Why would anyone consider leaving a voicemail when it’s so much easier to email? This is because each day your customer may get more than a hundred emails, however, she will probably get less than ten voice mails. Each message gives you a better chance to build up a relationship as it requires them to listen carefully for your details and allows the personality of your voice to come across.
For any business, soliciting new customers is not just essential, it is a lifeline. As part of your sales strategy, you will be making calls to new prospects in the hopes of turning them into your customers. More often than not you will encounter the answering machine asking you to leave a message instead of being able to talk to a real person.
What should you do in such a scenario? Do you just hang up the phone thinking you will try again later? Don’t let go of the opportunity; leave a warm sales message on the machine. Who knows, this voicemail message could very well work to your advantage –
listening to a message when the client is more relaxed might mean that he or she is more receptive than during the middle of a busy day.
Failing to leave a voice message and missing the many opportunities will surely lose your business many customers.
Voicemail can be a valuable sales tool if you follow a few basic guidelines:
- Work from a script. Be prepared when you start making the call. There is a big difference between talking to a live person and leaving a message. Prepare a written script for your message and practice it a few times to make your presentation sound natural.
- Keep your message brief and focused. Do not get into a long-winded talk about your company and product. Keep it short – about 30-40 seconds – any longer and you have lost the prospect. State your name, your company and the product you are selling with one key reason why they should buy your product.
- Make the call in a quiet environment so that it is heard nice and clear. You need to be in a place where you can concentrate and won’t be interrupted. Also, you don’t want external noises to be recorded along with your message.
- Do not make it a social call; get the prospect to react to your message. Give a call to action – ask for a return call, a visit to your web site or urge them to preview a brochure mailed to them. But ask them to “do something”. Leaving a generic message or calling to “say hi” is a no-no and will not generate leads or sales prospects.
- The work is not done once you have left the message – you have to follow up with the prospect to make sure that the message has been heard. Always include your contact details and follow up promptly on any promises you make, such as a follow-up email or mailer.
Think of voicemail as an integral part of your sales process and a way to reach your prospective client, rather than a barrier to do so.