A lot of sales leaders focus on helping reps develop their abilities to make cold calls and land appointments. However, far less attention is paid to effective strategies for leaving voicemails when a prospect doesn’t answer the phone.
The following is a look at several key strategies and voicemail tips that can help salespeople improve the impact of voicemail messages!
Control the Length
The length of a sales voicemail carries a lot of weight in a recipient’s decision to listen. A message that is just a few seconds is too short, and it is likely the prospect won’t take it seriously. People often view short voicemails as lacking in necessary substance.
In contrast, a typical listener loses interest in an overly long message from a salesperson. Your best shot of getting a full listen to your message is a length around 25 to 30 seconds.
Lead with Value
A standard sales voicemail starts with, “Hi, this is John Doe from Company XYZ…” In many cases, a listener immediately hangs up because he has no interest in what the salesperson has to pitch.
A far better approach is to lead with your most compelling point, or the “value” in the call for the recipient. For example, you could say, “Hi John. I’m calling because your business is getting into widget manufacturing and could benefit from equipment insurance that protects your financial investment in machinery and equipment necessary to your operation.” This type of opening is more likely to capture attention and interest.
Focus on a Return Call
The odds of closing a deal on voicemail are next to nil. The goal of a sales voicemail is to get a return call or to alert a buyer to another opportunity to gain insight into your value proposition.
Understanding what you want to accomplish helps you avoid turning off a prospect, and improves opportunities for follow-up communication.
The conventional sales approach doesn’t work on voicemail. People have heard it and instinctively develop mental safeguards in response to it. Therefore, you need to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
Throwing in some humor or making a personal connection to the prospect are examples of ways to garner attention. You could also ask the prospect a very targeted question that speaks to the concerns or interests that would motivate him to take action. You might ask, for instance, “How different would things be for your business if you could generate a 10-percent increase in revenue with (your solution)?”
You should never make a sales call without a voicemail plan. In particular, know the objective of a voicemail before leaving it. With that in mind, focus on the value impact and length of your message. Differentiate yourself from all the other sales calls that people receive, and either ignore or don’t respond to.
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