What’s Wrong with this Picture?
Basic Sales 101 – It’s amazing how often we must return to one of those early lessons that we all should know, but must relearn. I am constantly surprised when the most popular video sales tips I produce aren’t on how to beat voice mail or manage time or overcome objections, but rather the one on simple messages—such as how to dress. The only explanation I have for the spike in views (they are on YouTube, FYI) is that they get forwarded as a reminder to other reps.
In that spirit, see if you can figure out what is wrong here…
I call a print sales rep and get voice mail. The voice is upbeat and positive; the message is complete and brief. That’s good.
I am given the option of speaking to a CSR if I need help with an order. Check! And last, I am told that if I need immediate attention, I can call his cell at:
“The number is seveneightone, ninethreefour, sevenohthreesix.”
He was at the second comma by the time I got a pen in my hand. Seriously? Dude, slow down! Speak clearly! Or why bother leaving the number at all?
The outgoing voice mail message that I recommend goes like this:
“This is Bill Farquharson. Thanks for calling. Today is >. I will be in meetings this morning until 11 a.m., after which I can return your call. If you need immediate assistance, press ‘0’ and ask for Christine. Otherwise, I will call you back after 11.”
That message tells the caller where I am today, how to get help immediately, and when they can expect a call back. Because I was specific with the time, 99.9 percent of the callers will leave a message.
If you want to leave your cell number, great. Knock yourself out. But do it slowly and clearly. Otherwise, either change your outgoing voice mail daily, or leave a generic one with Basic Sales 101 in mind.
Bill Farquharson is a partner at Idealliance. As a print-specific sales trainer, Farquharson applies a fundamentally-sound approach to his coaching, online programs (found at sales.epicomm.org), and live presentations. Contact him at email@example.com or (781) 934-7036 to discuss your sales challenges.