As any salesperson who does cold calling understands, you don’t always get to speak to your prospect. Half the time or more, you find yourself talking to his or her voicemail. Getting an answering machine, though, does not have to be the kiss of death for your sales opportunity. The following three tips can help you generate interest and increase callbacks.
1. Keep It Short
When you leave a message, try not to speak longer than a minute. This keeps you focused on the information you are trying to convey and prevents rambling. Most sales prospects will cut off a message that goes on much longer than a minute. After all, they don’t know you, and your long message is taking up real estate in their busy day.
2. Introduce Self, Company, and Purpose of Call
Your best friend may know who has called if you leave a message saying, “Hi, it’s Judy,” but when you are cold calling, you need to give the prospect a little more information. (“Hi, it’s Judy Smith. I’m with ABC Company, the leaders in XYZ.”) Once you have established who you are, give the prospect a brief overview of what you are offering. “Our employee motivation programs can save you money be decreasing absenteeism, tardiness, and staff turnover,” or “We offer the most competitive rates on copier parts in the region, and our clients always enjoy free shipping.”
3. Give the Prospect at Least Two Ways to Contact You
The best cold calling results often come from giving your prospect your phone number and your company’s website address. A prospect may be somewhat interested in your message but still not quite ready to pick up the phone and talk to you. If you also give your prospect your website address, he or she can check out your website without obligating him or herself to a meeting. (“If you’d like to set up a meeting to talk about how our programs can benefit you, please call me at 555-1111; you can also visit our website atwww.ABCCompany.net to learn more about what we offer.”)
No sales pitch will make every prospect call you back, but you can increase the likelihood of getting callbacks by keeping your message short and specific and offering different ways for your prospect to get in touch with you.