To Voice Mail or Not To Voice Mail When Prospecting

voicemail“I’m sorry she’s not in right now, would you like her voicemail?”. Therein lies the dilemma of what to do at that moment. Do you leave a voicemail or not when you’re prospecting?
Based on my illustrious former career as a dial-for-dollars telemarketer in my teens and on my experience growing my coaching business, here’s the advice I can offer that’s worked for me and my clients on the subject of Voicemail:

Avoid Like The Plague

Leaving a voicemail to a prospect who doesn’t know you (or know you well) is not a good idea because people are busy. Leaving them a voicemail and asking them to call you back gives them more work. You give the responsibility of your agenda to them. Guess whose agenda is more important? Yours or their own? This is why selling on voicemail rarely ever works.

How To Avoid

What’s a person to do when nobody in their right mind picks up calls from people they don’t know? Well, I dial *67 to block my id when I call so that 1. it won’t be screened and 2. I can call back as often as I like and the person doesn’t feel like I’m stalking them. This method works a lot of the time because a lot of businesses are using blocked id’s for confidentiality reasons. For example, my doctor’s office number is blocked. My coach also blocks his number. These are businesses you may not want your family or colleagues to know are calling you.

Last Resort

After calling 10 times, this is the only time I would advise leaving a voicemail. And don’t just call at all the same times. Call the same day, different times. Call after work hours. Call weekends and evenings. Call through touch dialing off hours and through a receptionist who can give you more info about if the person is in or not. After exhausting all different ways to get in touch through calling (some people genuinely never pick up their phone because they’re always in meetings or travelling) then you leave a very compelling voicemail.

What To Say

Have a reason for calling them. Invite them to something, offer them a resource. Don’t call for a fishing expedition or to find out more about them. Keep it brief and tell them what’s in it for them. For example, I often call near-strangers (warm leads) to recruit for my Executive Roundtables: “This is Chala Dincoy from Coachtactics, I got your name from Jane Adams and wanted to invite you to an exclusive, invitation-only Executive Roundtable about the topic of “When Marketing Visibility Doesn’t Convert To Clients” to reduce the upto 50% waste of your marketing budgets. I’ll follow up with you this week to see if you’d like to more information on this. If you’d like to chat sooner, I’m at 416 3453453″

Don’t Let It End There

If you don’t follow up, you lose an opportunity and you look unprofessional. Even if you miss the timeline where you said you’d call, you should still follow up. A client recently landed a huge opportunity by calling the same prospect 20 times over 3 months. Finally, she became the go-to person as soon as an opportunity presented itself. You’ve heard of the saying: “the consultant that gets hired is the one in  “front of you”.
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About Chala

Chala Dincoy is a Marketing Strategist who helps B2B service providers reposition their marketing message to successfully sell to corporate clients