Thursday, August 18, 2011

Voicemail: Avoiding The Black Holes

Several good ideas and tips regarding voicemail were swapped at the Aug. 10 Erie Sales Club Workshop. Here are some of the top tips from that discussion.

What are the biggest mistakes you hear salespeople make when they leave a voicemail?
1. Too long. Many prospects won't listen to a voicemail longer than 30 seconds. "The more you talk the more you lose."
2. No information/topic shared. The prospect won't return the call because they don't know what it's in regard to.
3. Not leaving your name and number until the end of the message, and then only saying them once. And saying both too fast. Talk slowly enough so the person can write down your information.

How much planning should a salesperson conduct for a voicemail?

1. As much or as little as you need in order to get the prospect to "put their pencil down."
2. Some preparation is necessary -- don't totally wing it. Preparation will ensure that you don't ramble and that you talk about a subject the prospect cares about.
3. In your planning, learn "trigger events" that will get their attention. e.g. "I understand that you're planning to move to a new location. Maybe I can help." or "I understand you just launched this new product. Maybe I can help you sell more of them."

General voicemail tips

1. A voicemail to a prospect should rarely exceed 25 seconds. A voicemail to a customer could be longer because you are getting back to them with information they requested/need. Customers will tolerate longer voicemails if the info is vital.
2. Follow-up your voicemail with a brief email. Many prospects respond to email faster.
3. Show that you're reliable by saying in your voicemail, "I know you're busy so if I don't hear back from you I'll call you Friday," and then call them on Friday. If you run this drill enough, the prospect will learn (a) your name, (b) your company, and (c) that you follow through on what you say.

The next Erie Sales Club Workshop is set for Nov. 9 from 6:00-7:30 PM in Knowledge Park near the Penn State-Behrend campus. The topic will be Prospecting & Overcoming The Fear Of Cold Calling. Hope to see you there!

The Erie Sales Club is a joint effort of three leading local businesses: Jameson Publishing, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, and VertMarkets.


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