At the Virtual Inside Sales Summit, we learned quite a few sales and practice management tips. One particular session of interest was “Voicemail Strategies: How to Get More Prospects to Call You Back” by Michael Pedone, founder of Sales Buzz.
This is an issue for all of us, no matter how new you are to the field or talented you are. It would be a dream if 100 percent of our prospects call us back 100 percent of the time. The reality is that it’s one of the biggest challenges we face.
So how do we get prospects to call us back?
For the cliff-note version, check out our blog post on takeaways from the Sales Summit
, which includes six notes directly from “Voicemail Strategies.” Or you can find plenty of good information by searching #salessummit onTwitter
Essentially, you must differentiate between a first-time call to a prospect you’ve never spoken to before and a follow-up call with a prospect you’ve spoken with at least once. Pedone says that you must identify the type of call because the prep work will be different based on the type of call it is. He also says the voicemails fail when the salesperson is not prepared, is not clear what the objective is, and has not rehearsed. That objective, of course, is to get a call back and
advance the sale, or at the minimum, have a prospect willing to take your call the next time. Therefore, you must create a compelling reason—how you can help quickly with a pain—for the consumer to call you back.
What if, after following the suggestions and leaving the perfect voicemail, the prospect still doesn’t call back? How long do you wait or how many attempts do you make before giving up on this prospect?
Pedone has been kind enough to follow up on the presentation. Here’s what he had to say:
“I like to use a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ rule. Meaning, after the third attempt, if I haven’t heard back from them, I take them out of my current call list (I move them back into my drip marketing campaign and let that do its job)."
This sounds simple. But the key, Pedone states, is knowing precisely what to say on those second and third attempts. Here is the sample template he suggests:
“Hi (prospect’s name). I left you a voicemail the other day regarding
(now repeat your first time voicemail message, including your name and number twice at the end). And when you send your email (I always recommend sending an email right after you leave a voicemail message) you can simply say "Hi (prospect’s name. Just left you a 2nd voicemail message regarding...
“Hi (prospect’s name) this is (your name) with (your company) and I see we've left you a few messages / emails regarding (HOT BUTTON / WHATS IN IT FOR THEM VALUE STATEMENT) but haven't heard back from you.
I assume it's safe to say you've gotten really busy or this isn't a top priority for you at the moment, so I'll take you off of my call list as to no longer interrupt your day. If something changes and you would like to discuss how we (HOT BUTTON / WHATS IN IT FOR THEM), please give me a call at (your phone number). Again it's (your name) with (your company) at (your phone number). Have a great day.
Follow that with an email that says the same thing, log the call / update your notes in your CRM and MOVE ON!”
As you can see, whether it’s a first-time call, a follow-up, a second or third attempt, preparation is the key to success. Knowing your objective and having a clear script (which you’ve practiced) are musts in order to increase your call-back rates. Following Pedone’s template above gives you a great guide for reaching out to prospects who aren’t getting back to you. And remember, if they aren’t calling you back, remove them from the call list, place them back in your email drip campaign, and move on.
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