By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
There are just two ways to grow your telephone answering service. One is through sales and marketing; the other is via acquisitions. Any other strategy is merely a subset of one of these two methods (usually a variation on marketing).
I enjoyed doing acquisitions. And I was quite good at it – or at least the strong team I had made it look that way. I still relish our dozen-plus transactions: the search, the dialogue, the offer, closing the deal, planning the transition, overcoming problems, and realizing the results. I miss it.
Conversely is my feeling about sales and marketing. I’m not wired that way. Although awkward at it, I have a decent closing ratio in sales. However, selling sucks the life out of me, so I avoid it whenever possible. If my livelihood depended on sales, I’d surely starve. Parallel to sales is marketing. To increase my marketing knowledge, I’ve attended seminars, gone to workshops, and taken graduate and post-graduate classes. I’ve amassed much marketing theory but had trouble successfully transferring it to real-world situations. My marketing efforts required much time and produced little results. Of course, this is no wonder since I dislike marketing almost as much as sales.
Not surprisingly, under my leadership, the TAS grew mostly by acquisition and not much by sales and marketing.
From this, I’ve learned two things: if you have a strength, go with it; if you have a weakness, work to improve it.
With all this in mind, check out our monthly webinars to help your TAS grow through marketing.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of TAS Trader, covering the telephone answering service industry. Check out his book How to Start a Telephone Answering Service.