When you’re cold calling, you want your message to really resonate with your prospective customers. Sometimes though, it’s really hard to evaluate your own voicemail’s effectiveness, especially when you’ve worked really hard to create a “masterpiece.”
When I train salespeople, we always take time to assess their message prior to sending it. That way if changes are needed, they can be done BEFORE you pick up the phone.
To ensure your cold calling and voicemail strategies are effective, get a colleague involved to give you an outside opinion. Prior to starting, give her an overview of your customer’s business and their needs.
Ask her to imagine that she’s just returned to her desk after a three-hour meeting and has 20 minutes before an important conference call. When she checks her voicemail, she hears, “You have nine new messages.” Yours is the seventh one in the queue. She’s busy and doesn’t have time to waste on self-serving salespeople.
Tell her you need feedback about how your message sounds. Ask her to be brutally honest since that’s the only way you’ll learn if your message breaks through all the clutter. When she’s done listening, ask her to answer the questions below with her initial and immediate reactions.
Customers don’t pontificate about your message. They make snap decisions to either listen to your message or delete it. That’s what you need to know.
THE VOICEMAIL EVALUATOR TOOL
If you agree with the questions below, make a check in the space provided. If you don’t agree, leave the space blank.
___ 1. The caller immediately sounded (tone of voice, confidence) like a businessperson.
___ 2. Credibility was established within 10 seconds. The caller referenced: (check which method was used)
___ a. Research conducted prior to phoning.
___ b. Referral from a credible colleague.
___ c. Recent event that happened in my company.
___ 3. The caller used business terminology and focused on business results important to my company. No mention was made of products, services or solutions.
___ 4. My interest was piqued. I wanted to learn more. The caller: (check which method was used)
___ a. Shared a strong value proposition.
___ b. Referred to story about a similar company.
___ c. Mentioned ideas related to my objectives.
___ d. Referenced important information.
___ 5. Closed with confidence. Left me feeling that she/he could make a difference for my company.
When your colleague is finished answering the questions, ask her to explain her gut-level reactions as best she can. If she says you sound cheesy, accept it and figure out how to make it better.
If she tells you that you sound desperate, find out why and change it. If she says that you sound exactly like the other thirty salespeople who called today, have her tell you what makes you sound that way.