Voice Mail Strategies… for Sales Success

It seems as though everyone these days is struggling with voice
mail…except for a few smart Engage clients who have mastered our voice mail strategies!
Instead of losing to voice mail these sales pros are using voice mail to make sales, and
commissions. Check out these results:

began my prospecting calls using your 3 part voicemail method that you showed us, and
I have already received 2 responses back, one telling me no way (that’s ok, sometimes
we just need the no to move on) and one confirming my next call!  These two prospects
I have been trying to reach for weeks using my old and no longer used method."
– Angela Farmer, HelmsBriscoe

your technique for using voicemail more effectively has increased our sales call
success rate by 80%!"

– Jerry
Everett, OnConference

I have been… and getting much better results, even after one day. Also, I left
the voice message that we discussed and she called me back this afternoon! You’re
a genius!
– Thanks
– Allison Terpening, United
Online Inc.

These are real results by real people and I want
you to get these results too. This week we take a detailed look at our voice mail system
and provide you the outlines and scripts you need to be successful. Whether you are being
reintroduced to these ideas or you are seeing them for the first time, your job is to implement.

First, some strategies for success:

Voice Mail Strategies

  • Never leave a voice mail on the first attempt you call. An Engage best practice is to
    call at least 3 times randomly during the day. If on the 3rd time you still don’t
    get through, leave a voice mail.
  • Never leave a voicemail message for someone who doesn’t know you. To the prospect, you’re
    an anonymous caller. The chances of this stranger ever returning your call are, at best,
    about one or two percent! The only time you should ever leave a voicemail for a prospect
    is when you have been referred to them.
  • Voicemail should only be used as a last resort. Too often, we give up as soon as the
    voicemail kicks in on a call, either leaving a message (bad idea) or simply hang up (better,
    but not great).
  • If you do leave a message make sure you have a reference. Use a testimonial or reference
    to breakdown the skepticism barrier between you and the prospect. Make sure that the referral
    source’ name is used up front in your message.
  • When in doubt, hit zero.

You owe it to yourself
to try everything you can to either locate them, or at least find out something about them.
One way to do this is to hit zero when a voicemail message kicks in. You’ll likely
get bounced to a receptionist, an executive assistant or a co-worker. Try asking the following

"I was hoping you could help me. I’m trying
to reach Jane Smith, and her voicemail picked up. Do you know if she’s in a meeting, or
out for the rest of the day?"

Depending on the response you receive, you can
then try one of the following strategies:

Strategy one

Them: "She’s
in a meeting."
You: "Thanks for
your help. Do you happen to know when she’ll be available?" "Maybe it’s
best to call back then?"

Strategy two

Them: "She’s
away today."
You: "Thanks for
your help. Do you know if she will be back tomorrow?"

Strategy three
If you speak to your prospect’s
personal assistant, ask if it’s better to schedule a call in advance, and then have them
set a fifteen-minute appointment.

  • Hit zero and ask for the sales or customer service department. Ask "I’ve
    been trying to reach Bob to speak to him about X and I notice he is difficult to reach.
    Do you know if he is the right person?" Generally customer service team and sales
    teams will help guide you through the organization and give you insight into how best to
    reach your contact and whether they are in fact the right decision maker.

3 Step Voicemail
Success Script

If you decide that you want to leave a voicemail
message, try this three-step process to dramatically increase your chances of getting a
positive reply from your prospect.

This three-step approach works because it’s non-threatening,
honest and friendly—attributes that all salespeople should develop if they want to
be successful. It also works because it means you have shifted your focus from trying to
make a sale to trying to start a conversation. In doing so, you give your prospect
the expectation that you can be trusted to keep your word, and you begin to build the rapport
you need to win new business.

1. The first call—Example: "Mr.
X, this is Colleen from Engage Selling. Paul Smith suggested I call you because (insert
Unique Selling Proposition statement or referral source or short reason for calling)
Sorry I missed you today, I’ll try to reach you again on DATE and TIME."

Make sure your tone is soft, non-threatening
and friendly. You don’t want to sound like a radio ad for a furniture liquidator. Plus,
it’s critical that you do call back exactly on the date and time that you say.

2. The follow-up—Example: "Hi,
Mr. X. This is Colleen from Engage Selling calling because I promised to reach you today
at TIME. Sorry I missed you.  Paul Smith suggested I call you because (insert Unique
Selling Proposition statement) I’ll try you again on DATE and TIME."

Again, it’s critical that you call back exactly
when you said you would. Anything else would result in your being less than honest, and
risk losing your local-market contact’s confidence.

3. One last try—Example: "Hi,
Mr. X. This is Colleen from Engage Selling calling, because I promised to reach you today
at TIME. Sorry I missed you. I noticed that you’ve been difficult to reach and
I’m wondering if that is because you’re swamped at work, you are not interested
in doing business with my company or I’ve been wrong at guessing the times you might
be at your desk. Either is OK. If you wouldn’t mind letting me know how to proceed, that
would be great. I promised Paul I would be in touch with you, and that I would get back
to him about our conversation. My number is 613-730-7700 ext 111".

The last reason for not reaching the prospect "I’ve
been wrong at guessing the times you might be at your desk." Is the most important
because you are taking ownership of the reason you can’t reach the customer. You
can change the other two reasons based on your specific sales situation. For example if
this was a follow up call after a proposal was sent you might say "I’m wondering
if that is because you didn’t have a chance to see the proposal, you were unhappy
with the pricing I sent or I’ve been wrong at guessing the times you might be at your desk."

Take these ideas and make them your own. We know
they work. Engage clients all over the world are using them and receiving massive success.
So unless you are receiving an 80% call back ratio from your voice mails or better…you
owe it to yourself to try something new!

Dedicated to increasing
your sales,