The 5 Deadly Sins of Voicemail

In a world where e-mail has become the dominant form of business communication, the value of phone etiquette has definitely depreciated. If you ask any salesperson, they can recount the feeling of defeat that comes at the other end of a prospect’s voicemail. While it will be quite some time before the extinction of the telephone, it’s becoming increasingly important to exercise good judgment before dialing. If you’re calling someone because you have something you would like to sell them, then you better not commit one of the following sins or you can forget about a call back.

No Reason For Call

This one is pretty self-explanatory. When leaving a message, it’s essential that you explain why you’re calling, even if you’re best friends with the person. It’s very doubtful you’ll receive a follow-up if you don’t give a reason to.

No Value Presented

When you leave a message in a prospecting mode, you can get the recipients attention by mentioning something of value. Point them to an event, a free resource, or information that demonstrates you understand a vast amount about what they do and what their challenges are.

No Reference For Call

Cold calling in any way, shape, or form is detrimental to both parties and a cold call voice message is very easy to delete. Spend some time getting to know people who know the person you’re calling. Use the vast data available in your social networks and find virtual connections. At the very least, find a way to strike some common ground and suggest a reference that thought you should call. It’s much harder to ignore a referral.

No Suggested Call Back Plan

Phone tag isn’t really as fun as it sounds. When leaving a message, make sure you mention when you are going to try to call back or when the recipient can catch you. You can also suggest all the better ways, such as email, that you might be reached. This is particularly helpful when trying to move something forward without the ability to meet on the same clock.

Rapid Fire Phone Number

Have you ever noticed how often people will leave long thoughtful messages and then when they mention their phone number, they’ll speed up like they’re all of a sudden out of time. So now the person trying to call them back has to replay the message three times in order to jot down the number. Slow down when leaving your number and say it twice.

SOURCE: John Jantsch,

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