It’s no secret that millennials hate voicemail.
But for the remaining 63% of the workforce–those who likely control larger budgets–voicemail is still a powerful tool. For Sarasota businesses using direct sales voicemail messages, quality messages can actually convert leads to sales.
Voicemail messages are challenging because you are asking the prospect to take action.
But if they return the call, it’s a solid lead and you are more likely to make a sale. So it’s worth the extra effort to perfect your direct sales voicemail message technique.
You only have 20 to 30 seconds to convince a potential client to call you back. The short timeframe means that you need to make sure your message includes all the necessary points.
The following tips can help you leave successful direct sales voicemail messages leading to new business.
Be Positive and Professional
If you sound like you’re bored because this is the tenth message you’ve left in a row, your potential client will tune out or hang up.
Being too aggressive or sounding too rehearsed also doesn’t work on a message.
Being positive and courteous makes the prospect pay more attention. Your enthusiasm will be rewarded with return calls.
Drink water and stay hydrated. Don’t over-caffeinate. Keep potential distractions to a minimum.
Invest in a good headset and be aware of any potential sound issues in your workspace, like people chatting nearby or noise from a copier.
Don’t use speakerphone. The sound quality is often poor and it might rub your potential client the wrong way.
Try smiling while you talk. (It may sound silly, but it works!) The person you call can’t see the visual cues of body language, but they can hear your positive attitude in your voice.
Standing while you talk on the phone can also make you sound more calm and confident.
The listener will want to hear what you have to say if you sound engaged.
Have a Clear Purpose
A sales voicemail message must identify a need or problem that your prospect has and the solution or benefit that you can offer.
That solution or benefit is worth returning your call.
State your purpose in a calm, clear, and brief message.
The challenge is to convey your purpose without sounding rushed. To do that, it’s useful to think about the content of your voicemail message.
Write a Script or Outline
One way to consider the content of your message is to write out potential scripts.
Here’s a sample approach:
“Hi, John. I’m Jane Smith from Company X. I understand that your new office is opening in Sarasota, and I have some ideas that might help with your business telecommunications. We work with Y and Z (nearby businesses or competitors that they will recognize) and I think you’ll find it valuable to chat.
My number is 941-555-1212, again that’s 941-555-1212. I look forward to speaking with you. Thank you in advance for returning my call, John.”
This is an example with all the essential elements that your message needs to include:
- their name
- your name
- company name
- the purpose of the call
- phone number
- the action that you want them to take
The action at this point is to return your call. Remember that this is not a sales pitch, that will come later. It is not necessary to share more details about the product or service at this time.
You might use different words or phrases that are effective and come naturally to you. Try not to use sales jargon. Personalize the script.
Some people sound too robotic when they memorize or use a script, so you might prefer to use an outline or bullet points. Some people lose their train of thought when they use an outline, so you might prefer to use a script.
Test different approaches and see what works best for you.
Some people prefer to lead with a question rather than their name and company name. Others prefer to end with a question. You might choose a more direct approach.
The key is to include all of the necessary details in a clear message, every time.
Practice Makes Perfect
With so many voicemail messages getting ignored, deleted, or not returned, your sales message needs to be polished.
Eliminate those “ums” and “ahs” from your speech.
A clear and concise message shows respect for your potential client because you aren’t wasting their time rambling or trying to remember important details.
Practice your script out loud until it flows comfortably.
Slow Down When You Speak
If you are trying to cram too much information into your direct sales voicemail message, you might sound out of breath or speak too quickly.
This could be a clue to trim your talking points.
Your cadence sets the tone for your message.
Don’t be afraid to slow down, breathe, or take a strategic pause.
It might be helpful to write the words “breathe” or “slow down” at the top of your notes to remind yourself as you leave the message.
If you sound relaxed and confident, your prospect won’t feel like they’re just another call you’re ticking off in a long list. They’ll be more interested in your message and more likely to return the call.
Create a Feedback Loop
Before you make calls for the day, set a goal.
Are you trying to improve your tone or to speak more slowly today? Whatever your intention, develop a course of action.
While leaving the message, focus on your execution of the goal. This technique will improve your awareness and message skills over time.
After the call, listen to the voicemail recording, if available. Evaluate your performance.
Did you say your name clearly or leave out an important detail? You might need to re-record the message. Or use what you learn for the next call.
Think of it this way: would you return that voicemail message?
Analyzing your performance helps you to get better. At the end of a theater performance, even for a show that has a long run, the actors get “notes.” This process lets them know what went well and what can be adjusted.
Direct sales voicemail messages are constantly evolving and your technique can be improved. Just be sure to take the opportunity to evaluate and learn from it.
If you keep notes about your technique, you can remember what went well when a prospect returns the call.
Leave Your Return Number Twice
If the person you call doesn’t understand or jot down your phone number the first time you say it, chances are they won’t want to listen to your message all over again.
Say your number clearly and slowly, then repeat it with slightly different phrasing: “My number is 941-555-1212, again that’s 941-555-1212.” Say each number separately. For example, say “one, two, one two” not “twelve, twelve.” This could be confusing for the listener.
Repetition gives the person you called enough time to write it down and decipher any numbers they didn’t hear clearly the first time.
Use the Prospect’s Name
People love to talk about themselves and they love to hear their own name.
A prospect is more likely to pay attention when their name is mentioned.
So use the potential customer’s name in your voicemail message, maybe more than once.
If you conduct additional research about the prospect, you can also drop a mention of a personal interest or affiliation. “Jim, that Patriots win was incredible. I have some business telecoms solutions I think you’ll find exciting, too.”
That personal connection could encourage the prospect to respond to your message.
Keep it Brief
Maybe a relative can get away with leaving long, boring voicemails with tons of detail about their day.
Your prospect isn’t going to be as generous with their time with a direct sales voicemail message.
Don’t try to include your whole pitch about the product or solution. Save the details for the sales call.
You want to say something about the solution you’re offering that will entice the prospect to return your call.
Leave Voicemails at the End of the Day
The timing of voicemails is critical for success.
Don’t leave direct sales voicemail messages on Mondays. People are starting their week and your message might get lost in the flurry of activity.
Same with Fridays. People are thinking about the weekend and your message might get ignored.
The best days and times to leave voicemail messages are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 4 to 6 pm.
We tend to remember the first and last items on a list. You want to be the last person your prospect thinks about at the end of the day.
If you leave a compelling voicemail message at the start of the day, the prospect can easily be distracted by other work. But if you leave that message at the end of the day, that potential client will be wrapping up and is more likely to call you right back or first thing the next morning.
Using these tips will help your Sarasota business leave direct sales voicemail messages that receive callbacks.
What techniques work for you? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments.