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Sales Strategies

Sharon Day is President of Greenville-based Sales Activation Group. They help companies who are frustrated with their current team’s performance and/or turnover, teaching a strategic process for revenue generation and employee development.  For more information call 864.293.6633 or e-mail: sharon@2activatesales.com

Would you respond to your voice mail message?

Anyone who’s in the process of developing business knows how difficult it’s become to get people to return phone calls.   Frankly, that’s because most voice mail messages aren’t compelling.  A business owner might receive 20+ voice mail messages in one day, 15 of those are likely from solicitors.   If your message doesn’t make them believe there’s value in speaking with you, don’t expect a return call.

Here are five tips to set yourself apart from the competition, quickly cut to the chase and increase the likelihood of your call being returned.  String the examples below together to create your conversational message, then practice, practice, practice so you sound approachable, yet sophisticated.

Be personable, immediately.  State his first name, your full name and say your phone number twice.  Example:  “Joe, I’m sorry to have missed you!  This is Sharon Day, 293-6633, 293-6633”.  So far I sound like a neighbor.  Leaving your phone number upfront is important because he may not have the time to listen to the entire message.  Allow him to quickly get your name and number and move on if that’s his wish.  NOTE:  if you’ve been referred to Joe, change the message to:  “Joe, Sherry Jones suggested that I call you, I’m so sorry to have missed you!  This is…..”

Do not state the name of your company unless your company name is sure to impress him.  (Sorry, most times it doesn’t.)  You may disagree, but rather than say for whom you work, explain types of problems you typically solve.   Make a list of several and choose which you’ll use.  Note which examples you left on the message in case neither resonates and you want to use others in a future message.  Example:  “We’ve helped other sales teams increase revenues between 3 hundred thousand and 2 million dollars in one year.”

Appeal to him both emotionally and intellectually.  This is critically important!  Emotions drive purchase decisions.  The first step to his making a future purchase from you is to get him to respond.  Make your reason for calling pique his interest.  Example:  “The reason for my call is to discuss whether you’re 100% satisfied with your team’s performance and how they’re setting up 2013 for you.”

 Set up your expectation and next step.Do not ask him to return your call.  Thank him for his time.   Say what?!?!?  I thought the purpose of leaving a message was to get them to return the call!  And, that’s correct.  If the message is compelling, they’ll call you without being asked to.  Be clear and concise about what you feel is the likely outcome and what you’ll do next.  Example:  “You’ll probably tell me that you’re not struggling at all, but I’ll try to reach you again Thursday morning between 9 and 11am.  Thanks for your time.”                                              
Watch your tone and body language.   Wait a second, you might say, he can’t see me!
True, but your anxiety, frustration and emotions all come through loud and clear in the tone of your voice, your choice of words and inflection.   Choose a physical position that allows you to feel energetic yet relaxed; mine is standing and walking about, moving my hands while I talk, so I use a wireless device and headset.

The outcome of leaving the above message:  They know my name and phone number, have heard my voice, have an idea of what I do and how I’ve helped others, appreciate that I understand they likely have no need for my services, and really appreciate that I value their time and haven’t added another item to their ‘to do’ list.  And, that’s all from one voice mail message!  

Final note:  When you phone back and get the gatekeeper, you can say, “yes, he’s expecting my call”, because he is!  You stated specifically when you’d be calling in your first message.   Ahhh, this is a warm call!

02/19/2013 9:36AM
Would you respond to your voice mail message?
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