Written by Sean McPheat |
When you call someone for the first time, it can be a bit unnerving to get their voicemail.
But it needn’t be, if you prepare effectively.
It always surprises me how many salespeople are not prepared for voicemail.
These days, buyers are busier than ever, and even if they are available, may put their phones through to voicemail, simply because they don’t have time to take calls.
They consider it better to not take calls at all, rather than tell the caller they are too busy and please call back later.
So what should you do?
Well, firstly calculate how many of your calls to prospects actually do end up going to voicemail.
Work it out as a percentage of your total calls and I’m sure you’ll agree that you could be wasting a lot of time and energy if you don’t get this right.
What do you say when you get through to voicemail?
Have a prepared bullet-point list of things you would like to say, so you sound professional and reduce the ums and errs that often accompany these messages.
It also surprises me how some salespeople go to pieces when they talk to a machine.
It’s as if they lose part of their brain that drives their common-sense and they dissolve into a mumbling, stuttering, incoherent wreck.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Remember this sequence, and all should be well:
A cheery greeting with your name and company.
You’re not trying to fake your way passed a gatekeeper or anything like that, so just be straight up and honest.
What you offer:
This has to be a benefit to the prospect.
Don’t just rattle off what you do or the products you sell…your message will be deleted before you get to the end.
What you want:
An appointment would be good!
So ask the prospect for one.
He can’t say no at the moment, so you’ve got the initiative.
If you’ve sold the benefits effectively, he should be willing to at least see you.
So you might want to give one or two alternatives when you leave the message.
Terminate with what happens next.
Leave your contact details (ensuring your phone number is spoken at the same rate that people write) and say that you’re going to call again.
By saying that, when you call next time and the gatekeeper asks if he is expecting your call, you can truthfully say ‘Yes!”.
By keeping this sequence in mind, you will be more confident and professional when you leave any messages for your prospects on their voicemail.
Originally published: 30 August, 2017