Can you imagine getting 20 voicemails at work? How about 15 voicemails? Do you think that you would have the time to listen to each and every voicemail? Do you think that you would have the time to return each call? How about 10 voicemails? Is the number 10 maybe a bit more manageable? Is that number still too many? Ok, for a minute, let’s imagine if your sales prospect returned to their office, sat down at their desk, listened to their voicemail and the automated voice said, “You have 10 unread voicemail messages.” Does this scenario sound realistic? Well, I think that the number 10 is quite possible especially if you are contacting successful business professionals, don’t you?
If your prospect were busy prior to finding out that they had 10 voicemails, can you imagine how they must feel now? The last person they want to hear from is someone making cold calls! Of all these voicemails which ones will actually get a return phone call from your sales prospect? I was unable to find research to answer this question. However, I would say that a very small percentage would warrant a callback. My guess is that 10%-20% of voicemail messages left by cold callers get returned. Which of these voicemails that your prospect decides to callback do you think are part of this so-called “10%-20% Club?” I would say any of the following voicemail messages that I’ve listed below would take precedence over the voicemail message that you had left for your sales prospect (especially if this is your first contact with them!). These top priority voicemail messages include:
Returned calls (Calls that your prospect made and now they are getting a callback!) that your prospect has received.
Internal work-related calls that your prospect has received.
Referral calls (People who were referred to your sales prospect.) that your prospect has received.
Other cold calls that your prospect has received.
Personal calls that your prospect has received.
Let us assume that my 10%-20% number is accurate, so now that means that your sales prospect would return between one and two cold calls. Based on these numbers, Is it worth your time to leave a voicemail message? What do you think? Well, If you leave a voicemail message that is boring and that does not inspire curiosity from your prospect than don’t bother leaving a message. In fact, you’re better off just going on to the next call till you make a contact. However, if you are willing to leave an unconventional, yet savvy voicemail message that inspires curiosity from your prospect than it is absolutely worth your time to leave a message. Here are four suggestions that you can use to increase your chances of an immediate callback:
1. MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.
Your attitude has magnetizing affect. What do I mean here? This means that your attitude has the ability to move mountains. Ok, maybe not literally, but what I mean here is that your attitude has the power to alter your prospect’s state of mind. Your attitude has the power to reduce your prospect’s resistance and inspire their curiosity. Next time you leave a voicemail message put a smile on your face and be positive! The attitude and energy that you bring to the call will be one factor in whether or not your prospect will call you back!
2. MAKE SURE THAT YOU SOUND CONFIDENT IN WHAT AND HOW YOU SAY YOUR MESSAGE.
When I say that you need to sound confident in “what you say” in your message I’m referring to the contents of your message. In order to effectively communicate your message, you need to clearly understand the features of your product and/or service and their benefits. When I say that you need to sound confident in “how you say” your message I’m referring to your voice. It’s important that you sound or come across upbeat, positive, enthusiastic and project confidence in your voicemail message (i.e. how you say their name, your name, your company, the reason for your call and your phone number at the end of your message (remember to repeat your phone number twice). If you get excited and stay excited, your positive tone will convert to an immediate callback.
3. MAKE SURE THAT YOUR MESSAGE IS CREATIVE.
Creativity is yet another trait that you can use to inspire curiosity from your sales prospect. If you are creative it will set you apart from the mainstream or status quo. It will make you interesting versus being perceived as boring. How can you come across creative in your voicemail messages? Here are a few examples:
Contact prospects that you see pictured or quoted in a publication.
After reviewing your prospect’s website comment on a recent press release (i.e. “Congrats, I noticed that your company was nominated for ……”) or take a look at your prospect’s management profile (their biography) and see if you have something in common (i.e. You went to the same college or have a similar interest such as fishing).
Locate relevant industry statistics that you can intertwine into your voicemail message.
Try using creative opening lines such as, “This will be the most enthusiastic call that you return today.” Or, “This will be the most important call that you return today.” Then, proceed with the rest of your voicemail message and your prospect will be curious and to listen to the rest of your message.
Since everyone’s time is valuable let your prospect know how much you appreciate their time. For example, you could include this line in your voicemail, “(First name of prospect), I know how valuable your time is and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the time that you have taken to listen to this voicemail.”
4. MAKE SURE THAT YOUR PROSPECT KNOWS THAT THIS IS NOT A ONE TIME ONLY COLD CALL.
Many cold callers contact their prospect once or twice and then give! Since many prospects know this ratio they feel no need to call you back. However, if you make a comment in your voicemail indicating that you are planning on call them again then your prospect will take you more seriously. In addition, they will not only take you more seriously, but they will respect your persistence. Why is this true?
The prospects that you are contacting should be successful–they are CEO’s, Business Owners, Directors, Managers and the list can go on and on. These individuals did not get to where they are by being reactive, but they got to where they are now because they have a strong work ethic. And because of this they will respect your persistence and call you back! What can you say on your voicemail to indicate that you are persistent (like them) as well?
Here are a few examples that you could incorporate into your message:
“I hope that you admire my persistence……”
“I’m very determined in reaching you….
“I’m sure that you didn’t get to where you are now by being reactive, but rather you are where you are now because you are proactive and I’m hoping that will respect my timely follow-up!”
“I figured I’d try you one more time, I’m not one to give up so quickly (say that line with a smile)….”
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