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Bill Farquharson

The Sales Challenge

By Bill Farquharson

About Bill

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."

 

Three Reasons Why No One Returns Your Voice Messages

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Of the many Sales Challenges my clients face, and subsequently complain about, I think “unreturned voice mail messages” is probably numero uno. Personally, I wish my mother were in charge of this issue. Mom didn’t have much tolerance for my sister and (now sales rep) brother and I showing any kind of disrespect when we were growing up. Not getting back to someone would definitely make her finger-shaking list. It’s OK, though, Mom. I’ve got this one.

Here are the top three reasons why no one is returning your voice mail messages:

1. They suck. Nuf said.

2. You are calling on...What? You need more of an explanation on that first one? OK, fine. Be that way. I’ll start again. I’ll even clean it up...

Here are the top three reasons why no one is returning your voice mail messages:

1. The quality of the message you are leaving holds no value to the recipient. Ttherefore, said person sees no reason and has no motivation to pick up the phone and return the call (i.e., your messages suck).

For example, “Hi, my name is Bill and I am interested in talking with you about how my print capabilities might help reduce the price you are paying for your printing. Please call me back at 781-934-7036.” Yeah, it’s a shocker that that call goes unreturned.

2. You are calling on the wrong person. Once upon a time when courtesy was a rule and not the exception, if you called the wrong person and left a message, you had a decent shot of getting a return phone call along the lines of, “The person you want to speak with is...” These days, not so much.

3. You are not calling enough. Believe it or not, I have heard tell of companies that do not return any phone call unless you have left a minimum of, say, five messages. Interesting concept, actually. Only the most diligent get through. Can you imagine?

So, it’s WHAT you say and WHO you call and HOW OFTEN you attempt. Here’s one last thought for you to ponder: If you think of voice mail as a road block, it will definitely be an obstacle. If you think of it as an opportunity to audition for the part of print sales rep, then the issue takes on an entirely different spin.

What kind of a remarkable message could you leave that creates interest and an impression that lasts right up until the next time you call? Answer that question and you’ll have all of the appointments you can handle!

Want a free weekly sales tune-up? Sign up for Bill’s free video tips at www.AspireFor.com.
 

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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Jim T - Posted on April 20, 2011
Yep, if I responded with a return call for every voicemail I received, I would produce practically nothing. In that case, we would be delivering no jobs, and then we would have no customers, and I would have no job. And therefore, I would not be buying anything. I know this is a very simplistic take on the subject, but it is a perspective that eludes some people. My time is precious. My hats are aplenty. When you leave a message, be succinct about what you have to offer that is relevant to my industry. Personally, I don’t care if you do hope the weather where I am is nice. That is for live chat anyway, not my voicemail. Please don’t stammer through an endless message and then rattle off your phone number faster than any human can possibly comprehend. Don’t leave a sales call voicemail from a mobile phone. (Hey, great message, but your signal faded out during your area code!) Don’t wait until you hear the beep and then hang up. A message-less voicemail is a real treat! Other than that, keep up the good work!
Dave - Posted on April 19, 2011
As a CFO who can receive 20 voicemails a day from sales reps: 1) Is my time that worthless anyone would expect me to return them all? 2) The morons that start their voice mail with 30 seconds on how to spell their name and what their phone number is get zapped immediately, mid sentence. WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOUR CALL? If it is worthy, then I will worry about your phone number and how to spell your last name.
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Archived Comments:
Jim T - Posted on April 20, 2011
Yep, if I responded with a return call for every voicemail I received, I would produce practically nothing. In that case, we would be delivering no jobs, and then we would have no customers, and I would have no job. And therefore, I would not be buying anything. I know this is a very simplistic take on the subject, but it is a perspective that eludes some people. My time is precious. My hats are aplenty. When you leave a message, be succinct about what you have to offer that is relevant to my industry. Personally, I don’t care if you do hope the weather where I am is nice. That is for live chat anyway, not my voicemail. Please don’t stammer through an endless message and then rattle off your phone number faster than any human can possibly comprehend. Don’t leave a sales call voicemail from a mobile phone. (Hey, great message, but your signal faded out during your area code!) Don’t wait until you hear the beep and then hang up. A message-less voicemail is a real treat! Other than that, keep up the good work!
Dave - Posted on April 19, 2011
As a CFO who can receive 20 voicemails a day from sales reps: 1) Is my time that worthless anyone would expect me to return them all? 2) The morons that start their voice mail with 30 seconds on how to spell their name and what their phone number is get zapped immediately, mid sentence. WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOUR CALL? If it is worthy, then I will worry about your phone number and how to spell your last name.