Farquharson/Tedesco on Business Development: Do/Don't Leave That Voicemail
Consider this scenario: You call on prospective customer. She looks over at the Caller ID and sees your name, but does not pick up. You choose not to leave a voicemail, but you have still left a message. You have told the prospect that you wish to make contact with him or her, that you will not waste anyone's time by forcing them to listen to a message that you both know will be deleted anyway. You have accomplished the goal of demonstrating your diligence. Leave it at that. Period.
Who's right? Who's wrong? This is one of those times when there is no right or wrong. It's just one opinion versus another. The two arguments are so even that there is even the exact number of words in each section. Seriously.
A good voicemail message can deliver value and exhibit professionalism. You can be memorable and remarkable. You can also be deleted faster than one of Dr. Evil's henchmen.
Perhaps this is a generational issue. Many twentysomethings will tell you that they have no time or interest in voicemail messages, either leaving them or listening to them. It's not uncommon to get a return phone call from a family member in that age group who asks, "I saw that you called. What do you want?" despite the fact that you left a message. Grrrr.
Given the fact that that diligence is the most important factor in sales success and a voicemail message is clear evidence of said diligence, why wouldn't you leave a voicemail message? But then, if 99.9 percent of the voicemail messages left go unrecognized and unreturned, why would you?
The argument goes on past this column without resolution. Voicemail will continue to be another tool in the toolbox. When combined with e-mails and letters and personal visits, an effective prospecting process can be created.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.