Cold Calling Step 6: Transforming the Sales Script into a Voice Mail that Gets Returned Calls

A script works great if you have the opportunity to speak directly to the targeted prospect. More often than not, you will end up in a voice mail.

Many people view this as the worst possible scenario. However, this can be a real opportunity because you have approximately an uninterrupted minute to present the reason why your prospect should return your call.

And once again, this is why crafting your business benefits is so important. I choose to organize my benefits so that I can leave three or four rated but modestly different voice mails.

The initial voice mail message should focus on your core benefits message. Go with what you believe to be the strongest benefit and briefly explain how you deliver that value. If you have a source of outside validation – as in a recognition or award from a third party or even the names of some leading industry companies who are using your solution – mention that as well. It will add to your solution’s credibility.

Remember, everyone wants to lead, but few want to be first.

And always, in every message, leave your name, company name and telephone number spoken slowly, clearly and repeated at least twice.

Your subsequent messages should provide your core benefits plus an additional one that might be of interest. This keeps the message fresh. Remember, also to leave information about how your solution works so that the solution can resonate with the prospect.

If you do not get return calls, you may want to then leave a web site where the prospect can learn more about your solution.

Recognize also that even though you think you have the appropriate target, you might not. If after all of this calling, you still have not received a return call, suggest that the prospect might want to forward you to someone more appropriate. This allows the prospect to get you to stop calling and it provides you with a warm lead. You now can call the next person and state that you were referred by the initial prospect. In many cases, this referral statement generates a return call.

So how many calls are required in order to get a return call?

I have found the threshold number to be around seven calls over a three-week period. This tells the prospect that you are enthusiastic about reaching them because you have something you believe to be valuable – you can even say that in one of your calls – and that you are very committed to reaching them.

These calls must follow one another closely, which is why I suggest that a three-week period is appropriate. You also do not want to develop into a stalker.

If, after all of this, you do not receive a call back, you can and should stretch the time frame out to two and three weeks between calls.

In all cases and no matter how many times you get voice mail, your message should be friendly upbeat and positive. The prospect has to feel that it is safe to call you back. Any message that makes it appear “unsafe” will negate all of your previous efforts.

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