How to Leave Effective Voice Mails

One of the hardest things for sales reps to handle is a prospect who is not responding to them after they have done a presentation to them. I’m sure you’ve got some of them in your pipeline right now. You’ve given them your 45 minute demo, answered their few questions, asked for the deal and were told that they would show this to whomever… Then you start chasing them with phone calls and emails but never hear back from them. What do you do now?

The answer is you must have a structured approach and that starts with perhaps the most important part of the follow up and that is setting an appointment with your prospect before you get off the phone after your demo or presentation. Now I know what you’re thinking: “But they didn’t know when they would get an answer from the decision maker so she just told me I could follow up in a week – or two weeks, etc.” It doesn’t matter and here’s why:

At the end of each contact with a prospect, it is imperative that you schedule a date, or at least get the OK for a day and time to follow up with your prospect. Even if they won’t have the answer yet, that’s fine – what’s important is that you have a day and time to check back in with them. Ask them what day and time is good for them and let them know you’ve got it on your calendar and suggest they do so as well.

Once you’ve made this appointment (and don’t worry – I know there is most likely a 50/50 chance of them remembering or being ready for you, that’s fine – you now can reach out to them and use the following voice mail campaign to begin your reengagement. If they are not there or available when you call on your appointed day and time, use the following scripted voice mail sequence as it is and you will have the best chance of getting them to call you back.

Here is the first voice mail message to be used if, when calling to actually do your demo or presentation, they do not answer their phone:

“Good morning (afternoon) _________ this is ________ _________ with (your company). I’m just calling you for the appointment we have today at (2 pm) for the demonstration of our (marketing solution/lead gen – whatever your product or service is for your business). You may be on the phone or finishing up a meeting, but when you get this message, please reach back out to me.

You can call me on my direct line which is: (Leave number slowly). I’ll stay off the phone for a few minutes in anticipation of your call. Once again, my direct number is (leave slowly) and I look forward to speaking with you soon.”

Here is your follow up voice mail for after you’ve made your demonstration, for if they don’t answer their phone:

“Good morning (afternoon) _________ this is ________ _________ with (your company). I’m just calling you for the appointment we have today at (2 pm) to see if (Corporate/Regional Manager, boss, etc.) has any questions on the proposal I emailed you last (whatever the date was).

You may be on the phone or finishing up a meeting, but when you get this message, please reach back out to me. You can call me on my direct line which is: (Leave number slowly). I’ll stay off the phone for a few minutes in anticipation of your call. Once again, my direct number is (leave slowly) and I look forward to speaking with you soon.”

If you don’t hear back from your prospect for a day or two, then leave this voice mail the next time you call:

Third Voice Mail – Follow up to the initial follow up

“Good morning (afternoon) _________ this is ________ _________ with (your company). I’m sure you’ve been busy, but I do want to connect with you regarding the proposal I sent to you on (date sent).

_______, even if you haven’t gotten an answer from (Corp/Manager/boss) yet, please do me a favor and reach back out to me so we can schedule a time to speak.

You can call me on my direct line which is: (Leave number slowly). I’ll be available most of the day, but if you get my voice mail, just leave me a message. Once again, my direct number is (leave slowly) and I look forward to speaking with you soon.”

Now, if after leaving these messages you don’t hear back for a week or longer, I would send them an email (by the way, you should also follow up each of the voice mails above with an email that is very similar to your voice mails), and your email should be the “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” email. I’ve written about it before, but listed it below for your convenience:

The subject line from the title song by The Clash – “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” – is one you probably know and are already singing the song in your head… And here’s the body of the email:

“_________ I haven’t heard back from you and that tells me one of three things:

1) You’ve already chosen another company for this and if that’s the case please let me know so I can stop bothering you,

2) You’re still interested but haven’t had the time to get back to me yet.

3) You’ve fallen and can’t get up and in that case please let me know and I’ll call 911 for you…

Please let me know which one it is because I’m starting to worry… Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing back from you.”

Are you smiling yet? It’s no wonder that people respond to this. Besides making someone smile, what makes it effective is it gives prospects a way out. It lets them know that it’s OK if they aren’t going to move forward with you, and it’s always better to know this in advance rather than to keep chasing and begging.

Also, this email gets those people who are still interested to reach out to you and let you know that as well.

The bottom line to an effective follow up strategy is to make sure it is set up right (always get an appointment for follow up), to use a structured and integrated voice mail and email approach, and to script these communications out in advance. Start following this approach and you’ll begin seeing more contacts and more deals.

The One Email Guaranteed to Get You a Response!

Ever had a client or prospect never get back to you?

If you’re in sales, then I know it’s happened to you (or is happening with several of your clients or prospects right now).

If you have ever find yourself in a place where you’ve qualified a prospect, sent information to them on your product or service, and then find that they just won’t return your calls or emails, then I’ve got a guaranteed email that will get you a response.

