Leave a Message at the Tone
Cold calls or not, you'll still need to use the phone to return messages, call suppliers and contact referrals. Below are six things to avoid when leaving a voicemail message and how to easily correct them.
1. Don't Ramble. Decide what you want to say ahead of time. The fastest route for your prospects and clients to hit the delete key is to leave a long, rambling message. Keep your message short and to the point.
2. Don't talk too fast. This is especially important if you're leaving a telephone number. Speak slowly, but with authority. Leave your telephone number twice; once at the beginning of the message and once at the end.
3. Don't be self-serving. Here's the cold, hard truth: the prospect you're trying to contact doesn't care about you or your company, but they do care about the results your company can get for them. Instead of saying: "I'm calling to introduce myself and my company," say: "I'm calling because I help companies like yours decrease lost-time accidents, increase trade show traffic, build brand awareness quickly and I've got some great ideas I'd like to share with you."
4. Ask for permission. If, per chance, a live person does pick up the phone, the first thing you need to know is if this is good time to speak. Nothing will turn off a prospect faster than a salesperson calling at a bad time. Always get permission to proceed first.
5. Don't be defensive. Not everyone is a good prospect for you. Don't take it personally; be polite and move on if you get someone who is clearly not interested.
6. Don't give up too soon. Here's another cold, hard truth. Most people won't return your call, but that doesn't mean they're not interested; they're just busy. Use your intuition. When a prospect has good potential there's no reason to stop trying. Just space your calls, and make your messages enticing. And if the phone messages you're leaving aren't getting the results you want, try contacting in a variety of different ways. A personal letter, a spec sample, an interesting article with some useful information may get a better response.