When cold calling for sales, it is often asked whether or not to leave a voicemail for sales prospects. And while voicemail is one of the sales tools that will likely not be the defining factor for success, there are some tactics and logic that can be used as a guide when making cold calls.
Expectations When Leaving Messages
As with anything in life, it is important to make sure your expectations are in line when leaving voicemails. Are you leaving a voicemail for a prospect and expecting them to return your call? If so, there may be some fine tuning of the expectations on what will happen after the message is left.
It is safe to say that the prospects that we cold call are very busy. In today’s economy, employees are being asked to do more than ever and sometimes asked to do more than one person’s job at a time. In addition to being busy, it is also very likely that the prospects we cold call are getting called and left messages from a number of other sales people. We must keep all of that in mind when we think about how we expect people to react to our voicemail messages when cold calling for sales.
With the prospects being busy and getting a barrage of voicemails, it is reasonable to have the mindset and expectation that, even if we execute perfectly, the prospect probably won’t call us back. This is based on the principle that, even if the prospect listens the message and it gets their attention, they might be more likely to continue to try to work through their full work load and wait for us to call them back again.
If the mindset is established that there it is most likely that the prospect is not going to return the message, we can adjust our approach and our ultimate goal in the voicemail. If we shift the goal from a returned call, we can then change our goal to one of building awareness and providing information when cold calling for sales.
By changing our focus to providing information, we can then turn our voicemail message into a 20 to 30 second commercial where we are trying to educate the prospect on who we are, why we are calling, and why they will want to talk with us when we call them back. If we take this approach, we then position ourselves so that they might have some knowledge of who we are and why we are calling the next time that we call them back.
Structure of a Voicemail Message
If we use the assumption that the prospects we call are busy and are getting messages from a number of other sales people, it would be ideal for us to use a structure for our messages that is as brief and powerful as possible. Below are some key components to build a voicemail message around when cold calling for sales:
Introduction: The introduction should be as short as possible. It can be sufficient to just mention your name and company and leave it at that level.
Value statement: Just like a cold call script, you want to share a value statement as to how your clients benefit from doing business with you. This should be one to two sentences and any quantifiable figures will help to get a prospect’s attention.
Call back: When cold calling for sales, let the prospect know that you are going to call them back and when. You can still leave your number should they want to give you a call back in the meantime.