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Voice Mail: The Bane of Existence for Salespeople

Voice mail is the bane of existence for most salespeople. The reason salespeople don’t get their unsolicited messages returned is because they look and sound like every other salesperson out there. Their messages are too company-centric and not enough customer-centric.

Salespeople also are their own worst enemies by reinforcing negative stereotypes of being obnoxiously upbeat and overly familiar, without offering any balance or neutrality to their approach.

To increase your percentages, leave messages that are thought-provoking and triggers doubt,insecurity, or a sense of impending risk. A guiding principle to all unsolicited voice mail messages that you should always employ is: don’t tell them about how you can help them or what makes you different. Rather, tell them the problems you address and fix.

Keep in mind that prospects rightfully don’t care about your company, your leadership positions, your storied history, or your state of the art technology. They care only about themselves and are predisposed to returning your call if you craft your message towards matters that cause them dissatisfaction and inconvenience.

For your messages to hit home, they should have an emotional appeal, instead of a typically dry logical and rational appeal. Your hope is to get a little under their skin by asking questions that create or find problems. You should leave your phone number but without requesting that your prospect expressly call you. This way, you sound interested buy not needy and anxious.

The following is an example of a voice mail marketing campaign that I did for my company that can be coordinated with corresponding letters, emails, and even faxes. You can take bits and pieces of this campaign and adapt it to a single message or have an abbreviated campaign of 3 or 4 calls. The frequency can be every week or every 3 days. You can also automate the process and leverage your time by leaving prerecorded messages at off-hours. For this campaign to work effectively, your tone should be neutral, unenthusiastic, relaxed and conversational. Your messages should be pain based, and to increase curiosity you may want to consider leaving out your company’s name.

Message 1

“John, this is Rick Farrell calling and if you are like a lot of Presidents I talk to who are frustrated with their salespeople who are constantly getting beaten up on price where their margins are eroding and finding it is getting increasingly more difficult to differentiate themselves from their competition, then perhaps we should talk. I can be reached at 773-404-7915. Thanks!”

Message 2

“John, this is Rick Farrell calling again. I left you a message earlier this week about companies’ frustrations with salespeople selling on price. Since I didn’t hear back from you, I thought I’d bring up another frustration that companies are facing today. That is, their sales team’s inability to qualify opportunities properly, resulting in a lot of expensive and wasteful quoting, proposing and bidding. If you are running into this, maybe we should talk. I can be reached at 773-404-7915. Thanks!”

Message 3

“John, this is Rick Farrell calling once again. You probably recognize my name by now. I’ve left you a couple of messages about underperforming salespeople. Since I haven’t heard back from you on any of those issues, I thought I would change direction and talk about sales management concerns. If you are having frustrations with sales managers who aren’t holding salespeople accountable and sales are suffering because of that, then we should definitely talk this time. Again, I can be reached at 773-404-7915.”

Message 4

“John, this is Rick Farrell calling once more. Hopefully you haven’t grown too tired of my messages. Today’s message will be brief. Do you find that your salespeople are running around in many different directions without a unified sales strategy, making it difficult to control, monitor, lead and predictably forecast revenue consistently? If so, I am at 773-404-7915.”

Message 5

“John, this is Rick Farrell signing off with my last and final call. Do you ever have lingering doubts about whether you have the right people to grow your company to the next level? They aren’t all hitting their numbers consistently and you don’t know who to change and who to upgrade. My number one last time is 773-404-7915 if you are open to chat.”

I have a client who has five salespeople who have prerecorded four messages that they use on an automated voice mail campaign that nets them quality leads every month with minimal effort and time. Whether you do a formal campaign or a one-time message, it is critical to sell problems and consequences and not your company, capabilities, and why you are different. Gear all your appeals to their problems.

Richard Farrell is President of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a national sales development and training firm based in Chicago. He is the author of the upcoming book Selling has Nothing to do with Selling. He trains and speaks around the world and has authored many articles on his unique non-selling sales posture.

Phone: 773-404-7915
EMail: rfarrell@tangentknowledge.com
Web: http://www.tangentknowledge.com