Voice Mail techniques
Voice Mail Makeover
For attendees at my seminars and webinars I offer the service of reviewing their opening statements and voice mail messages. Here’s one I received the other day from a rep calling on owners of fleets of vehicles, selling GPS tracking software. Warning: I am not going to be gentle here.
Here’s the “before,” which is a voice mail message on a prospecting call.
“Hello, this is ___ calling from ___, in regards to GPS tracking software for the vehicles and the info I sent you on it. I wanted to see if you had a few minutes to talk so I can learn more about your company, how the fleet operates each day, what your challenges are, and to see if it makes sense to set up a free demo of the product. I know we can help cut expenses and help the fleet be more efficient, but if you have no interest in learning about what I can do for you, I certainly don’t want to waste your time. If you could please return my call, or at least reply to my email and let me know where you stand in regards to this, I would really appreciate that courtesy. I can be reached at _____…thanks and I hope to hear from you soon.”
There are fatal flaws in just about every sentence. Let’s pick it apart.
1. “Hello, this is ___ calling from _____, in regards to GPS tracking software for the vehicles and the info I sent you on it.”
When you mention your product or service, they can resist that. People don’t buy a product or service, they buy the result. This would make it easy to say, “I don’t need GPS,” or “I’m all set.” Also, don’t make the info you sent as the reason for the call. They probably did not read it if they did not request it. Sending it is OK, but if they read it, it’s a bonus.
2. “I wanted to see if you had a few minutes to talk so I can learn more about your company, how the fleet operates each day, what your challenges are, and to see if it makes sense to set up a free demo of the product.”
The caller is asking for something from the prospect–time–before he has given any reason at all for the prospect to even listen one moment longer. Then he says what he wants to do: learn about the company, etc. Again, with no reason why the prospect should do so. Then he adds, “to see if it makes sense to set up a free demo,” which is again suggesting that the prospect take time to do something, without seeing any value. The prospect still has not heard one hint of any possible value he would receive.
3. “I know we can help cut expenses and help the fleet be more efficient…” Put yourself in the position of the listener. You have not yet heard anything to suggest that the caller has done any research, knows anything about you or your company, how the caller might have done this for anyone else similar, nor any other smidge of possible value for staying on the phone one second longer, but yet the caller KNOWS he can help cut expenses and help the fleet be more efficient. A logical reaction from the prospect would be, “You don’t know a thing about me, nor have you established any credibility, yet you are confident in what you KNOW you could do. That is pretty much telling me I’m doing something wrong. That’s an arrogant statement.”
4. “…but if you have no interest in learning about what I can do for you, I certainly don’t want to waste your time.”
Too late. You’ve already done that.
5. “If you could please return my call, or at least reply to my email and let me know where you stand in regards to this, I would really appreciate that courtesy. I can be reached at _____…thanks and I hope to hear from you soon.”
Just because the caller has this prospect on his list, leaving the same generic message that he undoubtedly has clogged the voicemailboxes of hundreds of others with, he feel he deserves the courtesy of a response? What? Let’s turn it around: How about the providing the courtesy of knowing something about the person you are calling, personalizing the message, and suggesting some possible value and reason why this person might have some interest.
OK, so what SHOULD our caller say? First, he should do some Smart Call research and Social Engineering to ask questions, to learn something about the company, the fleet, any challenges they might have, and something about the decision maker. Then he would use that information to tailor a Possible Value Statement to hint at what he might be able to do for the prospect, pique his curiosity and interest, with the only other goal of getting him talking, NOT asking for a demo.
Let’s look at a possible version of this.
“Hi, this is____ with___. I understand from speaking with your dispatcher, Mike, that a concern you’re having is with the efficiency of your fleet and fuel expenses. We have worked with over 40 other delivery services to cut down on fuel costs and increase their deliveries per hour. To see if it would be worth taking a look at some information I’d like to ask a few questions if you have a moment…”
It really isn’t that tough to avoid the mistakes and do the right things. To see exactly how to do this, if you haven’t already, order your copyof Smart Calling from amazon.com or get it at your local bookstore