When your sellers cold call a prospect and get voice mail, do they leave a message? Many sellers don’t, because…
“Nobody listens to voice mail anymore.”
“I’m no good at leaving messages.”
“They never call back, so why bother?”
I always leave a message. It doesn’t cost any money, and somebody might listen to it. Hey … you never know.
“Always leave a message” recently paid off in a major way with the new HR Director of a big employer in my hometown.
On February 11, I left her a cold-call voice mail and followed up with an email. She didn’t respond.
The following Monday I called again and she picked up. “I’m in a meeting. Can I call you back?”
She didn’t call me back.
Friday, I left another message.
Next, I switched to leaving her phone messages every 7-10 days, with an occasional email in between. All were met with silence … until April 8.
That morning, she hit “Reply” to my very first email from two months before: “Hi, Phil — Do you have time to connect today on possibly doing an ad around hiring?”
When we connected, she said, “I got all of your messages. I just wasn’t ready to do anything. Now I am—I need to hire 50 entry-level workers by the end of May. What can we do?”
I’ll be presenting a $144,000 year-long broadcast and digital plan next Monday.
Your sellers may think nobody listens to voice mail. But some folks do. Every time a machine asks a seller to leave a message, it’s a chance to make an impression on a person who might buy something one day.
So, make those opportunities count. Here are some best practices:
Write out a message template and rehearse it. The more often your mouth says the same words, the better and more natural they sound. Sales trainer Paul Castain recommends leaving a message on your own voice mail from another phone and listening to it. Would you return that call?
- Keep it to 45 seconds, max.
- Speak slowly, in a clear and calm voice. Offer a good business reason for the prospect to want to talk with you.
- Give your phone number twice—at the beginning and again at the end.
One other note: a combination of voice mail and email to the same prospect is often more effective than either medium alone.
Even if most prospects don’t call back, each message plants a seed. Now and then a business relationship sprouts.
Hey… you never know.