This question was posted the other day regarding the effective use and misuse of voice mails:
“I think it’s important to leave a very targeted message/cold call into the prospect that is very specific to them and their needs and not too slick/rehearsed. What do you think? -Tracy”
Tracy, thanks for the question. The answer is actually, both. On one hand, you don’t want to sound like a slick salesperson, yet conversely you also don’t want to sound like you’re reading from a script or stumbling through a message that sounds like it’s the first time you’re delivering it.
That’s why the answer is both. Unlike a conversation with a prospect, every word you utter in a voice mail can be an indelible impression you leave with a prospect. After all, they can stop, pause and play back your message as many times as they’d like. To compound this, since it is a voice mail, it needs to be that compelling of a message for the prospect to stop what they are doing, write down your information and actually return your call; a task that was not included on their already overflowing plate for the day. So, it really comes down to the language you use and then your ability to practice it until it sounds like a natural conversation/message. (I suggest reading any voice mail template a minimum of 30 times, out loud before trying them.)
When I hear the word “slick” I think of a salesperson making lofty unsubstantiated claims that would deter me from calling back. (The old, “If it’s sounds too good to be true…”) However, if for example, I’m using testimonials and results that other clients have experienced in my voice mail, that changes the positioning and feel of the message. It’s also a targeted message that I can leverage and use for every cold call I make. (I suggest creating five unique voice mails.)
Selling is a language. To me, the highest form of professional communication. So, Master Your Language of Selling. Your voice is your product. Your voice mail or approach is your product. The language or verbiage you use when networking, the compelling words you use to describe the end result that your customers realize is your product.
At this point in your selling process, chances are the potential customer has not experienced your product or service yet. More specifically, you have not even had an opportunity to speak with the prospect. The only communication you’ve had with them has been the attempts you’ve made to connect with them through your emails and voice mails.
Until your prospect has the opportunity to experience what your product or service can do for them first hand, the only thing they have been exposed to is you! Imagine if you put the same amount of time, research, attention to detail, care, and value into your voice mail as you do with your product.
If your voice mail is your prospect’s first exposure to what you have to offer, realize the impression they get from your voice mail equates to the value they can expect from your product. If you stumble through your voice mail and come across unprepared, ineffective and disorganized, imagine the perception that your prospect has formulated about your final deliverable.