Voice Mail Friend or Foe to the Sales Professional?

phone

Blog by Colly Graham from Sales Excellence   Some great thoughts.

What is your instant response to the question?
If your belief is voice mail is bad…. it will be bad! You will validate that belief by making sure you get no value from it. If there is one thing guaranteed to drive consultants up the wall, it is trying to get prospects to return their calls. We are in a catch-22, you cannot drop in without an appointment, but we cannot get an appointment because nobody returns our calls. You just cannot win sometimes.

I estimate that over 50 percent of the time we are reaching voice mailboxes instead of real people. With those kinds of statistics, you would think we had be better prepared for the situation… but most of us are not.

We had better be prepared because, whether we like it or not, telephone, voice mail, e-mail, and other technological roadblocks to reaching our clients have become a reality.
Many of us feel that prospects are hiding behind their voice mail or e-mail systems. Not so. They’re not hiding behind them, they’re using them to screen or filter out potential time-wasting activities.

Perhaps you put the phone down and say s*x!! And think I will call later.
What a wasted opportunity! In my mind, voice mail is great! Why?
Any idea how much people pay for a 30 second commercial during the FA Cup Final/Champions League Final…about $500,000 for 30 seconds.

So when Nike are paying that kind of money for 30 seconds, how much do they spend in preparing that commercial, making sure with market research planning etc. that they will get the maximum number of people to take a good hard look at Nike products…..it might be even more!

Voice Mail is an opportunity if it is done right. No hmmmmm…ahhhhhhh. hmmmmm Or messages that are too short too long too fast. Ever left a message that rambled on and you regretted leaving message, should have just hung up. Ever hoped that the voice mail system would give you options to erase and start again?

Not unusual, if you did not have a plan, a repertoire of interesting, compelling messages, internalized, sounding natural warm and friendly. You probably have 15-20 seconds where you can leave a message that may differentiate your services from the competition. When you are driving in your car, listening to the radio, watching commercial television we are bombarded by 30 second messages that slip into your brain.

What do we want to get out of this voice mail message? Them to call us back, so what we have to do is give them 2-3 reasons why it is in their best interest to return your call.

If they do not call back, you can leave a second and different message and even a third!

Make them interesting and yes even make them funny!

Sometimes people phone back just to congratulate an innovative fun and interesting way of getting their attention.

All of the above is applicable for e-mail messages too.