“…what if there was one question you could ask Prospects that would help grow your business, guaranteed? Would you ask it?”
Prospect Phone Interview Continued, post 3 of 8
Sourcing for Return on Investment
In post 1 of this series we looked at the number one question pet sitters should be concerned about when looking at the phone interview process, namely: “How to convert Prospects into clients?” In post 2 of this series, we dispelled the misconception that the phone interview is merely about preparing a list of rote questions to ask Prospects. We looked instead at the two main elements of any good phone interview and the value attributes associated with them. That being said, there are obviously questions pet sitters need to ask Prospects during telephone interviews. But what if there was one question you could ask that would help grow your business, guaranteed? Would you ask it? Well there is, and many pet sitters are not asking it.
The Value of the Question You May Not Be Asking
We’re going to look at one key question. Its one of the first questions that should be asked and (from a business perspective) its one of the most important questions a pet sitting business can ask. Unfortunately, many pet sitters don’t understand the value of the question, so it rarely gets asked. The question can be crafted in different ways, but its aimed at discovering how the Prospect learned about your business. Questions aimed towards that end are called: Sourcing Questions.
Now, to everyone with a glazed eyeball, thinking: “Yo! Dog-yawn! Borrrrrrrring! I got out of the business-world to do something I enjoy! I’m interested in pet care not metrics.” We know. In fact, the majority of pet sitters get into the pet care industry because they’re great at pet care, not business. That’s also the same reason why they’re not in the business of pet care for long.
“…the majority of pet sitters get into the pet care industry because they’re great at pet care, not business. That’s also the same reason why they’re not in the business of pet care for long.”
Right? If your business is not successful you won’t be a pet sitter for long. That being said, you absolutely need to know how you’re business is engaging prospective clients. That’s what Sourcing is all about – determining which of your advertising mediums are making your phone ring. As we covered in post 1 of this series, whether you know it or not – you’re paying for those calls – you’re just not writing a check each time the phone rings.
Most businesses have several paid sources they use to market their business. For example, your advertising expenditures may include:
- Grassroots Marketing Tangibles
- Google Ad Placement
- Listing Websites
- Company Website Hosting
- Company Website Maintenance
- URL Expenditures
- Social Media Ads
- Thumbtack Leads
- Business Cards
- Client Referral Programs
- Community Partner Referral Programs
- Veterinarian Thank You
- Chamber of Commerce Membership
- Professional Association Membership – “Pet Finders”
- Time Expenditures
So, it behooves you to know which expenditures are doing what for your business. Which are directly bringing in clients and which aren’t. That knowledge, in itself, can reveal all sorts of things that can improve your business. First and foremost, you’ll know what’s working and what’s not. If something is working well, you can tweak it to make it work better. If something is not working, you can either fix it or stop paying for it. For example, your website should be the number one source of new client acquisitions. If it’s not, you likely have a major problem with your website that needs fixed – yesterday.
Sadly, many pet sitting business only have an anecdotal idea of what marketing expenditures are working for them. Which leads to an interesting question: Where else in life are you okay with spending money without knowing what you’re getting for it?
“Where else in life are you okay with spending money without knowing what you’re getting for it?”
Let’s Get To Work – Understanding Sourcing & ROI
Unless you have money to burn, you need to understand why your phone is ringing. In order to do that, you need to start tracking how Prospects answer your Sourcing question during the Phone Interview. Tracking responses is how you determine your Return on Investment (ROI). By racking and stacking your sourcing data, from strongest performers to weakest, you’ll know which advertising medium is giving you the largest return on your investment. That, in turn, will help you dial-in your advertising expenditures to increase your phone calls.
So, how do you ask your Sourcing question? How do you ask a question like that without it somewhat “turning off” the Prospect? Can you ask it in such a way that suggests value? The answer is yes – most definitely. As with every other aspect of the Prospect Phone Interview, how you ask the question is a value-based proposition.
Passive vs. Active Value Statements
As we established in our post: “Phone Interview: Practicing Value Attributes,” the better we communicate our value, the more likely we are to convert Prospects into Clients. Given we have a short amount of time to achieve the two main goals of any Phone Interview – we need to choose our words wisely. There’s a time when Active Statements are beneficial and a time when Passive Statements say more. So what’s the difference?
Active Statement tend to be informative and self-validating – you’re directly educating the Prospect about something, listing off your credentials would fit in that category. Passive Statements tend to be suggestive – encouraging the Prospect to come to the conclusion “all by themselves” that your business is knowledgeable. They can also be open-ended, conversational questions that give you an opportunity to establish yourself as an authority.
To the client who says: “Be careful walking Fido, he sometimes lunges at other dogs.”
“We’re actually trained to handle reactive dogs.”
“Can you explain what happens; are you using a Halti and line-of-sight lead?”
So the Active Statement is informative and allow you to share your qualifications. The Passive Statement is suggestive and allows you to share your knowledge.
“So the Active Statement is informative and allows you to share your qualifications. The Passive Statement is suggestive and allows you to share your knowledge.”
Now, how do you ask your Sourcing Question in such a way that it affirms your Prospect’s decision to call you, rather than your competitor?
Here’s what you do: Instead of asking the Prospect a standard, run-of-the-mill Sourcing Question, like: “How did you hear about us?”
Ask: “Did your veterinarian recommend us?” It may not seem like a big deal, but suggesting their veterinarian would recommend your business (as they frequently do) is very powerful.
After all, if their veterinarian would recommend your business, it must be a great company.
Sourcing, if done correctly, necessarily involves data collection and ROI Analysis. It’s the one question you can ask Prospects that gives you lasting value, regardless if you land the client. It tells you how you can best spend your dollar to make your phone ring. Dialing in that data will ultimately result in more clients and greater revenue.
Please check back soon for our next post in this series.
© 2015 | The Carewright, LLC. This blog post is the intellectual property of The Carewright, LLC and cannot be shared or used for derivative works without the express written permission of The Carewright, LLC.
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