A critical aspect of good telephone sales skills is to know how to use voice mail. Use it wrong and you will lose more sales than you can shake a stick at. Here’s a brief overview of the when, how, and why of voice mail.
When do you leave a voice mail? How many do you leave? The correct answer to these simple questions can make voice mail a great sales tool. The wrong approach will sabotage your cold calling and follow up efforts.
One of the most important factors in effective voice mail usage is knowing when to leave one. Your “when” can vary depending on what sales stage your prospect is in. Voice mail is not very effective when cold calling, but is sometimes necessary. On the other hand, it can be very effective on warm leads or lead/pre-sale follow up.
Once you decide to leave a voicemail – what type do you leave? Are you brief and to the point? Do you leave a long-winded message? Do you try to sell to the voicemail? I actually listened to a sales person leave 5-minute voice mails on a regular basis that included most of his sales pitch. Do you think he got a call back?
The material point of voice mail in regards to telephone sales skills is simply this: what is your objective? The goal of a voice mail in relation to the sales process is to get the prospect to call you back. That’s it. Simply state who you are, the purpose for the call, and why they should call you back. It really is that simple.
Be clear, succinct, and upbeat. Be aware of what you are saying as well as your tone and inflection. How you sound is as important as what you say. As part of your sales training, try recording yourself and listen to your inflection and tone. Developing good telephone sales skills takes practice, but you will improve rapidly – the pay off is huge!
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