Overcoming the dreaded answerphone

voicemail message

How many times do you pluck up the courage to make a sales call either as a cold call or as a follow up and you are met with the answerphone?? It is definitely one of my pet hates as there is no industry standard procedure with regards to what to do and how to deal with it…! Calling at the best time when answerphone might not be on is definitely one of the key objectives, but knowing when this is is hard, in fact it is pretty impossible.

So………..how do you not only meet, but actually beat the dreaded voicemail?

Certainly the nervous “Hello xxxx, this is yyyy and I would like to speak to you re zzzz and my number is 01225 xxxxx ” is likely to have limited if not any effect at all. After all, how many of us have actually called back someone who is obviously selling something?

But how about giving this a go…………when the answerphone beep sounds, you deliver your script in a clear and steady voice, spelling your name etc, but, emphasizing that, if you do not hear from this person by a specific date, you will call again. This is not meant as some sort of threat!
As you cannot “close” in this situation, you have to give specific details of when you will call back so that you can try and achieve your goal of making an appointment. When you call again…..as I am sure you will have to……you open by referring to the previous message. If need be, repeat the process and make a joke of it!

If this situation continues, make each message more lighthearted and emphasize the importance of the chat you are looking to have. Maybe even drop in the odd benefit the call will bring to the person. In my experience, this procedure should result in actually speaking to the required person within about 4 or 5 calls and it is actually possible to develop a sort of “virtual” relationship.

This is not pesteting. This process is about you overcoming hurdles/obsticles that are in your way. But, be warned, if the prospects does actually call you back, make sure you are fully prepared and know who he or she is. This might sound obvious, but I know from bitter experience that, not recognising a persons name when they call back and treating it like a sales call can actually undo all the good work you have put in!


Bath Marketing’s next post could be on the answers you can give to questions like “who are you” and/or how to fill your diary. What do you think?

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