Voicemail – Curse or Opportunity?

I don’t know about you, but I never like leaving a message when I reach someone’s voicemail; I often hesitate and put the phone down, sometimes I’ll leave a message but wish I could change it – and occasionally my rambling becomes embarrassing.

Just lately though, I started to plan what I’ll say IF I reach a voicemail and it has helped a lot. Of course, you can always avoid the situation and never leave a message, but these days there’s a downside to that. Sometimes, not leaving a message can be the worst thing you can do.

I frequently get ‘silent’ messages – the phone is blinking but when I try to retrieve the message there’s not so much as heavy-breathing at the other end of the line. And, that’s where not leaving a message can become a problem; if I don’t recognize the number I Google the number to see who the heck called me – then, if I deem it to be a spam, I block the number. If, during this process, I see that others have had the same experience with that particular number I’ll add a comment to a “Who Called You?” website where people go to vent. And, it’s not usually a positive one.

Whether or not it turns out to be spam, I’m ticked off that the person didn’t bother to leave a message and I wasted 15-minutes searching to see who it was.

If on the other hand I return to a message, I listen to it and at least give the caller a chance to say their piece, and even if it is a sales call they get my ear for a few seconds – maybe more.

Your BBC just launched a new Dynamic Presentation called, 20-Days-20-Habits-Super Telesales, with me as the presenter; in it I suggest when selling to leave a message that intrigues the prospect, one that encourages them to call back or take some other form of action.

I go on to give an example, say you are calling Rob Mason, you might leave a message that says, “Sorry to have missed you Mr. Mason, it’s Mike here from Acme Marketing, I know you’re very busy but I have something to show you that I am sure you will find incredibly beneficial to your company – if you can just visit acme.com forward slash Rob hyphen Mason you’ll be able to see what I mean.”

The fact that the URL features their name will likely pique their curiosity. On the web page, personally thank them by name for visiting and allow them to access a demonstration video, short presentation, special offer, or something else that will be of interest to them. At the end of the page, invite them to contact you immediately by phone, or by clicking an email link and also tell them you’ll call them back in a few days. Setting up pages like this is not difficult – just ask your friendly techie.

By taking control and having a plan, you can make leaving a voicemail message not only a lot less scary, but also potentially fruitful.

Spend a little time creating a powerful message that works for you – perhaps several – and test them to see which works best. The key is it needs to encourage the prospect to either return the call or find out more information. Do this and watch your return call rate soar.

If you’d like to find out more about my latest sales training presentations, visit Dynamic Presentations.