?" I even think, "Canít they afford to hire someone to answer the phone?" It makes them appear smaller instead of larger.

Sure, a giant corporation can give you the runaround with press one for, two for, etc, and keep you on hold for hours. We have no choice except to take it. A small business or independent business person, such as a magician, is in a completely different league. When a small business hangs a sign out saying "open for business", they better be open and take it, or someone else will.

Like Dan, I just hang up and buy from someone else. They never know who I am, what I think about them, or how much business they lost. Like most customers, I donít complain, I just go do business with those that have time for me.

Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

The Daycare Magician Book
www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

Tom Boleware
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todd75
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It is frustrating, I agree! They claim that your call is so important and that you may be recorded for training purposes. Half the time you get someone half way around the world, who does not even speak English.

I try to answer the phone when I can, but if not, they are transferred to voice mail. I always make every effort to return calls within 2 hours.
TomBoleware
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In cases where you absolutely canít answer, returning the call as soon as you can is important and shows that you do care.

No, donít put me on the line with one of those non-English speaking folks. I had someone call today, I had no idea what they were talking about. I just started yapping, too. I think they ended up hanging up first. Smile

Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

The Daycare Magician Book
www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

Tom Boleware
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Potty the Pirate
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Although I do let my answerphone take a lot of my calls, I generally do try to get back to folks ASAP. Having said that, I went on holiday a while ago and forgot that I didn't know how to access messages remotely, because I had a new answerphone. I couldn't get any messages for 3 weeks. On my return, I frantically called all those who had left messages. Only ONE client had gone ahead and booked someone else!
So, it does rather depend how much folks want you. It's not like calling a big corporation. Your customers realise there's only one of you, and that's why they want you so bad. Right now, my phone provider has been unable to supply "Call divert", and my advertised number just has a message telling folks to call my new number (we recently moved). I thought this could be a disaster, but no, my customers have been amazingly patient about getting hold of me, even more than usual!
As for weekday birthday parties, I normally start booking them once the weekend is full. If the clients want me at their party, they have no choice but to take a weekday booking after school. Mondays and Fridays are the most popular, but the "actual birthday" is a good option, and I sell this to them when I can.
Tod Todson
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Good insights from your experience, Potty.

Tod
Mystifier, Youth Speaker
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ku7uk3
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I hate my phone, because this business has made me a slave to it.

I have an answering machine which picks up after six rings, which means I have six rings to get to the phone and pick it up.
If it goes to the answering machine, only 1 in 4 callers will leave a message, and that's 3 booking I lose automatically.
When I call up that 1 person who left a message, I usually find that they found someone else in the mean-time, who DID answer his phone, and booked with them instead.
I now have to race to my phone every time it rings, to get it before it switches to the answering machine, just to secure the booking.

Another reason is... How do you know it's a booking? I still live a real life and have family and friends calling me all the time. Sometimes, I actually want to talk to them.

If you want to sound busy; ask them the time and date of their event, then say that you have a party in the other parts of the day, but that particular time is free. You actually don't have any parties that day, but the client now believes you have lots of work coming through.

ku7uk
todd75
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I would suggest that you get a separate line that only clients have the number to. This way, when it rings, you know that there is $$$$$ on the other end.
KyletheGreat
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Georgia
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Quote:
On 2006-11-29 20:26, magic4u02 wrote:
I guess, then, I am the luckiest guy in the world. Not only does my wife run and know our magic business as well as I do myself, but she is also my partner on stage. She is an intrical part to our shows success.

She and I always answer our phone. It is actually one of our strong points, and we both feel confident to do so. We also have phone scripts that we have by our phones to help us in the event we are tired, etc. It can really help us to stay on track. I guess our philosophy is to answer the phone, talk to the prospect, and try and change that prospect into a paying customer as soon as we can.

I am also lucky that I can have her work on the business stuff that needs to get done as I am often working late hours, and we can keep on top of running our magic business the way we want it to run. I then have the luxury of being able to travel with my wife to shows and enjoy performing and sharing the magic together.

Kyle


Oh, by the way, Kyle... I spoke with your wife, and she said that due to union reasons, she couldn't help you with the business any more. Then, she said that she would be glad to come work for a much nicer, red coat wearing Kyle that doesn't lock her in the basement with a telephone, pen, and calendar, only to let her out when it's time for a show so that she can carry props out to him... So, I gave her the job.

Just Kidding...

I always answer my phone...when I can. However, I AM one of those people who very rarely will leave a message...I HATE leaving messages...
Kyle Jarrard
"Entertainment at its Best"

http://www.kylesmagic.com
http://www.hypnobilly.com
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2006-11-30 05:09, ku7uk3 wrote:
Another reason is... How do you know it's a booking? I still live a real life and have family and friends calling me all the time. Sometimes, I actually want to talk to them.


