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"Thank You for Calling": Phone Etiquette".



Thanking the caller Caller may refer to one of the following:
  • Caller (telecommunications), a party that originates a call
  • Caller (dancing), a person that calls dance figures in round dances and square dances
  • Caller to Islam, the Islamic equivalent of a Christian missionary
 at the beginning and end of each conversation let's them know you appreciate them.

Even with today's email advances, the telephone is still the lifeline life·line  
n.
1.
a. An anchored line thrown as a support to someone falling or drowning.

b. A line shot to a ship in distress.

c. A line used to raise and lower deep-sea divers.

2.
 of any business. It is our first impression and our first opportunity -- or if poorly done our last opportunity -- to make a sale.

Have you made a sale over the phone recently? Polished telephone techniques can lead to successful phone sales. Here are some helpful hints:

* Welcome your caller;

* Establish rapport The former name of device management software from Wyse Technology, San Jose, CA (www.wyse.com) that is designed to centrally control up to 100,000+ devices, including Wyse thin clients (see Winterm), Palm, PocketPC and other mobile devices. ;

* Create an interest for your caller;

* Paint a picture of your community in their mind;

* Overcome concerns; and

* Close the sale.

Welcome your caller with a friendly greeting Greeting is a way for humans[1] to intentionally communicate awareness of each other's presence, to show attention to, and/or to affirm or suggest a type of relationship or social status between individuals or groups of people coming in contact with  that is brief but informative. Some greetings are so brief you may only get a company or property name. Some greeting are so long that by the time the consultant is finished, you have forgotten their name. Whatever your greeting, don't forget to smile. A smile need to be on your face each time you pick up the phone.

Establish a Rapport

Ask the caller questions about their needs and listen for key words about what is important to them. Refer to those key words in your conversation. It is easy at this point to relate to some of the caller's needs. Do not get into a conversation about yourself or something you've experienced. The caller wants to talk about their housing interests, not yours. When establishing rapport, make sure to get the caller's name and repeat your name. Then, repeat their name throughout the conversation. Always ask them to spell names that may have variation or are difficult to understand. Sending a thank you note with a misspelled name sends a poor signal to your customer.

For instance, the caller asks if you accept pets. Instead of answering "yes", ask the caller what kind of pet, the pet's name and ask them to bring a picture of the pet when they tour the property. Show interest in the pet and you show interest in the pet owner, thereby creating rapport.

Create Interest

If a prospective resident says they pass by your community on the way to work, ask where they work. Ask where they live also. Show them the convenience of moving to your community -- less traffic, convenient bus or shuttle shuttle: see loom.
shuttle

In the weaving of cloth, a spindle-shaped device used to carry the crosswise threads (weft) through the lengthwise threads (warp). Not all modern looms use a shuttle; shuttleless looms draw the weft from a nonmoving supply.
 service, 24-hours amenities or concierge services for a busy lifestyle. This is a good time during the conversation to use some of those closing techniques you learned in sales training. Your job here is to convince the caller that you offer them something no one else can.

Paint a Picture

Help your caller visualize their new apartment home by using descriptive words, such as, "There is a gorgeous two-bedroom apartment home overlooking o·ver·look  
tr.v. o·ver·looked, o·ver·look·ing, o·ver·looks
1.
a. To look over or at from a higher place.

b.
 our vibrantly colorful flower garden. This two-bedroom has the mammoth mammoth, name for several large prehistoric elephants of the extinct genus Mammuthus, which ranged over Eurasia and North America in the Pleistocene epoch.  size closets you said were important to you. On the way to your new home, you will pass your sparkling pool, relaxing picnic area with gazebo gazebo

Lookout in the form of a turret, cupola (small, lanternlike dome), or garden house set on a height to give an extensive view. Few late-18th- and 19th-century rustic gazebos survive, but 17th-century turrets built up in an angle of the garden wall are not uncommon.
 bordered by a serene pond, which is home to a wide variety of goldfish goldfish, freshwater fish, genus Carassius, of the family Cyprinidae, popular in aquariums and ponds. Native to China, it was first domesticated centuries ago from the wild form, an olive-colored carplike fish up to 16 in. (40 cm) long. ."

Paint a realistic picture of your community. Don't bend the truth because the caller may feel they were misled mis·led  
v.
Past tense and past participle of mislead.
. If you are having difficulty coming up with descriptive phrases or "painting a picture," there are marketing firms or property management consulting firms List of Management Consulting Firms
1. McKinsey & Company
2. Marakon Associates
3. Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
4. A.T. Kearney
5. Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH)
6. Monitor Group
7. Bain & Company
8. Roland Berger
 that can help. Your local apartment association or the National Apartment Association are good sources in finding these firms.

Refer to "the apartment home" as "their home," creating a sense of ownership.

