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Effective VoiceMail Messaging: Do's and Don'ts

by Trish Bertuzzi on Mon, Jan 28, 2008

Whether we like it or not, voice mail has become the first step in the sales process.   There is quite a bit of debate surrounding whether to leave voice mail messages or whether to just keep dialing a number in the hope that the prospect will answer the phone.  We vote for leaving voice messages....why miss an opportunity to create an impression?

Voice mail can be one of the greatest sales tools ever created if you know how to use it.  The first fact you have to embrace is that, on average, only 5% of the voice mail messages you leave will result in a return call.  Depressed about that?  Well, don't be.  Your voice mail message can and does serve more than one purpose.  Of course it is fantastic when a prospect returns your call but even if they don't, you still have laid the groundwork for effective communication of your value proposition.

Think of your voice mail messages as value proposition building blocks.  How effective they are in this strategy is predicated on integrating the technique into an effective outbound call methodology - more about that in a future posting.  Let's focus for now on the
Do's and Don'ts of Voice Mail Messaging.

Don't

  • Refer to your company as the industry leader
  • Spew your company history or name drop more than 2 relevant customers
  • Reference the fact that they recently attended a trade show or downloaded a white paper
  • Ask for a commitment of their time before you have established credibility
  • Leave your email or web address in your voice mail message

Do

  • Be concise, outline what you want to say before you make the call
  • Limit yourself to 90 words or less - it will force you to focus on the message and not the fluff
  • Provide a compelling reason for them to call you back
  • Use vocal variety, people will hear the passion in your voice much more than they will hear the actual words
  • Ask them to call you back "today" - convey a sense of urgency

If you view each voice mail message as a mini commercial for your product or service and invest some time in developing these actionable sound bites, when you do get in touch with your prospect, they will have a basic understanding of your value proposition and you will be that much more ahead of the curve.

Feel free to share any tips or techniques you have learned about voice mail.  Let's learn from each other!

Topics: sales tips, cold calling, sales process, lead qualification

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