If you are struggling to get your voicemail messages returned, then you are not alone. Industry statistics show that less than 10% of voicemails are returned to potential new customers. Because of this, finding the right voicemail message and learning a few proven techniques can be the key to not only making contact with those hard-to-reach sales leads, but also building relationships and gaining new accounts.
Here are five proven techniques that give you the best chance of getting your voicemail messages bounced:
Proven Technique Number One: Don’t even leave a voicemail! Sounds weird, huh? Well, the truth is, the best technique to follow when trying to reach a potential customer for the first time is to persevere and call five or seven or even ten times before leaving a message. Your goal is to surprise them by picking up the phone and having a conversation instead of leaving multiple voicemail messages unreturned.
Try calling at different times of the day and even multiple times on Friday. Fridays are the most relaxed days and most people are preparing for the weekend rather than preparing for the week. Worst day to leave a voicemail? Monday.
One word of caution: for those of you who are worried that when you finally find someone who answers the phone and is upset that they didn’t leave a message (you saw they called you multiple times though), be prepared with a good script! Something like: “I didn’t want to bother you with multiple voicemail messages, so I decided to just try to catch you. Anyway, I’m glad I did …”
Persevering in this way is the best way to call someone on the phone, and since most sales reps won’t do it, you’ll be way ahead if you do.
Proven Technique Number Two: You must write an effective voicemail message in advance. Nothing will get your message deleted faster than the sound of an unprepared and unprofessional message full of um and uh.
As soon as a busy prospect hears that kind of message, especially from someone they don’t know (and a salesperson on top of that!), They automatically look for the delete button. And you?
Also, you want to make sure your scripted voicemail has these three elements: 1) Focus on your prospect, NOT your product or service. 2) Never say, “I would like to take some time to learn more about you …” 3) Leave your number SLOWLY and twice.
As you will see in the following examples, most sales reps leave a message about them, this never works. Second, they sometimes think that by wanting to “learn more about how he drives …” they think they are putting the prospect first. INCORRECT. All the potential customer is thinking is that they don’t want to take valuable time educating you so you can sell them.
And three, the worst technique of all is leaving your phone number so quickly that you force your prospect to replay your message over and over again just to get your phone number. Yeah sure, as if someone was going to do that …
Here is an example of what to do and what not to do:
Proven Technique Number Three: Convert Bad VM Message to Effective One:
The WRONG way to leave a virtual machine (and unfortunately how most people do it):
“Hi, I’m (Your name) from (Your company), and we offer shipping and packaging supplies for all of your shipping needs. The reason I’m calling is to find out more about your business and to get more information about your shipment. . needs and see if we can save you some money. If you could call me at (888) 555-1234 it would be great. We hope to hear from you soon. “
This message checks all the “don’ts” boxes that I listed in technique number two. It is about the caller; You want to take time away from the potential customer so you can “pitch” more, and the number was only dropped once.
Here is the CORRECT VM to exit:
“Hi (lead name), this is (your name) with (your company). We offer discounted shipping and packaging supplies, and if you’re like most companies we work with, you’re probably paying too much! 15 % every month and get better service guaranteed. To find out how much you can save, just call me at (SLOWLY leave your phone number).
Again, my name is (Your name) and my toll-free number is: (Leave the number slowly again). If I do not hear from you in the next few days, I will contact you again. If you prefer to be removed from our list, or if you prefer to receive information by email, just give me a call and leave me a message. Talk to you soon! “
This virtual machine is efficient because it focuses on the potential customer and their benefits first (savings of 10-15%). The phone number was left twice slowly. But the magic technique was:
You gave your potential client a way out! You let them know that they can just call you back, leave you a message (so they don’t have to talk to you or be disturbed when they call), and that they can prevent you from calling them again if they aren’t. I am not interested! This is good for you too, as you won’t be wasting your time on disinterested prospects.
One note: if you find that the above message is too long, please edit it! Create a script on your VM the way you like it and then use it consistently. In fact, take some time to rework your existing voicemail message to fit the above rules.
Proven Technique Number Four: Combine Your Voicemail With An Email Campaign For Maximum Effectiveness. The number one law in all marketing is repetition.
The same goes for getting your prospects to notice you. The most effective way is to use a two-month campaign that looks like this:
First: try to communicate with someone for a couple of weeks without leaving a virtual machine. Week One: Drop off a virtual machine and follow up with an email later that day. Then leave a second virtual machine that same week. Week Two: Send Email No. 2, then drop off a virtual machine at the beginning of the week and on that Friday. Week Three: Email at the beginning of the week and at the end. Leave a virtual machine in the middle. Week Four: Send another email on Tuesday and drop off a virtual machine on Thursday. Second month: Email or leave one virtual machine per week for four weeks. Also: call in the middle and do not leave a message.
Anytime between week two and three, one of your emails should be the “Should I stay or should I go?” Email. If you haven’t heard of this email, your contact return rate is about to increase by 60%! Says so:
Your subject line is: (Lead name) Should I stay or should I go?
I haven’t heard from you and that tells me one of three things:
1) You do not have a need at this time or you have already chosen another company for this.
2) You are still interested, but you haven’t had time to reply to me yet.
3) You have fallen and you cannot get up, in that case let me know and I will call 911 for you …
Please let me know which one it is because I’m starting to worry.
Honestly, joking aside, I understand that you are very busy, and the last thing I want to do is feel pain in my neck once a week. If your schedule has been too demanding or you have gone in another direction, I would appreciate if you would take a second to let me know so I can follow up accordingly.
Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.
If you’re smiling reading this, so will your prospect! Again, this is a high-percentage email that gets a response about 60% of the time. Compare that to your current results.
Proven Technique Number Five: If your VM and email campaigns aren’t working, consider going the extra mile, as a major producer once said, “The extra effort is never crowded.” Even if a potential customer is not in the market right now, as we all know, things change. And when they do, you want to be the most important thing so that they think of you when they are finally ready.
The most effective way to do this is by sending physical greeting cards. It is very effective. In fact, did you know that the number one salesman in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is a guy named Joe Girard? He was a car salesman and sold an average of six new cars EVERY DAY! As it did? He sent a card to each client and each prospect every month (and one for Christmas), 13 cards in all.
Joe was so successful that people had to make appointments with him to buy a car.
There you have it: Five Proven Voicemail Techniques for Getting Your Calls Returned. Follow them and you will be much more successful than you are now. Don’t follow them and, well, you know how it goes.
Copyright (c) 2016 Mr. Internal Sales