By Jeff Beals
Because of the rapidly increasing clutter and excessive communication in today’s marketplace, the world is now suffering a serious epidemic. It’s the highly contagious disease of blowing off and completely ignoring voice mails and emails.
Are you frustrated about the lack of messages you leave that are never returned? If so, you’re not alone.
According to Brian Sullivan, author of the book, 20 Days to the Top, prospects only return five to 10 percent of all voicemails. Despite the shockingly low response rate, Sullivan believes you must keep leaving those recorded messages. In fact, many of the most successful professionals in the world regularly leave voice mail after voice mail until they finally get the client to call back, or they actually manage to catch him or her live on the phone.
According to Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, many professionals are having to leave 10 or more voice mails before receiving a call-back from a c-level executive. Konrath doesn’t believe this is a function of executive-level rudeness, rather it’s the fact that these people are “crazy-busy” and simply can’t get back to calls that don’t fall into the “emergency” category.
Clients and prospective clients are more likely to return your voice mails if you make them interesting. First of all, Konrath recommends you never say you’re calling to “touch base” or “check in.” Those are useless reasons to waste a prospect’s time. Always say something of value. Remember that the prospect you are calling defines what is valuable, not you. How do you know what they value? Sullivan recommends you do a little research on the person and reference something unique about them. Doing so will show that you cared enough to learn about the person and will grab their attention because you’re talking their language.
Next, Sullivan advises that you hint what benefit the person will receive if they return your call. Then spark their curiosity, saying you have something to share with them that they will find valuable or interesting. If appropriate, you might want to offer a gift, something for free, such as a free report, counseling session, market advice, etc. Then follow up with the close, encouraging them to call you back.
After all that, you still might not hear from them. When that’s the case, leave another message and be prepared to keep doing so. Because everyone has become frenzied in our cluttered communication environment, it has sadly become acceptable to delete voice mails without returning the call, because the prospect assumes you’ll just call back. If you don’t follow through and keep calling back, you’ll probably never catch the person. When dialing for dollars on the phone, you have to keep dialing. Don’t stop. Be assertive, because rarely do would-be clients call and volunteer to give you money.
While big-name business titans like Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet and Oprah Winfrey usually succeed in catching a person’s attention when they call, lesser known professionals have a harder time. “John Smith” and “Jane Doe” need to make their messages stand out in the sea of sameness.
Jeff Beals is an award-winning author, who helps professionals do more business and have a greater impact on the world through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. As a professional speaker, he delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.
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