Archive for August, 2010

All Calls Go To Voice Mail…

August 13, 2010

The age old sales question I hear most often has to do with how many times you should try and reach a sales prospect on the telephone before leaving a message. I am of the opinion that unless the prospect is expecting your call that it makes no sense to leave a voice message that solicits business. My 25 years experience with prospecting over the telephone tells me so…
As the advent of voice mail has increased, the percentage of times you actually get through to someone over the phone has decreased. From a technology standpoint, voice mail has become the ultimate ‘filtering tool’ for separating the unwanted calls from those that are considered important. With the ever increasing volume of work, and the pressure to get things done yesterday, I’m hard pressed to imagine anyone having the time to sit at their desk and take phone calls all day long. Thus, your average hard working person needs a defense against having their time and attention ‘stolen’ by unwelcome phone calls. Instead of having a moat around the castle, we now have a voice mail ‘moat’ surrounding the offices of the people we want to make contact with, and do business.
The decision to leave a message, or not to leave a message is a personal decision. If it makes you feel better to leave a message because you feel that it’s better than nothing, then go ahead and do it. On the other hand, if you’re like me, keep dialing that phone until you eventually get the person on the phone. Believe me, if you keep at it long enough you will eventually catch up with the person you want to speak with.
Now, here’s some bad news…
Many people today simply let all inbound calls go to voice mail, or their admin. They NEVER answer their phone. For these types of prospects here’s a little tip that might save you time, and probably some frustration as well. Listen closely to the phone ring once you have dialed your prospect’s number. For calls that are immediately routed to someone else (voice mail, admin, or switchboard operator) you will hear a distinctive ‘double ring’ indicating that your call has been instantly routed to voice mail. Once you hear this slight ‘double click’ and the phone ring again, you have a quick choice to make – either you can wait through another 4 telephone rings for that exasperating voice mail greeting, or simply hang up and make your next call.

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