Packing A Punch With Voicemail Messages

Voicemail messages can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, voicemail is an easy way for you to leave a brief but useful message for a prospective customer. On the other hand, we all know it’s just as easy for those same prospects to ignore or simply erase voicemail from unknown salespeople. If you hone your voicemail messages for maximum impact, however, you’ll create great sales opportunities.

Nine Reasons Why Voicemail is a Powerful Sales Tool

  1. Your voice communicates enthusiasm, warmth, and energy that easily gets lost in a printed or e-mail format.
  2. Because voicemail is such a basic communication tool, you don’t have to worry about technical compatibility and accessibility from your prospects’ end.
  3. You can communicate your message to many prospects within a short time. A seasoned rep can easily convey a powerful message to 20 prospects in under an hour. If that leads to one callback who’s truly interested, you’re on your way to getting results.
  4. Voicemail saves money. The average voicemail message is 30 to 45 seconds long. If you factor in time to connect and transfer into voicemail, your average cost per call should be 10 to 30 cents—cheaper than a first class postage stamp!
  5. Voicemail is flexible. From lead generation, scheduling appointments, connecting with past customers, or announcing special offers or a letter or e-mail already on its way, your opportunities are unlimited.
  6. Most prospects receive a few dozen e-mail solicitations daily—but in that “monsoon” of e-mail and direct mail solicitations, voicemail messaging stands out like a ray of sunshine.
  7. With so much information thrown at customers, standing out is no easy feat. Voicemail hasn’t been exploited like e-mail or direct mail. Leaving a powerful, concise voicemail message lets you differentiate your own unique message that speaks to your prospects’ needs.
  8. Voicemail messaging builds confidence and sales presentation skills. New sales reps especially must learn all about product features while fine-tuning their selling skills. Their biggest fear is if they have to interact with a live prospect who asks a question for which they don’t have an answer. Practicing a well-rehearsed script on voicemail gives new reps experience while they acquire product knowledge.
  9. For new reps, voicemail messages can be limited to introducing special offers or promotions, or to schedule a joint sales call. These approaches give new salespeople a great opportunity to reach out to veteran customers and new prospects in a safe, controlled environment.

Examples Of Voicemail That Provokes Responses

Note that the following examples cite articles covering subjects of interest to the prospect. By citing an article or other tool to help your prospect enhance her work environment, job, or career, you’re positioning yourself as a consultant and advisor, increasing your prospect’s interest in calling you back. When you connect with her, you’ll have positioned yourself as a credible source who understands her issues, not just another peddler eager to launch into a sales pitch.

“Hi, my name is _____, and last week I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that claimed drug testing is an ineffective tool to weed out poor-quality job applicants. Yet, five times more companies test for drugs today compared to ten years ago. I have worked with a company in your industry that has reported saving over $5 million by streamlining its hiring process and increasing its retention rates. Is this something you’re looking to address? If so, please call me back at _____.”

“Hi, my name is _____, and I recently read an article in U.S. News & World Report stating that over 75% of high-tech firms today turn to foreign workers to manage their help-desk operations. One of the key challenges seems to be surmounting the language barrier and the difficulty customers have had communicating with the new help-desk personnel. My company is currently working with a client who has addressed this concern and increased customer retention by 30% over the past 12 months as a result of our services. Is this an issue you are experiencing? If so, please call me at _____.”

A template can help you form more educational questions to suit your situation, like the following examples:

“Hi, my name is ____, and I recently came across some information that would be of interest to you. While reading the trade journal __________, I learned that __________ which seems to be an issue a number of my clients are dealing with. I’m curious if this is an area you are looking to address and, if so, we have some ideas. Please call ________.”

“… and I’ve learned about some pending legislation that might affect your company. The legislation is _____. Does your company have a plan in place to deal with this change? Over (number of companies) in your industry have turned to us for solutions…”

“… and I read an article this morning in _____ claiming that ________. My clients’ experiences have been different, however, and I was wondering how your company’s experience compares…”

Make your voicemail messages an engaging calling card for you and your company, and you’ll increase the likelihood of prospects calling you back.

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Paul Cherry

For over two decades, sales expert and author PAUL CHERRY has helped B2B sales professionals close more deals in all major industries. As a recognized thought leader in customer engagement strategies, Paul Cherry has been featured in more than 250 publications, including Investor’s Business Daily, Selling Power, Inc., Sales & Marketing Management, The Kiplinger Letter, and Salesforce.

Performance Based Results

Paul Cherry is the president of Performance Based Results. PBR delivers intense, customized sales team training programs and sales management coaching to companies throughout North America. Paul has worked with more than 1,200 organizations, including 175 of the Fortune 500, plus more than a thousand entrepreneurial, small to mid-sized, cutting-edge businesses looking to dominate their niche markets. Clients typically get 7 times their return-on-investment (ROI) or better.

Questions That Sell

Paul Cherry’s top-rated bestseller, Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants (AMACOM) has been listed on BookAuthority’s “100 Best Sales Books of All Time” and has been published in four languages. He is also the author of Questions That Get Results (Wiley) and The Ultimate Sales Pro (HarperCollins Leadership).