Todd suggested one way. Use a dedicated business phone line. I've been doing this, as well, for many years. I have a different number for home.

Also, you can pay for call display. That way, you can tell if it's family or friends calling on the business line.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Danny Hustle
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Boston, MA USA
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About 20 years ago I didn't have a separate business line, but I did have a second number that went to the same phone. The second number had a different ring tone, so depending on the type of ring, I could tell if it was biz or pleasure. That was a pretty cool feature. I don't know if the phone company still offers it. It was also fairly inexpensive.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! Iím so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
chris mcbrien
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All great thoughts here....
Personally, I just answer the phone if I'm available. If not, I check my messages after shows....
Chris
todd75
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Yes - the phone company does offer different ring patterns on phone lines. At least, they do in my area!
Starrpower
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Of course, I answer the phone! I think to do otherwise is extremely foolish, not to mention rude. Ever hear of customer service?

I know, these "experts" claim that you are unique and not just another entertainer, the customer will wait for you before calling someone else because you're so d*** special, etc. etc. The truth is, there is a LOT of competition out there and you will soon find yourself NOT being so well thought of if you neglect basic etiquette like answering the phone. You can be customer oriented, or you can be a pompous, arrogant "positioner" who tries to make himself look busy by not answering the phone.

I've read stuff by so many "know it alls" who have all kinds of wierd reasons for doing things like this, and most of them are selling marketing products, tapes, "boot camps", etc. I guess they think if they advise you to do odd things, you'll be intrigued and buy their stuff. The way I see it, you can do what you KNOW is right and reasonable, or you can simply tattoo "Sucker" on your forehead.

osted: Dec 2, 2006 10:41am
As an addendum to my previous post, I do not lump ALL people who sell marketing products into the same group. But I think we should proceed cautiously rather than accept all we are told by the so-called experts at face value.

Just to clarify, I think that not answering the phone is bad business. Really bad business.
boppies2
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I answer my phone when it rings. I have voice mail which will 'answer' when I am on the phone or doing a show. Since I advertise providing my phone number, not to aswer is a wste of advertising money. Too busy? I am never too busy to answer a call from a prospect.
Max
Potty the Pirate
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Of course, you should take calls when you can. My observation though, is that since there is only one of you as a performer, there are a limited number of shows you can do. I would never willingly cause my clients lots of hassle by not being able to reach me. But they can leave a message, and that means they will be called back.
As I've said, there HAVE been times when, for "reasons beyond my control", I haven't been able to return calls. And yes, I find that frustrating. But my point is, my customers wait patiently, because they want me, not someone out of the phone book.
It's all down to how well established you are, and how many enquiries you get. Starrpower, you're right, and I should be admonished for being too blase. But I'm no expert, I just do what feels right for me.
Donald Dunphy
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Ok, from the sounds of it, everyone is ready to pounce on the phone, except a select few.

Do you actually get up from the dinner table in the middle of a meal, leave your family time, and go answer the phone?

Aren't there other times when you need to take a break from being "at work", or is this place full of workaholics (or hobbyaholics)?

- Donald

P.S. I live a life full of balance. But let me tell you, it wasn't always so.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Bill Scarlett
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Vermont
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I answer when I can, but I set some limits around family time. If I'm helping my kids with their homework or having a heart to heart talk with them, I'm not about to drop it to take a call about a show. I probably wouldn't be in a good frame of mind if I allowed myself to always be interupted. I think balance is really important, as Donald said, and there are things more important than scoring a magic show. I also don't like to talk to potential clients when my kids are fighting or there is a lot of background noise; it just doesn't sound very professional to the client.
TomBoleware
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No, you have business hours just like any other business. Have a machine giving your hours. Then during those hours you answer every call regardless.

Day after day, you open and you close, you open and you close, you open and you close, thatís what running a business is all about. Smile

Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

The Daycare Magician Book
www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

Tom Boleware
www.tomboleware.com
Starrpower
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Donald, of course there are times I don't answer. There are a lot of exceptions to every generalization. But IN GENERAL I try to answer when it rings. As Doug pointed out, there are enough times when we legitimately can't get to the phone due to performance obligations. Why intentionally add to that number of missed calls by not answering when you can?

I do not stick to "business hours." Many people cannot call from work during the day. I try to be easy to work with and reasonably accessible to my customers. I get a large number of calls in the late afternoon and evening. If I'm available, I answer.

I just think that not answering as a policy in order to create the "image" of being busy is heading down the wrong path.
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