When prospecting, should I or shouldn’t I leave a voicemail?
If you have created a targeted voicemail that states the reason for your call, including a well-thought-out value proposition, then absolutely, YES leave a voice mail. If you're leaving “touching base” voicemails or “checking-in” voicemails, then don’t bother.
Voicemails should be part of every sales professional’s contact and messaging strategy that combines calls, e-mails and other relative tactics of getting your message in front of target prospects. If your contact strategy includes quality and relevant messaging each time, then this increases the chances of a prospect responding. The prospect may not call you back from your voicemail but if they see a thoughtful follow-up e-mail, combined by hearing your concise voicemail, you may spark their “intrigued” button enough for them to respond. The question isn’t whether or not to leave voicemails, it’s how do you leave great voicemails?
Below are several voicemail tactics I recommend you embrace:
Timing Is Important
Don’t leave voicemail messages at odd hours of the night. The best hours to leave voicemail messages are from 6:45am to 8:00am and from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. Messages left on a Friday afternoon are the least likely to be returned. For most people, Monday mornings are very busy and as a result, only high-priority activities will get their immediate attention. By the way, these are also the best times to make prospecting calls. I recommend you schedule your “call time” in your calendar during these times daily.
Be Professionally Persistent
I find it amazing almost half (50%) of Sales people attempt to call a prospect/ lead only ONCE, then stop. Really?! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!
On average it takes 6 attempts to contact a prospect before a connection is made.
Sincere, professional persistence is the name of the game, so develop a strong call plan and execute. By being professionally persistent you will gain a competitive edge and your results will speak for themselves.
Do NOT Start The Voicemail With Your Name First
Believe it or not, the call or the voicemail isn’t about you or how great you are. The call and the voicemail are about the value proposition your company provides– the value proposition that will help solve the prospect's pain. Start your voicemail's with “Hi , the reason for my call today is…” and then describe a short value prop that focuses on getting the prospect's attention. The goal is to get the prospect to pay attention to the value you can provide instead of some preconceived notion of what you do. Then end your call with “...my name is Jane Harper, please call me back at 888-234-5678. Once again that’s Jane Harper at 888-234-5678.” Make sure you leave your number twice. If the prospect is having a hard time writing your number down, then you’ve given them a reason why not to call you back.
Leave Concise Voicemails, Keep Them Under 30 Seconds
Like all great sales professionals, I’m sure you have already developed a strong, concise 30-second commercial. If not, develop a well-thought out 30-second commercial. If you leave voicemails longer than 30 seconds, you’ll lose the prospect's attention. The ideal voice mail is approximately 15 seconds. Practice by leaving yourself a voicemail and record the time. Don’t discount the importance of your tone and articulation. Personalize the voicemail by using the prospect's first name at least twice within 30 seconds.
Don’t Try To “Sell” On A Voicemail
You fundamentally can’t sell your solution in a voicemail, so stop trying. Focus on quickly getting your prospects attention with a compelling value statement. Referencing a successful case study or brief “third party story” is a good tactic. Prospecting is about getting someone’s attention and earning their interest. It’s about quickly getting to an agreement that it makes sense for both you and the prospect to spend additional time exploring the strength of your value proposition.
Don’t reference failed attempts
What are you accomplishing by leaving a voicemail that starts like this: “Hi Jennifer, this is Joe again from ABC company. I’ve left you two messages and am trying to reconnect to see….blah blah blah” If the prospect didn’t care the first time you called, why should the prospect care now? In addition, you are giving the prospect the green light to delete your voicemail before they listen to the rest of it.
Send an email immediately after your voicemail
This is a great way to stay in front of people. Keep the email short and concise. It’s important not to send email’s with overwhelming content and let your message display at a hint of personality.
Almost every voicemail sounds exactly the same no matter what people are selling: “Hi Jim, this is Sally with ABC company. We’re the number 1 solution for blah blah and I would like to set up a time to discuss blah blah blah and see how we can help you achieve blah blah blah.” Sweet Jesus, would you return that call?!
When leaving a prospect voicemails or sending emails, always try to stand out.
Be direct, do not start with your name or the Company name first, provide a related 3rd party story that demonstrated success, and be positive. Whatever it is, be different and stand out.
Happy hunting and good selling!
Add these email tactics to your voicemail strategy and increase your chances of connecting with your prospects. Get the email templates!