Getting past your prospects’ voice mail presents another challenge altogether. Here are five tips you can use to make voice mail work for you rather than against you.
The telephone can be a powerful tool for generating leads and selling products and services. Unfortunately most business owners are so ineffective using the telephone their only accomplishments are frustrating prospects and removing them from the sales channel.
Voice mail presents another challenge altogether. Some business owners even refuse to leave messages. While this may be an appropriate response in some cases, voice mail can also be a valuable sales tool if you follow a few basic guidelines. After making and supervising over 9,000 telephone calls in a twelve-month period in one of my businesses, our calls went into the voice mail system over 81% of the time. Failing to leave a voice message and missing this many opportunities was not an option for us.
Based on statistics and results from over 15,000 outbound telephone calls, here are the critical issues to consider if you want voice mail to work for you:
1. Work from a script
Assume that you will get voice mail and be prepared. You can not “wing it” and stumble aimlessly through a call. After practicing it a few times, your presentation will sound natural.
2. Your message must be brief
30 seconds is an absolute maximum. In our initial campaign, our messages were about 60 seconds in length and our call-backs were less than 10%. Once we shortened the call to 30 seconds, our call-backs increased significantly.
3. Your message must be focused
When you prepare your script, focus on the single most important benefit you offer your prospects. If time permits, you can mention one or two more key points as you close the call, but don’t exceed your 30 second time limit.
4. Be professional, enthusiastic and confident
A professional approach will help get your prospect’s attention, and your enthusiasm and confidence will move him along in the sales cycle. Seems like common sense doesn’t it? But common sense isn’t always common practice.
5. Leave a call-to-action
If you’re not prepared to leave a call-to-action, then don’t make the call. Leaving a generic message or calling to “say hi” is simply a social visit and not part of the lead generation or sales process. Ask for a return call, a visit to your web site, preview a brochure mailed to them, whatever it is you called for in the first place. But ask them to “do something”.
Voice mail can be an integral part of your sales process. Use it wisely and you will get great results.