The first and most important part of a voice mail message is the unique selling proposition (USP). If you don’t have a very powerful USP you won’t get people to call you back. Click Here for the post discussing USPs.
There are two approaches to leaving messages. I will discuss the standard method, for a powerful alternative method see Daniel Parinello’s book “Selling to VITO.” Thought this is written and aimed at CEOs you can successfully adapt his method for just about any call.
The Standard Method
From the research and testing I’ve done on this subject, short concise messages do the best. Give your name, your company and your phone number followed by your USP, and conclude by giving the phone number a second time. You may also add at the end a reference to when you’ll try back. Remember to say the phone number slowly each time so that it can be easily understood and the person has plenty of time to write it down. Making it difficult for the person to call you back is not going to help you.
There are some who say it’s better not to leave a message. Not leaving messages can be dangerous if you are calling repeatedly to try to catch the person.
The problem is that your number and name come up in the caller ID and the decision-maker knows who you are. Decision-makers are very busy and don’t like to take calls unless they know who’s calling and what it’s about. If you call many times and don’t leave a message you become potentially a pest as you haven’t given the decision-maker the information he or she needs to make a decision on answering or returning your call. This will annoy many people so you want to avoid doing it.
Timing is everything. If you hit the decision maker at the right time with a good USP you will get a returned call. Sometimes if your message is strong enough you will get on the plate even thought your solution wasn’t currently top priority.
I recommend leaving a second message with a different USP a couple of calls later. After 3-5 tries in the course of a couple of weeks I would stretch out the next call to a couple of weeks and then reschedule for the future. You don’t want to be a pest, but you do want to be persistent – sometimes people are just busy.
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