waiting for a call

3 keys to getting your voicemails returned

Why don’t your prospects call you back?  You have a great proposal or bid you want them to hear about or you want feedback on the one you sent.

All you get is crickets!

The truth.  Your messaging is boring, irrelevant and unoriginal.

Ouch!  (It’s true though).

Let’s talk about that olde technology, invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876.  The “dog and bone” in rhyming cockney slang – the phone.

I get it.  No-one picks up and it goes to voicemail.  What do you do next?

DON’T HANG UP!

Think about this.  When you got to work this morning you checked your inbox.  How may people were trying to sell you something!  Maybe 20 or 50 sometimes

Did you read them—No! You deleted them all!

How many voicemails did you get. 2 or 3 right.? And I bet you either listened to them all or you read the transcript on your phone.

What odds would you prefer in Vegas. 1 in 50 or 1 in 2?

Key point: Voicemail is probably the most effective way to get your message to your prospect and have them listen to or read it!

Knowing this, the reason they don’t call back is your message is blah!

3 keys to using voicemail as an effective sales weapon:

  • Be relevant
  • Be distinctive
  • Be specific

Quickly show your prospect the relevance of your call to them.  If you don’t hook them in the first few seconds you’ll lose them.

Ask yourself, what is the one thing that will get them to prick their ears up?  Lead with that.

Let’s say you are trying to sell your flooring services to a multi-family commercial property manager.

Don’t start with,

Hey this is Mary Tate  from Acme Flooring.  I’m following up on my email from last week. You can reach me at 541 673 2121.  Acme specializes in your area……

Consider this alternative:

Hi Fred,

I see you got an award for your last multi-family project. We have partnered on several award winning multi-family developments and have developed an approach that shaves 20% off installation time.  This is Mary of Acme Flooring.  Please call me at 541 673 2121 and I can share our insights with you

Being distinctive means NOT being boring.  Don’t ramble.  The most effective voicemails should be 40 seconds or less.

Use your creativity and inject enthusiasm into your voice.  Get relevant quickly and then get to the specific ask.

Being specific means being very clear about what you want the prospect to do.  Is it to call you back?  Is it to read the email you sent?  Is it to visit a website to sign up for something?

Examples

Poor voicemail:

Hi Fred,

Pat Smith here from Acme Floors. I’m at 555 432 1212.  We haven’t worked together before but thought we could help you. Acme has been in business for 37 years and we started in carpet in residential but moved into commercial 15 years ago.  Then we recently added concrete and ceramic.  I’m one of the account reps and I’d love to show how we are different.  Love to bid on your next project or we can get together for coffee.  Please let me know.  Thanks

Fred has no idea who Pat or Acme is.  And he does not care.  Pat uses up valuable seconds with irrelevant info.

Fred does not care Acme has been in business for 37 years. He doesn’t need to know the transition from residential to commercial.

Fred is wondering “can this guy help me or not”. And Pat gives no evidence or relevance.

The voicemail is unoriginal, not distinctive and rambles.

The call to action is unclear.  Phone me, have coffee, or send him a bid? 

Fred will surely hit the delete button!

Good voicemail

Hi Fred,

I know you are very active in commercial property construction and I wanted to share a report we just published on material choices for high traffic areas in commercial properties.  In it, we identify 3 strategies to extend floor life by 50%.  This is Pat Smith at Acme Floor.  To receive your copy call me on 555 432 1212.

Fred thinks. “This guy has done his research”. 

The message gets straight to the point .  No waffling.  Very short and makes a very relevant and distinctive offer of the report which offers insights.  Of course, Fred is interested in reducing his replacement floor costs and ensuring the floors look good for longer periods.

The call to action is clear.  Call Pat to get the report.

Which voicemail do you think will be returned?

 

The above was about achieving tactical success.  Strategic success comes from a mindset shift.

Don’t expect your first voicemail to be returned.

Its power is increased exponentially when part of a sales cadence.

A cadence is a series of touches that combines email, voicemails, and possibly written notes.

A good cadence for a new prospect would be 7 touches over 7 days and might look like:

  • Day 1 AM: Personalized email (prospect knows it is written for them and not an autoresponder)
  • Day 1 PM: Call and leave a voicemail
  • Day 2: Phone call but no voicemail (Prospect sees your number in their call log)
  • Day 3: Leave a voicemail
  • Day 4: Another email
  • Day 6: Second email referencing your voicemail
  • Day 7: Final voicemail

This sequence primes the prospect in the first 3 days—one email and two voicemails.

Days. 4 through 7 indicate you have resolve and intent—it conveys you are committed and you will stand out.

If they don’t get back after 7 days you probably want to give them a rest.  Probably not that they don’t want to talk to you, it’s just not the right time.

Once again, if your voicemails are relevant, distinctive, and specific, most times you will get a callback!

Happy dialing, please leave your message after the beep.