More Sales: Make the Most of Phone Calls and Voice Mail! As a sales person, you need a thick hide. Daily you deal with executives, business owners and people who need your product but are constantly busy. They are bombarded each and every day from all directions with offers.
Consider the many channels where they encounter sales messages:
To get a sale and make a long-term customer
, you first need to get their attention. Then you need to follow up, and then succinctly and clearly deliver your message. Acting on those two facts is what sets successful sales people apart from those who have trouble getting people to buy.
If you want to increase your close rate, check out this roundup of strategies. They will help you stand out from the crowd, get more voice messages returned, be noticed and get sales.
Jump on Leads
If you are following up on a warm lead, delivering information that a person requested, you need to get it to them as quickly as possible, while it is still on their minds. It is estimated that executives and business owners receive an average of 300 emails and voice mails a day. That means they will soon forget what happened yesterday, let alone last week.
The day they sign up for information is ideal but the next day is fine. Don’t let it go for a week. Your offer will be old news by then.
When you call, whether you reach the executive, his gatekeeper or voice mail, quickly and clearly tell them:
- Who you are
- Your company
- What they requested, the offer that got them to sign up for more information
If you get voice mail, also include this information:
Call More Than Once
- How you will follow up to the phone call
- If it’s email, tell them the subject line so they will be on the lookout for it and not automatically delete it
It often takes up to six phone calls to make a direct pitch to your lead. That can be demoralizing to even the most dedicated salesperson, but it is worth your time. Did you know that 80% of all leads convert after the fifth contact? Persistence pays off, but it must be strategic, courteous and friendly.
Are your connection rates under 25%? One strategy that many successful sales reps use is to call from several phone numbers or to block their phone number. This technique has increased connections up to one in four calls for many sales people.
Yes, it still means that three-fourths of the phone calls go to voice mail, but selling is a numbers game. And 25% is a good number!
Leave Voice Mail Messages
Don’t hang up if you don’t make direct contact with your lead on the phone. Leave a voice message. This should be obvious, but many sales people doubt the effectiveness.
Never disdain the power of a voice message handled well.
It makes no sense at all to skip the voice message, thinking it will do no good. Follow-up is your friend.
Remember, you are not bothering your contact. They specifically asked for information. What you are doing is not cold calling, it is warm calling. You are providing a service in response to the contact’s request. This could be signing up online for an offer, providing his name, email address and phone number.
It might be a reply to a postcard or direct mail. In some way, he first contacted you. You are doing him the courtesy of responding in order to provide the information mentioned in the original offer.
Leave a voice mail, one that will make yours stand out from the crowd.
Effective Voice Mail Strategy
With that in mind, be sure to mention in your voice mail at the beginning that you are responding to their request. Stick to just one topic in your call and keep it to under 45 seconds. This is not the time to explain the benefits of your product. Your prospect doesn’t have the time to listen to you and will simply delete the message if you go on longer.
Make sure you speak clearly. Repeat phone numbers, your name, the name of your company and the offer that caught your prospect’s interest in the first place. Let them know your hours and the best time to reach you.
Put a smile in your voice. Be friendly and sound fresh, not like this is your fiftieth call of the day, even if it is.
If you do leave a voice mail and don’t hear back, it could be because it is no longer active. This is common in big companies with temporary and contract workers. If someone quits or is fired, their voice mail account might have been overlooked and not deleted. This means it is never checked. If you aren’t sure, call the main customer number at the business and ask.
Check your own voice mail message to see that it sounds professional and up-to-date. Be sure to record a new message after your vacation. An out-of-the-office message months after your vacation doesn’t make you look efficient. You want to make a good impression once you get your prospect to call you back.
Make Your Message Stand Out
When you leave your voice mail, let your lead know how you intend to make further contact. Email is ideal, but don’t neglect other channels.
This is where good research comes in. If possible, find out where he is active. If he is an avid LinkedIn user, send him a message on that platform. Does he like to tweet? That’s an excellent way to follow up, with a direct message on Twitter. Some people prefer Facebook, their blog or another form of social media. Just be sure to let them know where to expect the next message.
Offer a reason for your prospect to return your voice mail. This might be a free report that helps him with his problem, like a free sample or trial of your product or software. You know they are interested already or they wouldn’t have signed up.
Make the most of that and nudge them to take the next step. Do this by providing them with a chance to try what you are offering or to get helpful information about their problem.
Follow-up is essential for sales people. And much of it will be with voice mail. Make the most of your messages and you will increase your number of call backs and sales.