Ad sales reps are now expected to do more than ever before.
Needless to say, communication is one of, if not the, most important skill any salesperson can possess.
Nowadays, however, communication with prospective clients comes in many forms.
The evolution of human communication requires more diligence, time, and planning from sales reps. Selling is now about consistency - presenting the same message, the same value, across all mediums, at different points.
Communication with prospects is also about personally connecting with them to further prove your value as more than just a product-pusher.
From emails, to phone conversations, to voicemails, video conferences, and face-to-face conversations, it's now essential that sales reps possess the ability to effectively relate to prospects across all forms of communication.
Please Leave a Message at the Tone...
Just as sales reps are extremely busy, so are their contacts.
This means that there will be plenty of times where the phone rings... And rings... And rings.
And no one answers.
Instead of looking at this moment as a missed opportunity, however, sales reps need to look at a voicemail as another chance to impress their prospect.
Many sales teachers focus heavily on saying the right things during a phone call. In a lot of cases, voicemails are looked at as a more concise version of what the phone conversation would have been.
Preparing for a voicemail is actually a very different process, however, because it is, in the moment, a one-sided affair, like a presentation or an email.
While it's certainly essential to use the right research tools when planning your next voicemail, it's most important to use the right techniques to ensure that your prospect feels the need to keep in touch. Think to yourself, if you got that voicemail would you call back?
Here are 6 voicemail techniques to use to impress your prospect after the tone:
1. Stay on the Phone
This may seem obvious given our intro, but it's certainly a starting point. If you reach out to a prospect, and they don't answer the phone, don't hang up!
Basically everybody has caller ID now. If they see repeated calls from the same number, yet that number does not leave any voicemails, they probably won't take your number very seriously.
Think about it...
Have you ever gotten multiple calls from the same number, without ever answering, and without them ever leaving a voicemail?
Surely you have, and you probably didn't have the highest regards for that number.
Be sure to treat your call as something important. Because if you don't take it seriously, then why would your prospect?
2. Have a Verbal "Subject Line"
Much like an email subject line, it's important to give your prospect the intent to continue listening beyond your introduction.
When leaving a voicemail, it's important to immediately present the value of your company to the prospect. Construct an opening talking point with the same intentions that you would use to write an email subject line.
First, relate to their needs. Start with them. Wait to introduce yourself.
If you were sending an email to a prospect, would you include your name and company in the subject line? Of course not. It's helpful to treat voicemails the same way. Make sure you hook the listener first!
3. Avoid Information Overload
It's very important to avoid giving your prospect too much information in your voicemail message.
If you've done the proper research, you should have a good idea of what your prospect's needs are. Focus on a single subject, a single need, and speak directly to how you can solve that need.
This is a way to be very specific, concise, and powerful.
In fact, we recommend about 30 second-long voicemail messages.
If you can get your point across clearly, and in less time than that, terrific. Try not to exceed the 30 second mark by much, if at all, however.
30 seconds is a long enough time frame to include a lot of information, but is also short enough that it requires you to include only essential information.
For this, it may help to write an outline specifically for the purpose of a voicemail.
4. Be Personable
It's important to take advantage of your ability to verbalize your message.
As we stated earlier, voicemails are like emails in the sense that, when they're constructed, they're a one-sided affair - meaning, there's no immediate conversation.
However, leaving a voicemail allows you to utilize the tone in your voice to be more personable - take advantage of that.
If you possess a friendly, confident, and excited tone when leaving a voicemail, there's a better chance that your prospect will remember your message. It's one thing to relate to them on a business level... It's another thing to relate to them on a personal level.
5. Be Natural
This one is easier said than done, but when done, is extremely effective.
Most of us type in the same font, but not many of us sound the same. So again, take advantage of verbalization, and be as natural as possible.
You shouldn't sound like a robot when leaving a voicemail, nor should you sound like you are reading or reciting your pitch.
The closer you are to sounding like yourself in your voicemail message, the greater chance there is that your prospect stays in contact with you.
If you sound like a robot, your prospect may assume that your pitch to them is the same pitch you give to everyone. Which brings us to our last point...
6. Have a Voicemail Ready for Every Call
In the current state of ad sales, it's essential to avoid "cookie-cutter" selling. Your pitch should be different for every individual prospect, and thus, your voicemails should be different for every individual call.
It might seem easier to prepare for individual conversations, and have just a single voicemail as your fallback. Avoid that.
For every call you make, do the necessary research to build conversation talking points and a voicemail outline. Just because there isn't a person on the other end of the line, that doesn't eliminate the need to personalize your message.
In the new age of ad sales, it's important for reps to take voicemails as seriously as they take emails, phone calls, or any other form of communication.
Impressing a prospect across multiple communication mediums could make all the difference in turning them into a client.