Voicemail can seem like the bane of a salesperson’s existence. Your prospects are busier than ever, and you’re increasingly likely to reach voicemail instead of a live person when making calls.
Voicemail doesn’t have to be a dead-end, though. We at PromoMatting have put together some tips for making voicemail messages work for you:
- Be prepared. Write out a short but effective message before you call. If possible, mention any connections you have — a referral, mutual acquaintances, or a conference you both attended.
- Include a call to action. Offer a key piece of information, free report, or another compelling reason to call you back. Just be careful to not give them enough information to make a decision without calling.
- Use the person’s first name twice. Any more than that will sound unnatural, as will using their last name.
- Mention your phone number twice. State it slowly and clearly.
- Keep the message short and make a key point within the first five to 10 seconds.
- Practice, practice, practice. Practice your message until it sounds natural, not like you’re reading it. Be professional, but let your personality shine through, too. You want to come across as genuine and personable. It may sound corny, but smiling while you’re talking on the phone really works.
- Don’t call at odd hours. Recipients will suspect that you were trying to avoid talking with them directly.
- Always leave a message. Don’t hang up and hope to reach a live person next time – it’s not likely to happen.
- Don’t take it personally if your calls aren’t returned. With today’s increasing workloads, many people don’t have time to return calls. Craft a new message that gives them another compelling reason to call you back, and then follow up.
- Be ready to reach a live person. If you’re making a lot of calls, voicemail can become rote. Make sure you’re ready in case someone actually answers!
Experts recommend leaving three voicemail messages and sending one or two e-mails over the course of a month (provided you have permission to e-mail them, of course). Anything beyond that can come across as too aggressive, but you can stay in touch by periodically sending an article or other information the recipient may find useful.