The February 2014 Issue of TAS Trader

Two Ways to Grow Your TAS

By Peter DeHaan

Peter DeHaan, publisher of TAS TraderAlthough there are exceptions, most TAS owners want to grow their business. (Even those who want to keep the operation at its present size need to add new accounts to make up for cancellations.) To grow your TAS, there are but two ways: through sales and marketing or through acquisition.

Sales and marketing allows for controlled expansion at a steady and manageable rate, without taxing staff or infrastructure. This requires no extra stress or additional work, and other projects aren’t put on hold.

Acquisition provides a nice jump in size all at once. A team spirit develops as staff pull together to integrate the new accounts or another location into an existing operation. The effort is intense, and then things return to normal.

Considering which method best fits your goals is a great place to start. However, don’t overlook your own strengths. I always desired the methodical predictability of the sales and marketing approach, yet I had trouble finding the right sales staff and managing them to succeed. What I was good at was acquisitions: the pursuit of the deal, the negotiation, and the integration afterwards.

nCall Answering Service SoftwareBoth growth options are legitimate considerations, but don’t do what everyone else is doing; pick the option that works best for you and your staff.

Peter DeHaan is publisher of TAS Trader and Connections Magazine.

Capture – Converse – Convert for Stronger Sales

By Arthur Cronos

Are your ready to get scared? Here are two horrifying statistics:

  1. The average person visits a website and then leaves, never to return again. This statistic describes most visitors to your website. Prove it for yourself: Open up the favorites tab in your browser. For 99 percent of the sites listed, you have never gone back – and these were the ones you marked as favorites. The terrible truth is that most website visitors leave and never return.
  2. The average person buys after seven touches. A “touch” is any single interaction. Touch someone seven times, and only then does that individual buy. That’s the statistic. Why is that? Because folks buy from people they know, like, and trust. And folks are far more likely to know, like, and trust you after a few interactions. Prove it for yourself. Are you more likely to trust someone you met once, or someone you’ve met seven times?

A Shocking Question: If the average person only buys after seven touches, but the average website visitor leaves forever after one touch, what are the chances that your one-time website visitor will buy?

The odds are lousy. I’ll skip the math, but the famous bell-shaped statistics curve suggests that only about a tenth of your potential buyers will buy after one contact. To look at it another way: If you could change your one-time visitor into an ongoing conversation with multiple touches, you could perhaps sell ten times as much!

How to Change a One-Time Visitor into an Ongoing Conversation

  • Capture the visitor’s contact information and permission to engage in further conversation. A common example is offering a prize or bait, like a special report, in trade for the visitor’s name, email, and permission to send the report and other emails.
  • Converse with the visitor using automated follow-up communications. First, send the promised freebie. Now there are two touches, and the visitor has the first reason to trust you because you kept your promise. Next, send follow-up emails or something in the mail. Send things that are interesting, friendly, and useful. As you build additional touches, the visitor will start seeing you as helpful, nice, and likable.
  • Convert means you persuade them to take additional actions. This could be a sale or a mini-sale, such as clicking a link in an email to view a video. Or it could be an emailed link to access a website page with a discount coupon. It could also be an invitation to reply to an email with a phone call to get a needs analysis. Anything offering a quid pro quo, where an individual both gives something and gets something, creates the experience that interacting with you is a good thing.

At some point, your visitors will know you, like you, and trust you. I guarantee, most of your competitors won’t be doing this. Only you.

Arthur Cronos ran Network Answering Service in San Francisco, then worked at Startel and wrote several books.

Telephone Answering Service News

Tascom-Express System Implemented at Alston Tascom
Alston Tascom is the first location to implement Tascom-Express. They replaced their previous Fluency system with the brand new Tascom-Express, which is a complete system in a virtual server. Alston Tascom is using the system the way it will be implemented at an answering service. All options are available to include email, SMS, paging, faxing, PRI, operator pools, reporting, call recording, voicemail, SQL database, softswitch, alphanumeric, and more. For more information, contact Alston Tascom at 866-282-7266 or sales@alstontascom.com.

Amtelco’s Infinity SIP Attendant Console Completes Avaya Compliance Testing
Amtelco has completed compliance testing with its Infinity SIP Attendant Console to interoperate with Avaya Aura® Communication Manager and Avaya Aura Session Manager using SIP trunks. Amtelco’s Infinity SIP Attendant Console is a SIP-based (session initiation protocol) soft phone solution that provides phone and operator state controls during call handling. In the compliance testing, the Infinity SIP Attendant Console used the SIP trunk interface from Avaya Aura Session Manager 6.3 to provide intelligent attendant consoles for Avaya Aura Communication Manager 6.3. Testing was conducted via the DevConnect Program at the Avaya Solution and Interoperability Test Lab in Belleville, Ontario.

Article Shares How Cheap Answering Services Cost More
Sound Telecom released an article outlining significant costs businesses can face when opting for a cheap answering service. The piece educates companies on typical scenarios that occur when a business simply picks the cheapest answering service provider. Often the cheapest service actually ends up costing more in the end. The piece compares a cheap answering service to a miracle diet that delivers instant results but no sustainable success. Ideally, Sound Telecom would like every company considering enhancing their business with an answering service to read the article. That way they can make the best possible decision in picking the right vendor.

Call Centers Cut Costs Using New Voice Recording Solution
A new voice recording solution, WIOVoice, helps management evaluate customer complaints in a timely and efficient way. “The state-of-the-art system will monitor and evaluate agent efficiency by documenting the communication between the agent and the customer,” said Istvan Bata, managing director of the software developer, DSR Partner. Features include real-time access, encrypted voice data storage, and playback functions. Administrators can follow and analyze agent-customer conversations. Users can call into the conversation or apply the recorded material for training. Voice data can also be automatically transferred and archived in a written format. Conversations are traceable by word detection, date, or other search parameters.

Amtelco’s Intelligent Series 4.1 Released
Amtelco’s Intelligent Series 4.1 software is now available for general release. Enhancements and changes over the previous IS 3.7 release include a redesigned IS Web interface with interactive conversation-oriented messaging, a new IS Mobile app for Apple devices providing mobile access to IS, a new softswitch-based IS voice services platform providing new IS-based call behaviors, a redesigned IS reporting interface, a new system event manager with automated notification for selected events, IS scripting enhancements, miSecureMessages enhancements, IS secure two-way email, IS faxing, Vocera interface, security enhancements, appointment scheduling enhancements, class and event registration, and SMS text message enhancements.

Quotes for the Month

“A free society is a place where it’s safe to be unpopular.” –Adlai Stevenson

“Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” –Harvey Fierstein

“If you don’t pay your exorcist, you can get repossessed.” –Unknown

Classified Ads

Seeking Acquisitions: Reputable TAS, in business since 1967 and still owned by the founding family, seeks a small TAS acquisition in the Eastern US. Ideally, you’re billing under $20k per month. Smaller is better. We’ll treat you right, as well as your employees and customers. Let’s talk. Contact Doug at 888-693-7935 or douganswerphone@gmail.com.

Mastar.com TAS systems: Get Free 3:1 Emergency Remote TAS on a Memory Stick; email/text/TAP; app optional run on iPads. Contact Rod at 541-606-9272 or rodmastar@gmail.com.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for TAS Trader, a telephone answering service e-publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

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About Peter DeHaan

Peter DeHaan is the president of Peter DeHaan Publishing, Inc., (http://peterdehaanpublishing.com) the publisher and editor of Connections Magazine and AnswerStat, and editor of Article Weekly. Peter DeHaan’s personal website (http://peterdehaan.com) contains information and links to his blogs, newsletter, and social media pages.