Not all calls you receive from prospective customers to your business may be of equal value. But, it’s still important that you treat each caller as though they may turn into a customer in the future, or will spread the word about your business to others.

At Goodzer, we listen to and analyze thousands of calls every week and we’ve heard some of the best and some of the worst ways to handle incoming calls. Here’s our advice on how to do it right.

The Price Shopper

Shoppers can either be looking for the best price, or trying to get a feel for what a project will entail before they decide to go forward with it. These callers may feel like a waste of your time, but they do have a lot of future potential. Our analysis shows that up to 30% of these callers ultimately turn into paying customers when a business handles them properly.

If the caller wants to know about a project and what it entails, it pays to be helpful and courteous. The more information you provide that helps them make a decision, the more likely they are to remember your business should they choose to go forward with the project at a later time. You also have the opportunity to present yourself as someone who is knowledgeable and trustworthy, so that they will feel comfortable in eventually hiring you.

If the caller is simply shopping around for the best price, provide them with an estimated range and explain any potential anomalies in your quote. Is it higher than competitors because you guarantee your work? Or because you have more experience? If you are willing to provide a free estimate, then be sure to explain all this in person as well. These callers may seem like they just want the cheapest price, but most often they are really looking for the best value – the perfect balance between quality and price.

The Advice Seeker

Some callers are not sure if they can do a project themselves and are calling for advice on how to do it, or to determine whether or not it is feasible for them to do the project. For these calls, our analysis shows that up to 40% of properly handled callers ultimately hire the business they contacted.

It may seem like a waste of your time to give out free advice, however, it is extremely important to not only be cheerful and polite, but also show your knowledge and explain any complexity in the project they are inquiring about. They may still choose to try it themselves, but very often, they will be calling you back once they realize a professional can do it properly.

The Buyer

This is the type of caller who has already done their research and is ready to book an appointment. These callers usually have a good idea what they should pay for the service they need, and simply want confirmation that your rates are reasonable and you will be reliable and knowledgeable. Be careful not to turn these high potential customers off! Answer their questions thoroughly, but don’t try to upsell them at this point. Callers will want to know that you will address their specific needs and won’t try to simply make the most money you can from them.

Regardless of the reason a caller is contacting you, always think long-term and make every call count to help your business thrive.