Cold calling is dead. Stop wasting your sales time with it.

Cold calling’s been in a death spiral for a very long time. As far back as the 1960s Theodore Levitt wrote a piece saying in essence that .. “ your business does better by concentrating on meeting the needs of your customers rather than on selling products “

 

Cold calling made sense in an age where a telephone call or door knocking were the only ways in which you could connect with buyers directly. But relying on cold calling today makes about as much sense as pulling out a typewriter to send someone a letter. Why would you?

 

Only 1% of cold calls lead to appointments !!  Only a 1/3 of that 1% of these appointments  leads to a sale!! Virtually all sales now happen because the buyer has already formed some kind of a  connection with the seller before any contact was made.

 

So why do some businesses today keep on cold calling? Because sales people who’ve been successful in the past have the mind-set that tells them “since it worked in the past, it’s got to work in the future.” Not true.

 

We don’t live in a world where cold calling a business works anymore.

 

Most sales managers are not trained to interpret sales analysis data effectively. Instead when they see a decline in sales revenue they often conclude that more cold calling is the solution. They revert to what they believe always worked in the past for them.

 

In fact, that decline could be caused by changing market conditions, competitive pressure, poor closing skills, a reduction in average order size, or a higher than normal customer churn.

 

The best sales managers analyse the sales data and look for profitable fixes. They act on facts. They certainly don’t keep pushing a solution that has less than a 1% success rate.

 

And finally … people in business generally don’t like being sold to …. they just want you to solve their problems.

 

What should you be doing instead ??

 

 

  1. Cross sell

Selling more to your existing customers is smarter, cheaper and far more profitable than finding new customers.

 

  1. Network (http://www.thanetbusinessnetwork.co.uk/ @NetworkTBN https://www.facebook.com/Thanetbusinessnetwork/ )

Recognize the immense value of word-of-mouth referrals

 

  1. Be online

Be everywhere and be useful. The best podcasts, posts and how-to videos in sales get traction. People share good ideas.

 

  1. Be a good listener

This facilitates being able to ask better questions that get at the heart of what your customers really want.

 

  1. Be a great copy writer

A great copy writer will inspire and help persuade your customer to buy.

 

  1. Deliver outstanding service

This is crucial. Service delivery will go a very long way toward creating a positive experience, repeat business and peer referrals.

 

 

Your business probably cannot function without reliable internet access and telephony.

There are common issues with these vital services for some businesses that we hear time and again …. and when we take on the client we resolve these issues for them. How ? By listening , understanding , being technically skilled and having the best business VoIP , cloud , hosted , WiFi and internet solutions available.

Is this you ……. ??

“My internet speed is too slow and data download allowance insufficient ”

“My office is too remote to get decent internet”

“I have too many communication suppliers and they blame each other when things go wrong ”

“The supplier sold me what appears to be a great package but they are difficult to get hold of and slow to respond when we have an issue nor a question  ”

“I want to be able to talk through my requirements and plans with my supplier and get advice and ideas but all they want to do is sell to me”

“They say I cannot keep my telephone number if I move office”

 

If any of the above resonates with you or if you just want to understand more about how decent internet access , VoIP cloud hosted telephony and WiFi can help your business then get in touch as we can help . A chat costs you nothing but your time ……

Although a significant business focus for 2018 will be preparing for the introduction of GDPR in May 2018 for businesses in the financial sector MiFID II legislation will need to be managed earlier as it will come into effect on 3rd January 2018. MiFID II changes how financial services businesses must record and store calls (both landline and mobile). Businesses will be required to record and keep the communications of every active participant in a transaction and have to keep these records for at least five years, in some cases seven.

If your business needs MiFID II compliant call recording talk to Phoenix Link . Call 01227 200625 or email ask@telephoneskent.com

Telephones are a key tool for almost any business and selecting the right telephony solution should be a priority.

Ten “Don’t” suggestions when selecting telephony for your business …..

