Turn Voice-Mail Messages into Sales Opportunities – Part II

Last time, FEI sales leader Zoot educated young salesperson Demeter on how effective use of voice mail can lead to sales opportunities. This week, Zoot gives the sales apprentice another tip for leaving a voice-mail message that will get returned. Remember, fire = print.

Zoot walked in to Demeter’s office to find him talking on the O-phone.

“FEI has a fire solution for nearly every restaurant need. Our torches will illuminate your dining areas, our custom fire-lit ovens will cook your food, and our matches will supply you and your staff with quick and easy access to fire wherever you go. Our fire products have so many uses…”

“You’re talking too much,” Zoot suggested. “Listen more.”

Demeter put his hand over the receiver. “I can’t. I’m leaving a voice message.”

Zoot slapped his hand to his forehead. “Good grapes! You’ll be lucky if your prospect even listens to a message that long, let alone returns it. Short and sweet voice-mail messages are much more likely to get callbacks.”

Demeter put down his O-phone. “I’m all ears.”

“Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes,” Zoot said. “How do you feel when you have to slog through dozens of long, rambling voice messages?”

“I’d rather go wading in the river Styx,” Demeter said. “I usually just end up deleting those.”

“Exactly! We appreciate people who don’t waste our time, so we’re more likely to notice and respond to brief voice-mail messages. That’s why you should keep them to less than 20 seconds and focus on communicating a single idea. Any longer, and you risk losing the listener’s interest.”

“I’m with you so far,” Demeter said. “But I’m naturally long-winded. How can I keep this impulse in check when get voice mail?”

“I suggest drafting and rehearsing a concise message before calling,” Zoot said. “This will help you prepare for either leaving a memorable voicemail or having a strong conversation with the prospect.”

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
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