Effective Voicemail

Top Tips for Effective Voicemail

Written By:

Lynn Whitbeck

Voicemails are an integral component of sales success. They can be a powerful tool to connect, provide information, and build relational capital. However, not all sales people utilize voicemail effectively. I assert that some use it so poorly that it produces a negative, rather than a positive, result. Pointless, rambling, static voicemails ending with the incredibly hasty phone number are useless. Let’s get back to basics and improve our sales performance with compelling voicemails.

Tip Number 1: Your Voice – Pace and Tone

Inject some enthusiasm and passion in your voice! Obviously you don’t want to go over the top, but your client or prospect can only hear you. Your voice and words are the communication. Smile and mind the tone of your voice. Then pace yourself. This is not a race! You never want to be the hare or the tortoise on voicemails. Speak clearly and at a consistent pace. Never commit the common and fateful error of leaving your phone number like rapid gunfire at the end. Continue with your pace and apply the brakes for your phone number. End the voicemail on a positive – an easy-to-understand phone number so they can call you back!

Tip Number 2: Crystal Clear Background – Be Aware of Your Surroundings

You can leave a brilliant voicemail with perfect pitch and pace, only to have it ruined by background noise or static. Be aware of areas where your cell service is scratchy or snaps – the calls disconnect. For me, I know several areas on Interstate-5 that are notorious for spotty connections and disconnects. I do not make calls until I am clear of these areas. Then there is background noise, like backing your car up with the BEEP BEEP BEEP of tight spaces. That’s all your client or prospect hears. It’s annoying for most, and for other recipients it can be seen as downright rude. Building relational capital is dependent upon your actions – be on top of these situational factors in your voicemails.

Tip Number 3:  Your Message – Content with Resonance

Voicemails are an opportunity to move the conversation forward, yet they are often treated as an after-thought, or even worse, with zero thought. This is like every other interaction with your client and prospect: You need to know your objective. Why are you making the call? What is the subtext and what tactics will you employ to drive a successful outcome? As an example, if this is a follow-up call on status, consider starting with a statement connected to your buyer’s motivation. Then finish with a “will you phone or email me with a status update by the end of the week?” It is so easy to tune out when you go with the tired standby of “checking in on the status of xyz.” Stand out and spend a few minutes thinking to speak and add value to every voicemail.

Tip Number 4:  Be Brief – On Point

Be mindful and respectful of your client’s or prospect’s time. This is especially true for voicemail. It is so very easy for the recipient to hit delete as soon as you start speaking if you don’t bring value to the dialogue. Cut the chit-chat and get right to the objective. Smile, be pleasant, and stay on point. Build your relational capital by being brief, prepared to leave the voicemail, inspired in voice, and then done.

Tip Number 5:  Practice – Develop Your Skills

These tips may seem foreign or uncomfortable at first. To get acclimated, you may want to practice your voicemail before you make the call. As with any skill, repetition is the key to learning and adoption. Take the first step, practice, repeat, and remind yourself to think before you speak. Soon this will be second nature and you will be adding value and building your personal brand with every voicemail.

 

These tips are guaranteed to improve your sales performance. Effective communications are the cornerstone of sales success. Voicemail is one tool to leverage to achieve that success. Raise yourself above the fray and set yourself apart with approachable, clear, and pertinent voicemails. And remember to always be prepared for a conversation when your client answers the phone!

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