Turn Voice-Mail Messages into Sales Opportunities
“Instead, you should promise a specific action on your part,” Zoot continued. “For example, conclude your message with, ‘It sounds like you're out until after the holidays. I'll call you again at 1 p.m. on Jan. 3.’”
Demeter started taking notes. “Ah! That’s a great idea.”
“This means nothing, however, if you don't actually follow-up,” Zoot added. “Keeping the promise you just made will differentiate you from other salespeople calling on Artemis.”
“You can also take this idea one step further and use voice mail to set up meetings with prospects using ‘negative check-offs,’” Zoot continued.
“What do you mean?”
Zoot put a fake phone to his ear. “‘Hello Artemis, this is Demeter from FEI. I’d like to talk to you about how FEI can reduce your next year’s heating bill by 15 percent. I’m planning to stop by your office Jan. 3 at 10 a.m. to meet with you unless you let me know otherwise.’ If he doesn’t call back, then walk into Artemis Industries at 10 a.m. on Jan. 3rd and tell the receptionist, truthfully, that Mr. Artemis should be expecting you.”
“Even if he calls back to say that time doesn’t work, at least I’ve got him on the phone!” Demeter noted with excitement.
“That tactic isn’t going to work every time,” Zoot said, “but I guarantee it will some of the time. Saying what you do and doing what you say is the differentiator. Early in the sales process, make small promises...and keep them.”
Demeter left 10 more voice mesages that day, and made his follow-ups the first week of January.
“How’d it go?” Zoot asked at the week’s end.
“Fantastic!” Demeter raved. “I showed up to meet with Hurly of Hurly Burly’s Chariots at the time I’d promised. He was pleasantly surprised I’d kept the appointment and happened to have a few free minutes, so he gave me a brief tour of headquarters and we talked about his fire-buying needs. He just called today to place his first order: 5,000 torches.”