marketing & sales: Voice Mail That Sells
As a business owner, I receive my share of sales calls in a given month. More often than not, I'm away from my desk or out of the office, which means I end up listening to voice mails instead of speaking directly with salespeople. Here are a few common voice mail mistakes and how you can correct them.
Voice Mail Mistake #1: The message lacks focus or clarity. You are more likely to reach voice mail today than actually connect with the person you are trying to contact. That means you must be prepared to leave a clear, concise message. Businesspeople are too busy to listen to a lengthy, unfocused message, and you lose credibility if you cannot state your objective without rambling. The average executive in an organization receives dozens of calls every day, many of them from salespeople trying to sell a product or service. If you ramble on, your prospect will probably press delete without listening to the entire message. Keep the message brief and to the point. Plan what you are going to say before you call so you are prepared.
Voice Mail Mistake #2: The message is difficult to understand. A salesperson recently left me a message and spoke so quickly that I did not understand most of it. I knew it had something to do with the Internet and getting top placement in search engines, but I couldn't even decipher his company's name.
If you have an accent, recognize the fact that some people may find it more difficult to understand you. That means you may have to repeat yourself or slow down in order to be understood. This also applies if you have an unusual name. Make it easy for people to understand you.
Voice Mail Mistake #3: Phone numbers are rattled off at lightning speed, making it next to impossible to write them down. Most salespeople state their telephone number too quickly. A general rule of thumb is to write down your own number as you state it in your message. Again, make it easy for the person you are contacting to understand your message. If they have to replay the message several times they will seldom call you back.