When forming an investing business with a partner which will involves a fair amount of marketing to sellers, what are some options for handling inbound calls when more than one person will be involved in acquisitions? If there is one phone number on your website and/or marketing materials, how do manage the inbound calls? Only one person handles them?
If both partners take calls, how could this be managed with only one phone number? Or do you take turns, one person handles the calls for a period of time, then switch? Or does everyone just have an answering service/call center handle? I don't know that we would want only one of us handling ALL the calls, so just looking for some possible solutions to this. I'm sure there are investors out there that have this figured out already - would love to hear some advice.
@Owen D. I think if there is good communication between you and your partner I think it really doesn't matter who answers the calls. I think a whoever is available would be efficient if both you and your partner are equal and working in tandem with each other. If you have different responsibilities then it may be a different story.
For example, my father and I have a development business together and work as equals in the business. We both receive calls from our respective networks but is easily interchangeable because the people we work with and introduce ourselves to explain to others that by speaking with one of us, in essence you speak with both of us. It is then up to us to keep an open line of communication with each other to keep one another updated.
However, if it is something that worries you I would recommend NOT to get a voice answering service. I find that if I call someone that has a service like that, it is not as personal and it bothers me that someone I am devoting time and energy to calling or working with can't answer their own phone and I see that it can delay things and a opportunity could be gone by then. I would instead trade off days or weeks when one person answers. I do think you are on the right track to have one phone number.
Good Luck! and congrats on the venture
@Jonathan Orr , I think I understand what you are saying, but we are not going to be sitting in an office with one phone. We are going to have our own separate cell phones and I am asking about how people handle that type of situation where you have one phone number on your marketing materials and/or website, but more than one person involved in taking calls...
Have you looked into Google Voice? This is what my brother and I use. We have the google voice number linked to both of our personal cell phones so that when someone calls that number then it rings both of us at the same time. Who ever answers it first, takes the call. If we get to the point where the phone is just ringing too much and we are no longer wishing to handle them then we can easily link the google voice number to the call takers/sales people's phone numbers that we hire.
Originally posted by @Owen D.:
@Jonathan Orr, I think I understand what you are saying, but we are not going to be sitting in an office with one phone. We are going to have our own separate cell phones and I am asking about how people handle that type of situation where you have one phone number on your marketing materials and/or website, but more than one person involved in taking calls...
O, I understand now. I knew a couple who was investing and decided that on their marketing materials they got a dedicated cell phone with a different number than their personal phones. That was their "work" phone and just traded it off depending on their schedules. On their materials they put both of their names and that dedicated work phone number so regardless of who was answering, both of their name was on their marketing materials.
Maybe get a dedicated cell phone and just trade it off. With this being a different situation than what I originally thought, I guess you could get a answering service but I personally get mixed feelings about it and would avoid it if you could. However, without having a office that you are both at consistently I guess that changes things.
@Matthew Watson , that is good to know - I did not realize Google Voice had the option of simultaneous ring. So hypothetically, what if neither of you answer? Is there one generic voicemail message that you use? Are people able to text the Google Voice number and you are able to see it, or does it only work for calls?
@Owen D. Yes there are lots of different ways that you can configure google voice. The way that I have it setup is that when someone calls my google voice number then all it displays is my google voice number that way I know that it is a call from someone trying to contact me through that. Then when I answer, it asks me to either accept the call or send straight to voicemail. If instead no one answers the call at all, then after 25 seconds the call is sent to my custom google voice voicemail. Voicemails that are left are sent to my google voice app. You can also have the voicemails emailed to you.
Text messages can also be received and sent with google voice. I have it set up where texts get sent to the app and to my email. I can respond to the text messages with either and it just shows that they are coming from my google voice phone number.
@Owen D. @Matthew Watson I echo what Matthew said about Google Voice. I've been a GV fan since it launched and while there were a few years there where it looked like Google was going to stop supporting it, they've been keeping it up to date the last couple years. I personally use it on my cell phone but I've also got it set up to ring to a "real" phone in my home office so I can use that speakerphone and headset if I so desire.
If you're going to have multiple people handling leads, I recommend using a good CRM program to track everything. A spreadsheet can work if you've got a good system in place but using an application like insightly will be a big help.
Thanks guys for the GV advice!
Few random things that might help in the future. You can have up to two Google voice numbers per account with a small fee ($30) and a bit of a convoluted process. You can also have two Google voice numbers from two different accounts forward to the same phone with some finagling, even though that's not supposed to work.
The Google voice app also makes things fairly slick, because you can get notifications for texts and voicemails from an unlimited number of accounts on the same phone.
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