The very first thing I do when I walk into the office is check my messages. In addition to being the Business Development Manager, I am also heavily involved in our digital marketing—which means several vendors call me every day, leaving messages pitching their products and services. The incredible thing is more often than not, they are actually trying to sell me on a voicemail. That might work if my voicemail were the decision maker for my organization—but the last time I looked at our corporate checks, they weren’t signed by an inanimate object.
Most sales professionals can tell you that they are a pretty easy sell. We identify with the person as they attempt to qualify us and even help them along in the process by telling them exactly what we are looking for. We are also quick to deliver feedback that could help them with other interactions.
However, when a person starts leaving me a 3 minute rambler on who they are and why I should buy-now-buy-now, I never make it past the first 10 seconds. If you failed to capture the attention of someone giving you the benefit of the doubt, what do your prospects think?
The question you need to ask yourself is, “Are your voicemails informational or motivational?”
Having a two-way conversation should be the goal of every prospecting call. That means when leaving voicemails, we need to do all we can to motivate the prospect to call back. Every salesperson should analyze their own messages to improve voicemail response.
First, let’s take a look at both approaches:
An informational message would involve the salesperson stating the reason for the call, what they are offering, and the reason they think you should call them back. Listening to these messages gives your prospect all the information they need to decide whether or not it makes sense to call you back.
For example, an informational message might sound like this: “Hi Joe, this is David at ABC corporation and I would really like to talk to you about our Digital Marketing product that will increase your website engagement by 200%. I have worked with many clients in your field and it would be a huge benefit to your company if we had a brief conversation. Call me at 123-456-7890.”
A motivational message, on the other hand, is a little ambiguous and piques the prospect’s curiosity enough to have them give you a call back. Where an informational message tells them exactly why you are calling, a motivational message gives them a reason to return your call to find out what’s up.
For example, a motivational message might sound like this: “Hi Joe, this is David from ABC corporation. Your contact information just came across my desk and I have some important information to share with you. Please call me back at 123-456-7890.”
Which message are you likely to return? Chances are a motivational message. Not all of your prospects are going to return your call, but if your message has them intrigued and wondering “hmmm…I wonder what information they were talking about”, then you are more likely to hear back from them. It’s certainly better than your prospect saying, “oh, it’s that marketing person calling again to try and sell me some package.” What type of response do you think you will get when you do finally get a hold of them?
In a phone first culture it is important that when we are met with a roadblock (like voicemail) we do everything we can to encourage engagement. Try switching up your voicemails and see if you improve voicemail response rates. What are some of the most effective voicemails you have left for a prospect?