  1. DON’T use your home telephone number or your personal mobile for your business . Geographic landline numbers that ring on your mobile are cheap and effective and bring immediate legitimacy to your business. Its also going to be a number that you can keep for your business irrespective of  where your premises area and it could be transferred to a SIP or cloud based office telephone system at some stage in the future.
  2. DON’T use a domestic , consumer orientated supplier for your business telephone . They will almost certainly be focused on price rather than quality ; and you want the most economic and effective telephony solution for your business not the cheapest solution on offer. They also try and make your business fit the solutions available rather than the other way around.
  3. DON’T buy a telephone system for your business unless the supplier has visited and surveyed your site and discussed your specific requirements and needs with you
  4. DON’T buy a telephone system from a supplier that is unable or unwilling to provide you with demonstration equipment for you to trial for a week or so.
  5. DON’T buy a telephone system that doesn’t do what your business needs it to do. Modern telephone systems integrate , provide features that help you run your business and promote mobility.
  6. DON’T forget that the “in Life” costs of the telephone system are the most important for your business ; its the “Total Cost of Ownership” that counts.
  7. DON’T buy a telephone system that is not easily expandable and easy to relocate
  8. DON’T forget that the prime function of the telephone system is to take and make telephone calls ; and what your customer experiences when calling your business is vital , so make sure the telephone system can be configured to manage calls in the way you want them managed.
  9. DON’T buy a telephone system where changes are hard or expensive to make
  10. DON’T be afraid of technology . Embrace it to enhance your business ; just making sure you choose a knowledgeable supplier

 

A new ransomware, dubbed Bad Rabbit, was first spotted on 24th October 2017. The ransomware is the third major spread of malware this year: it follows the wider-reaching WannaCry and NotPetya strains of malicious code. Here’s what we know about Bad Rabbit so far.

The latest strain of ransomware “Bad Rabbit” began spreading across Russia and Ukraine and  there have also been various reports of “Bad Rabbit” infections in Turkey, Bulgaria, Japan, Germany, Poland, South Korea and the United States.

The Bad Rabbit ransomware enters networks when a user on your network runs a phony Adobe Flash Player installer posted on a hacked website. Once “Bad Rabbit” Ransomware has infected its first machine within a network, it then uses an open source tool to find any login credentials stored on the machine, so it can spread to other machines in your organisation.

Adobe’s 2020 deadline for the end of Flash can’t arrive soon enough !!

The Bad Rabbit ransomeware is disguised as an Adobe Flash installer. When the innocent-looking file is opened it starts locking the infected computer. The Flash download has been installed in websites using JavaScript injected into the HTML or Java files of the affected websites. The malware isn’t installed automatically, which means it has to be clicked on to work.

 

If a person does click on the malicious installer – and given the number of Flash updates issued this is highly probable – their computer locks. After the virus has spread as much as it can on the network, BadRabbit encrypts all files and posts a ransom note instructing the victim to pay 0.05 Bitcoin (about €235/$280/£213) to a specific Bitcoin wallet to decrypt the files

 

SO FAR – Unlike WannaCry and NotPetya, Bad Rabbit hasn’t spread widely. The majority of incidents have been recorded in Russia and Ukraine. Kaspersky states that “all” of the compromised websites it has seen so far have been news or media outlets.
Here are some tips and ideas on how to stop you becoming the next victim of Bad Rabbit malware :

 

  • Disable Adobe Flash Player and ignore installer prompts.

Back up any important data, this reduces the leverage the hackers have when encrypting valuable files and making them inaccessible.

The decision to move from “traditional” PBX to cloud telephony ( IP handsets )  or SIP telephony  is not for everyone …. Or is it ?? . There are many factors to consider before deciding on the vendor , the technology , setting a budget and signing a contract and you will first need to do some company self-assessment to see how VoIP will be used.

You will  have a telephone on each desk for the employees to use. Will you replace all of your phones with IP phones ?  or will you use softphone applications and headsets on your employees’ computers , or perhaps  smartphone APPs ?.

If you plan to use IP phones, do you have enough Ethernet ports to add phones? If not, you could consider more CAT5e/Cat 6 internal cabling although some IP phones have “pass-through” capability in the form of an Ethernet switch to allow a PC to be plugged into the phone. That eliminates the need for another Ethernet port , but only if the built-in switch provides adequate speed and throughput.

For IP desk phones, you need to know that (unlike most PBX desk phones) they require power. It can come in two forms: PoE (Power over Ethernet) from the network switch or a local PSU / power supply unit per handset.  . If you choose PoE ( which we would always recommend )  you can have back-up power ( a UPS for example )in the data cabinet and the phones will continue to work even if there is a power cut.

What about your analoge devices? You may still have fax machines ,  alarm panels , PDQ machines etc that may still be on an analogue connection. In some instance an ATA ( analogue terminal adapter ) can be used ; which is a device that converts the IP signal to an analoge one. ; or perhaps things like fax to email .

