Is it OK to fake it?

Your answering service I mean…. I started in business because I love what I do, the freedom and controlling my own destiny, working hard for the rewards etc… but as much as I would love to do everything, it’s impossible…

I have systems to handle my social media and automate some of it, so why not have someone answer my calls professionally and efficiently when I am doing something else…?

In fact, the caller is much more likely to get to me by getting my outsourced receptionist because I get a neat text that tells me who they are what they want. So I have time to decide what I wish to say to them and get details of how I can help them and call them back very quickly…

Does the caller need to know it’s outsourced and can they tell?  Probably not… all they do know is it’s answered by a human being at any time of the day and night and someone calls them back to deal with them in a decent timescale…

The freedom to be away from my office is fab, many people do know my mobile but actually all new business cards do not have it on so I can get some work done and still know I am not missing any enquiries.  Then I can choose to give it out.

It’s also great not to have to keep checking my mobile on silent in a meeting for a call I am waiting for… I know someone will get it for me and I won’t miss it.  Even better, cold callers don’t get me until I want to return the call very sweetly and ask to be removed from their list.  Let’s face it there are far better places to find people you trust to work with these days and it’s a very rare occasion the cold callers are offering me something I can’t get in my own networks.

An answering machine is a great back up but nothing beats a human voice and in fact 70% of people will not call me back.  In a crowded marketplace I would rather it wasn’t my competition who picked the call up, wouldn’t you?

There are many different pricing schemes available but one that suits me is a PAYG costing about £1.30 per call (answering and texting me) without any tie-in or contract… I just top it up when I get a text to tell me it’s low and let it do its thing.  I even get a nice little management service on-line that keeps everything for me saving me playing hunt the post-it note for the desperately important telephone number that’s playing hide and seek…

I can also manage all of my marketing beautifully by putting different 0844 numbers on each piece which all divert to the same answered land-line number which I can track at the end of the month separately.

I am a firm advocate of being who you are as keeping up appearances is very hard work and pointless, but in this case I’m happy to fake it.  To find out more about my service or how to get 0844 numbers drop me a line or get me on twitter @amanda_hill.  You can also get your own service here.

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