In fact, don’t take my word for it. Check out this word for word email I received last week from one of my readers who used this technique himself:

“Mike, just wanted to drop you a note and say thanks. I have been working the phone for 25 years and Stan Billue has been my hero for many of those.

You are now one of my hero’s as well. Just one tip I took from you about your ‘guaranteed email’ worked so well I needed to say thanks.

‘Should I stay or should I go’

I had a 30% response from a group of prospects I could not get on the phone a second time and did not want to chase. It worked like a charm and of the 42 responses I picked up 2 sales I would not have gotten otherwise.

I also made several people smile that day. Thanks again for the technique!

– Eric K.”

You’re welcome, Eric!

OK, so if you’re ready to learn and use this technique, here it is:

(Note: this email technique was one I learned last summer when I spoke at the L.A. Chapter of the AA-ISP. One of the participants shared it with us and I’ve been passing it along ever since!)

Subject of your email: “Should I stay or Should I go?”

“_________ While I’ve tried to reach you, I haven’t heard back from you and that tells me one of three things:

1) You’ve already chosen another company for this and if that’s the case please let me know so can I stop bothering you,

2) You’re still interested but haven’t had the time to get back to me yet

3) You’ve fallen and can’t get up and in that case please let me know and I’ll call 911 for you…

Please let me know which one it is because I’m starting to worry…

Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing back from you.”

Is that great or what?? This works on so many levels including using a “Clash” song everyone can relate to in the subject line, to giving them options and an out in case they’ve decided not to work with you.

And, of course, you give people a reason to smile and that always relieves the pressure from the sales situation.

Use it this week and see for yourself how it works to get your prospects to get back with you and how it gets you deals. And then email me yourself with your results – I’d love to hear them!

Voice Mail Scripts for Success

I don’t know about you, but I’m shocked every time I listen to a voicemail message left for me by sales reps, prospects and even clients. They are filled with ‘um’s’ and ‘ah’s’, they ramble on and on, they leave no compelling reason for me to call back, and they almost always leave their number so fast that I have to listen to it two, three, sometimes four times to make it out! It’s no wonder so many voice mail messages get deleted and never called back!

If ever there was a situation that begged to be scripted, it’s your voicemail message. Isn’t this the time you want to sound your best, be perceived as a professional, and prepare the most polished message you can? Of course it is. Here are seven sample voice mail messages you can start using today to separate yourself from the other 95% of voice mails that get ignored, deleted and never returned.

The first two are voicemails for prospects you haven’t spoken with yet, the next three are for when you’re calling a prospect or client back, and the last two are for situations when your prospect or client isn’t calling you back:

Sample Voicemail Message #1:

Note: The best voicemail message you can leave is one with a specific purpose that addresses the needs of your prospect or client, and offers them a solution that is worth them taking the time to call you back to learn more about. Here is the classic template – adjust and adapt it to fit your product or service. In this and all examples, leave your phone number SLOWLY:

“Hi __________, this is ___________ with (your company). I’m calling about your new office that’s opening in Houston next month, and I wanted to provide you with some ideas that may help with your networking issues. We work with a lot of companies in the area, and I think you’ll find it useful if we talk.

You can reach me by calling area code (800) 222-0568. That number again is area code (800) 222-0568, and ask for _________. I look forward speaking with you and thanks in advance for returning my call.”

Sample Voicemail Message #2:

“Hi _________, this is _______ _______ with (your company). You and I haven’t spoken yet, but I’ve been doing some research on your company and I think you’re a great fit for (our networking solutions – your products here). We can provide you with (BREIF list of one or two benefits) and I know you’ll be happy if we spend just a couple of minutes discussing how this can help you.

When you get this message, please call me back at (800) 222-0568. That number again is area code (800) 222-0568 and ask for _________. I look forward to speaking with you, and I guarantee you’ll be glad you returned this call.”

Sample Voicemail Message #3:

“Hi _________, this is ________ ________ with (your company). Briefly _________, I need to speak with you about how you’re handling your sales tracking (Or your kind of product or fulfillment), because I have something that can (solve their unique problem). Our clients include (list some companies they are familiar with), and I know this would work for you as well. Believe me it’ll be worth a 5 minute phone call to find out why.

Please do me a favor when you get this message and call me back at (800) 222-0568. That number again is area code (800) 222-0568 and ask for _________. I look forward speaking with you and I guarantee you’ll be glad you returned this call.”

The next two examples are for voicemails left for prospects (or clients) you’re getting back to:

Sample Voicemail Message #1:

“Hi _________, this is ________ _________ getting back with you at (your company). I’m looking forward to speaking with you because we just (give an update here – you have a new special, new product update, added a new client they would know about), and I know that based on (their specific need you uncovered during the last call) this is going to make it even easier for you to (give the benefit you both discussed). I’m excited to share this with you.

Do me a favor when you get this message and please give me call a back at (800) 222-0568, ext. 618. That number again is area code (800) 222-0568, and I’m at ext. 618. I look forward speaking with you!”

Sample Voicemail Message #2:

“Hi ________, this is _______ ________ getting back with you about (your demo, quote, etc.). Briefly, I’ve been doing some more research on how we may be able to save you even more (or make you even more – whatever your product or service can do for them), especially in regards to your (list a specific need they told you about during the initial call), and I’m excited to share that (or discuss that) with you.

I’ll be in my office the rest of today, so do me a favor when you get this message and please give me call a back at (800) 222-0568, ext. 618. That number again is area code (800) 222-0568, and I’m at ext. 618. I look forward speaking with you.”

And for the prospects or clients that seem to be dodging you or just not calling you back:

Sample Voicemail Message #1:

“Hi _________, this is _______ ________ again with (your company). For some reason we haven’t been able to connect since I sent you (your demo, proposal, etc.), and believe me, I’ve been sales long enough to know what that probably means. I’m assuming you’ve either found another solution or this has been put on the back burner for now. Either way, that’s fine.

Do me a favor though please. So I’m not bothering you anymore, could you please give me a quick call and just give me an update so I know what direction you’re moving in? If I’m not available, just leave me a voice mail. Again, either way, it will be good to know what’s going on.

Thanks in advance for that, and I’ll look for your call. You can reach me at (800) 222-0568, ext. 618. That number again is area code (800) 222-0568, and I’m at ext. 618. Thanks again, ________.”

Sample Voicemail Message #2:

“Hi _________ this is _______ ________ again with (your company). I’m sorry we haven’t been able to get back together on this – if you’re like me I’m sure you’re being pulled in many different directions and are real busy. Do me a favor, though, and when you get this message, just call me back and leave me a voice mail with what you’ve decided to do about (your proposal or demo or quote). If you’re still interested in it, great, but even if you’ve decided not to move forward with it, that’s fine as well. Either way it will be nice for me to know.

Thanks in advance for that, and I’ll look for your call. You can reach me at (800) 222-0568, ext. 618. That number again is area code (800) 222-0568, and I’m at ext. 618. Thanks again, ________.”

There you have it – voicemail messages for most of the situations you’ll find yourself in. Once again, by using these scripted, proven messages you’ll be giving yourself the best chance to hear back from your prospects and clients. And remember, even if their answer is no that’s a lot better than chasing unqualified prospects who are never going to buy.

The 5 Secrets of Winning Emails

Years ago voice mail was all the rage. There was no e-mail, so people tended to honor and even return their voice mail messages. It was a good time…

But that’s history now. Email has changed everything, and people now hit the delete button on their voice mail messages the instant they hear something they don’t like — which is usually when it’s a message from an unknown inside sales rep. What to do?

The good news is people still respect email, and I think it’s become the primary mode of communication between business people (and everyone else for that matter). The even better news is that there are 5 secrets that will set your emails apart from the thousands of others your prospects get, and if you use these 5 secrets when constructing your emails, you’ll have the best chance at getting yours read and returned.

Wouldn’t that be refreshing?

Here’s what they are:

Email Secret #1: Use the prospect’s first name in the subject line. Putting your prospect’s name in the subject line (first name) will automatically distinguish your email from the hundreds of others your prospect gets. In addition, we’re all partial to our own name, and this will draw your prospect’s eyes like a magnet. Good start, huh?

Email Secret #2: Customize the first few lines of your email as much as possible. Many people preview your emails by reading the first paragraph in Outlook, and the beginning better be short and have immediate value to your prospect. Some like:

“Hi Barbara, Mike Brooks here with HMS software. I’ve got some ideas about your networking issues for your new office that’s opening in Houston next month. We’ve helped a lot of companies in this area, and I think you’ll find it useful if we talk.”

Again, keep it short, to their point, and provide immediate value.

Email Secret #3: Keep your email short and easy to read! Nothing will turn your prospect off more than long, information packed paragraphs. Their eyes will glaze over! Break up your sentences into paragraphs if possible to make them easy to read and accessible. I say no more than 3 sentence paragraphs

Email Secret #4: Ask for a return response – whether they are interested or not. This is a great way to end your email and a good way to get a response. Simply thank them in advance for their consideration and that you’re looking forward to their response on this.

Email Secret #5: Promise to follow up by phone if they don’t respond. Let them know that you understand they are busy, and that out of consideration if you don’t hear from them you’ll follow up with a call in a day or two. This really increases your response rate and be happy when you get a “not interested” response. These prospects just disqualified themselves and saved you a lot of time and energy.

On the other hand, there will be others who don’t respond and they become your follow up leads!

These are the 5 secrets to emails, and believe me they work! Take a few minutes right now to script out some of the outline of your emails and then fill in the details as you need to per prospect. And then watch your contact, response and success rate skyrocket!

Please feel free to comment on this article in the comment box below.