Leaving Effective Voicemails
Social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn have redefined “building a relationship.” While social tools can be effective communication tools, sometimes you should just pick up the phone and make a call. There is something different about hearing a real person with a real voice asking for your business that is hard to ignore. The reality, however, is that you will often be sent to voicemail.
So, should you leave a voicemail message?
I believe you should. A properly crafted voicemail message is another part of building a connection with a potential prospect. Here are a few ideas on how to create the most effective voicemail message possible.
- Only leave a message every three days. Anymore and you are a pest, any less and they may forget that you have already tried to reach out to them. And, if you have other contact information be sure to make other contacts — like email or a handwritten note.
- Plan what you want to say in advance. Assume you will be sent to voicemail. Create a quick script if it will help make sure to say what you want.
- While a script will help you, don’t sound too “canned” or “salesy” while trying to catch your prospect’s attention.
- The message should contain information that matters to the prospect. Don’t talk about your products and services.
- Don’t leave a message that is too short. Give the prospect a compelling reason to want to call you back. But don’t drone on and on. This is an art. Experiment with what works best for you.
- Show that you have done your research and understand their situation. This will help them see that you are not just calling down a list of numbers, but have taken the time to begin to understand their business.
- Speak clearly and slowly so you will be heard and understood. And don’t mumble your words. Practice by leaving a message on your own voicemail so you can hear how you sound.
- Work hard at not using verbal pauses like “ums” and “ahs.” They will make you sound less confident, and less credible.
- While it may sound obvious, leave your name and contact information at the end of the message. And make sure to speak slowly and repeat the information so they can make sure they wrote it down correctly. You also might try leaving it at the beginning of the message when the prospect is poised to take notes.
- If it is a true cold call, leave your agency website address (or preferably a marketing website) so they can find out more information about you and the agency.
- Mention another company you have helped with a similar problem that the prospect is likely to have. And make sure to mention another client of yours within their industry, a common colleague, or someone who has referred you to them.
- Don’t give up too soon. In this busy world many prospects might not return your call until you have tried them multiple times.
It is easier today than ever for prospects to hide behind voicemail, yet it is an important part of your prospecting toolkit. My hope is that these suggestions will help you maximize your use of voicemail to get that first appointment.
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