What do you do when your prospect doesn’t answer; hang up and keep trying until you get them in person?
Voicemails have a tremendous and key place in your prospecting process and good voicemails can increase your response rate, either through an email or a returned call.
Experience shows us that it may take up to 5 “touches” to complete the prospecting process and your voicemail can and should reflect one of them. In this success guide, we will walk you through the four main components that make up your voicemail strategy and discuss some best practices. We will also discuss the value of having multiple voicemail templates and the goals for each. We will then conclude with some Do’s and Don’ts of voicemails.
How many of you have stumbled when leaving a voicemail? Even worse, have you ever hit “3” to re-record, and then unfortunately heard “Your message has been sent”? In order to help avoid this problem, it’s crucial to always have an outline at your desk of key points you want to address in your voicemails.
Some of the biggest mistakes when leaving a voicemail include: not being relevant to the prospect you are calling, too lengthy, sounding scripted or rushed, or there is no plan in place for follow up actions. A voicemail should be one part of your overall strategy to connect with your prospect; one piece of your plan to engage with your prospect.
What should the structure of your voicemail look like?
Your voicemail should be broke down into 4 main sections: Introduction, Purpose, Overview, and Call to Action or Close.
The strongest voicemails begin with a clear introduction including using their name (for personalization), your name, ASEA, and what you are calling about. You are including your contact info right away so they can write it down. If someone referred you to your prospect, it is crucial to mention that in your opening line.
- Weak: Hi this is Bill with ASEA.
- Strong: Good morning Jane, this is Bill calling regarding_______________.
It is important to make the best use of our prospect’s tie. Therefore, we want to be very direct when delivering our message, while keeping the voicemail as brief as possible (ideally 30 seconds.) Remember, the purpose of your call is to generate a response. Avoid words like, “Trying, Wanting, Hoping, Following Up, Circling Back, Touching Base, etc.” Also, the phrase, “I was wondering if you had any interest in looking at a breakthrough health technology” is not as strong as stating the purpose of your call and pairing it with an industry trend. Jumping right to the “Do you have any interest?” statement gives them an easy out to say, “No.”
- Weak: I have been trying to touch base with you to introduce you to Asea, my breakthrough health technology to see if it might be a good fit for you.
- Strong: The purpose of my call is to ask if I could get 5 minutes on your calendar tonight. I’ve got a short video clip I’m interested in emailing you and I’d like to verify the email address that I have for you is still the correct one.
This is your 15 second window to provide your prospect whatever piece of information you feel is valid and of value to them. Determine what you want to mention here based on whether it’s your first, second, third, or fourth voicemail. There are a couple of options you can use.
Address a common pain point:
Your strongest voicemails are the ones that do not “product dump”. Our product
requires you to share a bit of info, but ideally we shouldn’t be saying too much
about Asea on a voicemail. There are more effective ways to gain your contact’s
attention. Most people receive sales calls so often that we want to make sure
and differentiate ourselves by focusing on them instead of ourselves.
When closing your voicemail, you should always end with some type of call to action. Without leading your prospect to water, they won’t drink. Meaning, if you don’t ask them to call you back or respond to the email you will follow up with, chances of getting a response are diminished. “Again, this is Joe Smith & my number is 555-555-0000. I’ll follow up this voicemail with an email, please return my call or respond to my email at your earliest convenience.
Keep it brief
Again, we want to keep our voicemails as clear and direct as possible in a short window of time. Be careful not to include too much info and/or questions that might confuse your prospect.
When leaving a voicemail it is important to have good cadence. If you think you are talking too slowly, you are probably talking at the right speed. Most voicemails have people talking too fast.
When leaving a voicemail, time is extremely valuable. Don’t waste precious seconds on redundancy.
Often you will hear a voicemail say, “If I haven’t heard back from you, I plan on trying to re-connect in a few days.” What have you accomplished? It’s passive and weak. Establish some rules of engagement and tell them exactly when and how often you plan on reaching out. The goal is to let them know (politely) that you aren’t going away and it’s in their best interest to have a chat.
Avoid phrases such as follow up, touch base, and circle back: These are phrases that will not produce results. Instead try using phrases similar to “When we last spoke. . . “ or “When we talked about.________a few days ago…” to provide more personalization. Your prospect will be more willing to re-engage in conversation with you when you lead with these types of statements.
Leave them wanting more.
Have you ever heard the phrase “why buy the cow when you get the milk for free”? One of the many reasons for leaving a good voicemail is to get your prospect interested or intrigued by Asea. If you provide too much information in a voicemail, you eliminate that possibility. Plus, you have already given them enough information to say, “no”, “not interested” or “we don’t need this”.
Make sure that you create a strong benefit statement and “call to action” to close your voicemails. Spend extra time developing these to increase your response rate.
All this is great advice, HOWEVER, since the advent of unlimited text messages, there are only 2 categories of people who might be leaving voicemails for our prospects: Us and their parents.
And you wonder why I barely check voicemail anymore?