Before you pick up the phone to contact a decision maker, it’s a good idea to fine-tune your message even more. Here are several strategies that can really improve how you sound to potential customers:
ELIMINATE SELF-SERVING VERBIAGE
While you might love sharing these wonderful words that describe your company, products or services, they make you sound like a pushy salesperson.
- Cross out all adjectives and adverbs. Prospective buyers think you use words like robust, one-stop and leading edge only because you’re trying to “sell” them something. By leaving them in, your credibility actually decreases.
- Omit those cute slogans describing your company. Customers could care less if you’re known as the “Guardians of the Light” or if your tag line is “Quantum Leaps to Extraordinary Results.” They’re a complete waste of words.
READ YOUR SCRIPT ALOUD
After writing your voicemail script, read it out loud. You’ll be amazed at how differently it sounds when spoken. While your grammar teacher might be impressed with your eloquence, it doesn’t work if you’re trying to leave enticing messages.
- Use contractions. It’s how people talk naturally. If you say “are not” or “let us”, you sound stilted. Your goal is to sound normal, not scripted.
- Replace pretentious words. Only use words that you’d say in everyday conversation. For example, use (not utilize) “talk” instead of “dialogue” and “help” instead of “facilitate.”
- Drop all company jargon. Forget using acronyms unless the whole world knows them.
- Get rid of any worn-out closes. Cross out phrases such as: “I’ll be in your area next week and could stop by …” or “Can you think of a reason we shouldn’t meet to talk more?”
ELIMINATE SUBSERVIENT LANGUAGE
This is critical especially if you’re 30 years younger than the decision maker or a feel like a peon compared to Mr. Bigwig. You must sound like you’re talking to an equal. Your stature is immediately diminished if you sound eternally grateful to be granted a meeting.
If it’s culturally appropriate, use a person’s first name. In the U.S., it’s common to address someone as Bill or Mary. In other parts of the world, it’s rude.
When you pay attention to what you say, the payback is huge! You’ll transform your message – and immediately start getting those call backs you want.