This post is written by one of our very own sales trainers who spends days and nights developing top-notch sales professionals with hands-on training, analysis and constantly adapting to client and sales environments.
She’s spent years training up reps reaching out to SMBs, and helping Invenio excel in a space where so many companies cannot scale their sales operations. The application of what we call the Science of Sales is proven through what many, mistakenly, consider an ineffective sales activity: great voicemails.
Here’s Cindy Tincher:
One of my old customers dropped me an email over the weekend asking for help. He is the owner/GM of a car dealership and when I called him first thing Monday morning to find out what he needed his secretary said, “go ahead and leave him a message, that is the first thing he does when he gets in is listen to his voicemails.”
Outbound salespeople can attempt anywhere from 50 to 200 customer contacts in an average day ranging from cold calls to closing calls and everything in between. We obviously don’t reach everyone we call and a common question is “do I leave a message or not?” If the answer is to leave a message the logical follow up to that is “what do I say?”
Sales Science suggests that leaving a voicemail is a no-lose scenario and provided you give your prospect a reason to call back it can set you up for a win. The extra 15 – 25 seconds to leave a voicemail is not a significant addition when you consider already having done research on your lead, refreshed yourself with the relationship and mentally prepared your pitch for this person.
the extra time gives you the opportunity for a call back or reminder and keeps your prep time from going to waste.
Here are some guidelines for leaving Value Based Voicemails:
- Give them a reason to call you back
- Speak clearly and professionally
- Ask for what you want
- Leave call back information
- Don’t ramble
Using Voicemail to Manage gatekeepers
Regardless of whether you are calling C-level executives or SMB owners and managers you are not likely to speak with a DM on the first call. Engaging a Gatekeeper or Office Manager is a good course of action but if you are directed to a voicemail it behooves you to say something with value behind it.
Some people can pull off the mysterious “This is Alan and I need to speak with you” and if you have the gravitas and the voice of authority you may get a callback but what will that conversation be about? It will revolve around the mystery of who this Alan guy is and what does he want. Once this busy and important person finds out it is a sales call you may not be able to get into a productive business discussion and even worse it can throw up a wall you will never get over.
Practical Application of Value based Voicemail
Your Opening message should be no more than 15 seconds or so. You have to grab their attention immediately and leave a good impression. In your opening message f you leave a proposition with some value behind it such as
then every call back you get is productive. Even if you don’t get a call back it increases the chances that a prospect in the market for the better mousetrap will take your call in the future because they know what you want and what you have to offer.
During the Agreement phase of the sale leave a message that will emphasize why they should call you back based on the deal you are pursuing. If you have had a productive business discussion this one can be a little longer, say 20 to 30 seconds.
Closing a deal with a voicemail is rare but there are techniques that can be used to get closure. Trying a pattern interrupt or drop message is a useful way to get your DM to actually make a decision if things are dragging on and your prospects for closing the deal look dim.
Any way you cut it, leaving a good voicemail is a no lose situation provided you put some value in it and give your prospect a reason to call you back.
More posts to read on sales voicemail: