Part of the lead generation process involves leaving voice mails for decision makers, and then playing the “waiting game” to see if and when they’ll call you back. Unfortunately, many lead generation calls fail to maximize the potential of voice mail. Every time your prospects hear your voice mail messages, that is a chance to catch the decision makers in a quiet moment when they are listening and are receptive to what you have to say. But too many sales reps make the mistake of leaving hasty, poorly thought-out voice mail messages that quickly get deleted.
Leaving better voice messages can be the difference between closing more sales and missing out on opportunities. Here are the five most effective ways to get decision makers to call you back – by leaving better voice mail messages:
1. Get to the point: Don’t waste time on pleasantries. Instead, cut to the chase. You don’t need to leave a lengthy voice mail with your full job title and company name. Just say, “Hi Joe, this is John Smith. My phone number is 555-123-4567.”
2. Say the name of the person who referred you: If you got referred to this decision maker by one of their colleagues, say so up front. Make it clear that someone the decision maker trusts has put you in touch with them – this is immensely helpful in building credibility and preventing the listener from pressing “Delete” on your voice mail. Right after your quick introduction, simply state the name of the reference by saying, “Mary Jones said that I should contact you.”
3. Show that you’re prepared: Make it clear to the decision maker that this is more than a rapidly dialed cold call – show that you’ve done your research, that you know their industry and that you’re familiar with the nature of their challenges. Demonstrate that you’ve helped other similar companies to overcome the same types of difficulties. For example, a line you might use could be, “I’ve been talking with a lot of other companies in your area/industry, and people have been telling me that they’re dealing with a lot of challenges related to _______________.”
4. Make it about “them,” not about “you:” Don’t be self-serving. Don’t talk all about how great your company is and how awesome your solutions are. Instead of shamelessly self-promoting, work to show an interest in the prospect and their needs. It’s better to say “less” on a voice mail message than to say too much about yourself and your company.
5. Stick to the script: Usually when making lead generation calls, it’s best not to sound too scripted, but leaving a voice mail message is an exception to this rule. Work from a script (or at least a simple outline) when leaving voice mails for decision makers. Using a script will help you maintain discipline, focus and brevity. If you only have a few seconds to grab the prospect’s interest and hold their attention long enough to get a callback, you need to make sure you can quickly mention your most important key points, say what you need to say, and leave a message before you get cut off.
Instead of treating voice mail like a “missed call” or simply mumbling your name and phone number, remind your sales reps that every voice mail is an opportunity to get through to a prospect. By putting some more planning and focus into your sales team’s voice mail messages, you might be surprised at how many decision makers start calling you.