"Professional Voice Mail Messages: 5 Common Mistakes"
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Valuable secrets to leaving professional voice mail messages are waiting to be found on the flip side of five big mistakes made throughout the cold calling community - mistakes that leave callers stuck in voice mail jail!
After reviewing dozens if not hundreds of voice mail messages that come my way, I have found that just about every, single problematic one fails to align with these 5 points:
- Keep your script(s) short
- Focus on one goal
- Take responsibility for the reasons your voice mail messages do or do not get call backs
- Use the right words for a message to market match
- Position yourself as equal to your prospect
When your professional voice mail messages fail to yield predictable, reliable and successful results, ask your self:
1. Is the message too long?
Count the number of sentences in your current message. The most productive voice mail message that I am aware of only has seven short lines.
Here's how to implement this first tip: write out the words of your current professional voice mail message and cut the number of those unproductive words by 50%. That’s right. Chop out half the words out of your current voice mail message.
2. Does the message have more than one goal?
As a cold caller you can easily overwhelm your prospect with a message that has multiple goals. You may think you are just calling to schedule face time with a decision maker, but the words of your voice mail may indicate otherwise.
Here are examples of multiple goals included in voice messages that fail: Earn the right to proceed, bond with the gatekeeper, blast past the gatekeeper, explain your product or service, state your desire to solicit information about the company, express interest in information about prospects’ level of satisfaction with current vendor and so forth.
Now, to implement this second tip: study your voice mail message and identify how many expressed goals are contained within. You want one and only one goal - an appointment.
3. Who is in charge of whether or not you get a call back - you or your prospect?
Successful cold callers leverage this tip to the max: they count on getting call backs from voice mail messages and count on their abilities to figure out what words to say to get those call backs.
Each voice mail message uses declarative words rather than permission based words. For example: "I am looking for a 20-minute meeting" rather than "If you are interested, please call me back at ..." Without stating what you want you unwittingly forfeit control of the not-so professional voice mail message and leave it to your prospect to determine the outcome.
4. Do your words reveal a message to market match or mismatch?
A receptionist, for example, does not need to know what you are selling. The receptionist only needs to know to whom you wish to speak – period.
The phrase “reduce costs” is appropriate to use with low-level decision-makers as their focus is to work within a budget and they are to reduce costs when possible.
The phrase “reduce expenses” is a meaningful phrase to high-level decision-makers as their focus is to determine budgets and yield high revenues where possible.
This fourth cold calling secret begs for you to examine the language you use in your voice mail message. Is it Top Dog worthy? Or does your language need adjusting?
5. Are you positioned as one Top Dog calling another – or as a weenie begging for attention?
Position yourself as an equal and you will find yourself making more declarative sentences and fewer permission based questions. Such as, “I am calling to schedule with Tom.” rather than “May I schedule time on his calendar.”
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