Making Voice Mail Work FOR You

Voice mail: where would we be without it? There are times it seems as if it’s been ages since we actually spoke to someone LIVE on the phone. Whether through text or email or voice mail, we’ve lost that one-on-one contact.

In fact, I’ve completed entire sales through voicemail having never actually spoken to the prospective buyer until it was time to sign on the dotted line. And I despise it.

It makes us lazy.

Here a few tips and tricks to make voice mail work FOR you:

-When leaving a voice mail, ALWAYS leave your phone number at the beginning and at the end of the message. Read it EXTRA slowly. I’ve said in this blog before, you know your phone number by heart and it tends to be something you just rattle off and instead of it coming out, “This is Butch Bellah and you can reach me at 337-384-9204”, it ends up sounding like this “This is Butch Bellah and youcanreachmeat3373849204…click” SLOW DOWN. (I’ve actually found that if I have a scratch piece of paper handy, I will write the number down as I read it on the voice mail—it makes me understand how quickly the other party can record it)

-If you are trying to reach a client for the first time, do not leave a 20-minute voice mail that goes into your entire presentation. I know this is basic, but you’d be surprised at how many I get like this. You will find that less is more! Give the prospect just enough information to WANT to call you back. Don’t be vague or deceitful about who you are, but you don’t have to give your entire life story either. Whet their appetite.

-This is another that we’ve covered here before, but after you’ve left several voice mail messages, KNOW WHEN TO SAY WHEN and remove that person from your call list. Stop wasting time on someone that won’t even return a call. (I know, I know “But, I THINK I can sell them…forget it)

-It is common courtesy to return voice mail messages in a timely manner. My person rule is within 24 hours. Period. Even if I know the relationship is not going to advance past that phone call, I will always give the salesperson the courtesy of a returned call. After all, don’t WE want that? Be polite, be professional and the sales karma will return it to you.

Finally, my BIGGEST pet peeve when it comes to voice mail. Nothing—and I mean NOTHING screams UNPROFESSIONAL louder than calling someone on April 3rd and hearing, “Hi, this is John Doe, today is Wednesday, February 8th and I’ll be out of the office this afternoon…” That KILLS me. Most of the time in my message I will remind that person their voicemail needs to be updated.

If you are going to use this tool (and it is a GREAT tool if you are going to be unavailable for longer than 24 hours), remember to record a new greeting when you return.

Question: How have you found to make voice mail work FOR you? I’d love to hear your feedback!