Overcoming Concerns

This is probably the most difficult phase of the sales presentation. At this point of the conversation, your caller may address some concerns. Answer them accurately, and move on. It is easy to become defensive or over-protective of your community. This won't get you anywhere. Overcoming concerns requires practice. Make sure you know your product, availability and community. Practice with a friend, coworker co·work·er or co-work·er  
n.
One who works with another; a fellow worker.
 or tape recorder tape recorder, device for recording information on strips of plastic tape (usually polyester) that are coated with fine particles of a magnetic substance, usually an oxide of iron, cobalt, or chromium. The coating is normally held on the tape with a special binder. . Ask your supervisor to have you phone-shopped. Knowing what to say when without sounding like you're reading a cue card cue card
n.
A large card held out of the audience's sight, bearing words or dialogue in large letters as an aid for a speaker or actor chiefly in television broadcasting.
 takes time and experience.

Offer the Apartment

A great opportunity is lost when the leasing consultant displays exemplary phone techniques but forgets to invite the prospective resident to lease. Our ultimate goal is 100 percent occupancy. Make it a point to ask about the prospective lease at least three times during a phone presentation.

There are many subtle ways of doing so. For instance, you could say, "It is the only apartment home on the first floor near the pool that has a fireplace fireplace

Opening made in the base of a chimney to hold an open fire. The opening is framed, usually ornamentally, by a mantel (or mantelpiece). A medieval development that replaced the open central hearth for heating and cooking, the fireplace was sometimes large enough to
. I can reserve that for you today."

This is one of many ways to invite your callers to lease. Confidence that you can help the caller, pride in your community, and the ability to serve as their apartment home-provider lets the caller know that you have listened to them and that you are interested in more than just their money.

If the caller insists on seeing the apartment home before committing, remind them to bring a check or money order for the appropriate application and administrative fees.

If your company requires a photo ID to tour the property, this is a good time to remind the caller to bring such an ID with them. Then, set up an appointment and prepare materials for their visit.

Offer directions and ask if you can give them a reminder call the day before your appointment. You can also offer to fax or mail some information for review before their visit. This way, if you didn't get an address or phone number when establishing rapport, you'll have it now.

Finally, don't forget to thank the caller. Thanking them for choosing you shows respect and courtesy.

Let's put it all together now in a hypothetical Hypothetical is an adjective, meaning of or pertaining to a hypothesis. See:
  • Hypothesis
  • Hypothetical
  • Hypothetical (album)
 phone call from the leasing consultant's prospective:

"Thank you for choosing The Best Place Apartments, this is Mary Rose The Mary Rose was an English Tudor carrack warship and one of the first to be able to fire a full broadside of cannons. The Mary Rose was well equipped with 78 guns (91 after an upgrade in 1536).  and I can help you ... One-bedroom apartment homes are available sir, when would you like to move in?

Is this apartment just for yourself or will others be living with you?

Are there any pets in the family?

My name again is Mary Rose and yours is ...

Great to meet you John, do you rent now?

Is this closer to work for you, John?

New job, congratulations

Where will you be working?

We value our friends at the Big Corp John, so you don't have to pay any up-front fees to apply.

Isn't that great?

I can reserve your new home by fax, phone or email. Which way is more convenient for you?

John, I have two different apartments available, may I tell you about them?

I can understand your wanting to see your new apartment home before committing John. If there is one you favored over the other, I can hold it for you with just a short application -- there is no financial cost for you to do this. (closing)

John, what's your number at home? ... (pause then repeat number) ... and a fax number to send you information and an application?

Great.

What time today can you get here to tour?

Saturday, sure, I'll be here from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; we'll set an appointment.

Do you know how to get to your new apartment home, John?

Don't forget to bring a photo ID on Saturday. I'll need you to leave it here in the office while we tour your new home.

John, thanks for choosing The Best Place Apartments, you're going to love it here.

May I call you Friday (repeating phone number) for an appointment reminder?

Great.

Don't forget to fax back that application. I'll write my fax number on the top. See you Saturday John, and have a great day.

Then, document the call, fax the paperwork you promised, make the reminder call, record the appointment date and time, prepare the materials for the visit and walk through the apartment homes you are going to show.

Even if you don't Even If You Don't is a single released by the band Ween in 2000 on Mushroom Records. Formats
Enhanced CD single
Includes the quicktime video of "Even If You Don't" directed by Matt Stone & Trey Parker of "South Park".
 rent over the phone, remember to follow up. The key to any successful sales presentation is follow-up follow-up,
n the process of monitoring the progress of a patient after a period of active treatment.


follow-up

subsequent.


follow-up plan
.

Mary Rose Lemons, CAM cam, mechanical device
cam, mechanical device for converting a rotating motion into a reciprocating, or back-and-forth, motion, or for changing a simple motion into a complex one.
 Ms. Lemons is a former property manager who began her property management career in 1988.
COPYRIGHT 2000 National Apartment Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Lemons, Mary Rose
Publication:Units
Date:Jul 1, 2000
Words:1350
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