Turn Voice-Mail Messages into Sales Opportunities

Last week, Marka and the FEI tribe discussed how on-hold messages can teach customers and prospects about your business while they wait. This week, Zoot takes the lead and educates young salesperson Demeter on how voice mail—the scourge of salespeople across Olympus—can lead to sales opportunities. Remember, fire = print.

One day, Zoot walked into the office of Demeter, one of his newest salespeople, to find him leaving a voice-mail message for a prospect. Demeter sounded rushed and ragged, as if he’d been getting voice mail all day and was anxious to talk to someone on the phone.

“Again, Artemis, it was great meeting you last Thursday. I really did enjoy getting acquainted. I thought you did the funniest impression of the Cyclops I’ve ever seen. Please return my call at your earliest convenience. Again, this is Demeter with FEI Enterprises.”

Zoot sidled up to the young salesperson. “Leaving a lot of voice-mail messages today?”

Demeter nodded. “The closer we get to Olympians Day, the more likely that important fire buyers are out of the office, and the less likely I am to get a hold of them. How can I use voice mail to my advantage during this hectic season?”

“That’s a good question,” Zoot said. “Hate to break it to you, but Artemis isn’t going to call you back.”

“How do you know?” Demeter asked indignantly.

“It’s December 21,” Zoot explained. “Every year, Artemis vacations on the isle of Crete from the week before Olympian’s Day—is in this week—until after the new year. He won’t be back in the office until Jan. 4, at which point your voice message will be buried under dozens, maybe hundreds of others. And many of your prospects probably have vacation schedules similar to his.”

“You’re probably right,” Demeter admitted.

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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  • Dan Halmar

    puts the salesperson in the driver’s seat—setting his/her own appointments, not passively waiting for the prospect to bite. Excellent strategy, thanks for en"light"ening us (pun intended…firebuyer)

  • Busy Printer

    Anyone who sets their own appointment with me via voicemail is going to be sorely disappointed when they show up in my office and get ignored or asked to leave.

  • proud_voices

    i run a voiceover business (http://proudvoices.com) and we always encourage our clients to ad advertising messages to their voicemail. It’s just another way to reach the customer or introduce them to a new product. It also keeps the customer rep from having to "hard sell" the product, which can sometimes be offputting to the customer.