The points for consideration are not really a significant barrier when broken down into manageable issues and your vendor should help you decision make and resolve. The benefits to your business of moving to cloud telephony , for example , ould be much more than inclusive calls and worry free operation .

Cloud based telephone systems benefit from all the “traditional” functionality of a telephone system and much more ; including call history , call recording , easy setup of multiple site location , smartphone extensions , call queues , unlimited lines , a wide range of telephone numbers , disaster contingency options , instant conferencing and call centre functionality .

 

An upgrade to cloud telephony is usually available for minimal CAPEX

 

Here at Phoenix Link we offer prospective cloud telephony clients demo units so they can “try before they buy “

 

So many of us seem to communicate exclusively through social media, digital apps, and live chat.

But does this really work for business communications ?

64% of SMEs said that their business could not carry on without fixed-line phones, and 52% said the same for mobile, according to research by Ofcom.

Maybe the right question wasn’t asked because what most SMEs cannot trade without is some form of internet access ( fixed line or mobile ) and with that the associated internet or mobile based voice communications….. the ability to talk.

There will always be a proportion of people who want to speak on the phone to another human being when contacting a business and many of these don’t even leave voicemails if they don’t get to talk to a person straight away.

But the ways in which those kinds of conversations happen inevitably shifts over time. Increasingly, business people communicate through conference call facilities  or video conferencing services , and there is even the growing popularity of features like FaceTime ( massive in with consumers ) that inevitably is more and more used in the world of business.

SMEs will need to ensure that their telephony and internet access infrastructure can support all these forms of “ talking “.

Because small business life can be unpredictable, SMEs have become more and more reliant on flexible working scenarios – including the so called “gig economy”.  ( the gig economy is defined as – a labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.)  Over the past year, two in five small enterprises in London have employed gig economy workers, as well around one in five outside of the capital. Of those who did, a quarter described as the gig economy as the “future of how businesses work.”

Whilst this allows SMEs the flexibility to better manage their workforces;  it also means a larger number of remote employees will make up those workforces.

To remain efficient in this environment, voice infrastructure will have to become leaner and more flexible. SMEs will need to be able to quickly bring new short-term contractors onto their telephony infrastructure and just as easily remove them once contracts end. Similarly, if contractors are in different locations or time zones, it is likely that VoIP and video conferencing will become the norm.

SMEs must adapt to the way employees need to use voice.

 

Any business can be absolutely certain that Wi-Fi demands will increase but can you count on budget availability ? One  way to keep growth and budgets aligned is to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership  of your WiFi infrastructure. The Ruckus wireless access points that we supply , install and configure offer better capacity and coverage, often able to support 30-50% more clients than other similar WiFi solutions .

Ruckus Unleashed Access Points provide :

Simple, Intuitive Cloud Managed WiFi

  • Use fewer APs to cover a given area and number of users or use the same number of APs to serve more users and more traffic.
  • Ensure that each and every user is connected with sufficient bandwidth to support their applications.

User Interface

  • Enable employees of all skill and experience levels to manage the WLAN.
  • Get WLAN management tasks done faster.
  • Critical event auto-notification maximizes network uptime and minimize status-checking.

Analytics & Reporting

  • Up to six-month network data retention enables more accurate growth planning
  • From application visibility to detailed RF related reports at highly granular 15-minute intervals, IT staff are able to monitor and optimize network characteristics

Mobile App

  • Manage and monitor the network from any Android or iOS device.
  • Shorten deployment duration by scanning APs—automatically adding them to the network.
  • Instantly set up guest access while away from your desk.
  • Dynamically insert your own advertisements (photos or text) onto your guest Wi-Fi portal at any time.

Guest Management

  • Promote your brand by customizing your captive portals.
  • Connect your guests quickly and easily with social login and email/SMS guest passes
  • Apply different network privileges to guest users on the network.
  • Set up dedicated and separate workflows for sponsored guest and self-help guest Wi-Fi configurations.

 

Interested ? Call 01227 200625 or email enquiries@phoenixlink.co.uk for more information

 

As a result of MiFID II regulations any organisation providing financial services to clients linked to ‘financial instruments’ will have to record and store all communications intended to lead to a transaction. With MiFID II any organisation that’s even giving advice that may lead to a trade or investment will also need to comply with this rule.

What are we doing?

The Horizon cloud telephony platform is being updated.

Horizon call recording is being expanded with a suite of integrated call recording and PCI compliance services providing a solution in accordance with all legal and regulatory compliance legislation.

If you need more information or assistance call 01227 200625 or email ask@telephoneskent.com