In sales, a voicemail can be an effective tool if you use it correctly.
In an age of social media, SMS and a million and one communication tools I believe it retains its relevance.
The goal for any salesperson is to get a connect, and voicemail can work for you!
Here are just some of the mistakes that salespeople make:
They don't leave a message. They call back frequently hoping that magically the person will eventually pick up AND in that moment of weakness will be happy to take a sales call. Not sure I like that strategy.
They leave a message but it is hard to understand. They don't speak clearly, they speak too fast, they have a hard to understand accent (like me) or any number of issues that mean the receiver ignores it.
They leave a rambling message which the receiver just deletes.
They leave a message and it is not clear what the caller wants.
They leave a message and it is not relevant to the receiver.
Some thoughts for you:
1. Before you call you need to Prepare!
What is the message you want to convey and what words will you use to most effectively convey that message?
You need a compelling message.
You need to be clear what you want from this person.
You need to be brief.
You need to be understood.
If you “wing it” you will not use the most effective words and worse you might find yourself stumbling as you search for the right words.
Your "ask" should be very easy ... don't ask them to go to a website, or research you or anything else. Keep it very simple.
“I don’t believe in luck, I believe in preparation.”
2. You should Structure your message:
(i) Say your name and where you are calling from. (Speak clearly so that you can be understood!)
(ii) Convey your message, and give them a reason to call you back. (A strong compelling sales message!)
(iii) Identify what you want them to do. Usually return the call, however you may just want them to know you called and that you will call again. Be Clear!
(iv) Repeat your name. (Make sure they can easily "get it")
(v) Give your phone number if applicable.
(vi) Repeat the phone number. (Make it really easy for them, they don't want to replay the message to catch a phone number ... speak slow enough that they can write it down).
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
George Bernard Shaw
3. Some other thoughts …
(i) Speak clearly, concisely and not too quickly. If your telephone voice is hard for people to understand then practice, practice, practice!
(ii) Speak with some enthusiasm, but don’t overdo it. A monotone can be awful but so can the other end of the spectrum.
(iii) Stand up … messages typically convey more energy when you are standing.
(iv) Consciously smile. The smile will be “heard” in the positive tone.
"Every sale has five basic obstacles: No need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust."
Good luck with your voicemails!