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When cold calling do you leave voicemails?

When you are making your cold calls on the telephone and your prospect isn't available do you leave a voicemail or call back at a later time? - by Community Mailbox
I've done both, and my message now is "Hi Mr. Ireallywanttomeetyou, I know you're busy and that is why I'm calling for an appointment. I'll keep trying in hopes of contacting you at a more convenient time, Aloha, Tom Lodge 808-992-9999 that number again 808-992-9999.

Much Aloha... shds; ;bg - by rattus58
I've done both, and my message now is "Hi Mr. Ireallywanttomeetyou, I know you're busy and that is why I'm calling for an appointment. I'll keep trying in hopes of contacting you at a more convenient time, Aloha, Tom Lodge 808-992-9999 that number again 808-992-9999.

Much Aloha... shds; ;bg
I see your memory is not as bad as you are aways saying it is. You were able to say the exact same number twice. - by Ace Coldiron
No.... It's a computer skill I acquired... cut and paste.... sn;

Much Aloha... shds; ;bg - by rattus58
I leave voicemails - otherwise, how are they supposed to know I called?

I've heard some recommend to stop leaving voicemails by the third or fourth call back - by that time I've most likely moved on, but if I'm confident about the need and the fit, I might try back without leaving messages.

Stephen - by sfrenkel
This is kind of a loaded question.

For the most part, you should leave a voicemail with a prospect.

However, depending on the size of the company and level of executive, the purpose of leaving the voicemail can be different.

For example, if you're calling an extremely small company, you have a decent chance of the prospect calling you back. Therefore, the purpose would be to reach out and try to get a return call.

If you're calling a c-level executive in the Fortune 500, the chance of a prospect calling you back are slim. However, it doesn't mean a voicemail is useless. It means that when you do leave a voicemail, you're building awareness. You're getting your name out there. This can be helpful, because it may take you many weeks or months to reach this type of executive. When you do, if you've laid the foundation of sending emails and leaving voicemails, he may have a vague idea of who you are, and make your call that much more 'warm.'

Good luck!

Beth - by bethravery
If you're calling a c-level executive in the Fortune 500, the chance of a prospect calling you back are slim.

Beth
Beth, I have no way of knowing for sure, but I suspect most of the active posters here rarely call on a C-level executive in the Fortune 500. Why do you think that it would take weeks or months to reach one of them? Can you give an example of a particular group in sales that have led you to that statement--and could you rate the level of sales acumen in that group?

Please--I'm not challenging you. It's just that I have people in my circle that have no problem reaching those C-level executives. - by Ace Coldiron
Leaving a VM or not, its subjective and purely personal. There are other means of reaching people, PA is a route i like because its more important to build huge rapport there, also email is an option i love and i love handling the objections i get via email....its an invitation to call and get through and overcome the objection. I think its 50/50 whether a prospect who is not familiar with you will actually return your call, they may do or they may not! - by SeanPatrick
I have people in my circle that have no problem reaching those C-level executives.
Ace,

I do indeed call on C-level Execs (or as high in the company as I possibly can). While success rates are good, I'd be interested in hearing about your colleagues' approach(es) as I'm always interested in learning more, especially from people who are good at high level B2B sales...

Stephen - by sfrenkel
Ace,

I do indeed call on C-level Execs (or as high in the company as I possibly can). While success rates are good, I'd be interested in hearing about your colleagues' approach(es) as I'm always interested in learning more, especially from people who are good at high level B2B sales...

Stephen
Stephen, having read your posts over a period of time, I have no doubt that you are successful in that area. Frankly I can tell by the insight you consistently display.

Among the top salespeople I know, one stands out in particular when it comes to the information you want me to share. He said quite recently over lunch, "You don't work your way up into bigger league sales, you place yourself into it."

Stephen, that might not be the form of reply you were hoping for, but the underlying belief in that statement is one that I find consistent with producers who have success in reaching top level people and selling them.

Most people can be reached. Most salespeople do not attempt very hard to reach people that they assume are difficult to reach. It isn't a matter of fancy technique, it's a matter of accepting that it can be done.

My clients over the years have included ambassadors, senators, congressmen, mayors, wealthy newspaper publishers, superstar athletes, prominent attorneys, CEOs of large companies, and one world reknowned physician. I'm sure I've left some categories out. I cannot think of a single instance among them when I was not treated with respect, openness, cordiality, and willingness to hear what I had to say.

Only in the case of the newspaper publisher, did I find an intermediary personal assistant who set appointments on several occasions for me to meet with her boss. When I met with that woman publisher I was always treated as a welcome guest and a source of information and services.

The man I quoted earlier does not just deal with the hoy paloy. He has many clients in small businesses and farming--as do I. He knows the best way to deal with others is human being to human being. I share that belief with him. - by Ace Coldiron
Thanks Ace! I'm glad to hear my posts are well received.

I agree with you wholeheartedly - the confidence of knowing you belong at the table certainly helps in your solicitation for a seat.

When I reach out, I work hard to make sure I'm doing so as a peer/equal and as a consultant with experience that can help my prospects/clients - it's important that they see me as an equal.

Stephen - by sfrenkel
I think that leaving a vm on the phone of someone that you have never spoken to is a pointless waste of yours and their time. It makes you the salesperson feel that you are doing something, but really it just takes up valuable calling time. Just hang up and move on.

Whilst on the subject I never ask when someone I am cold calling, will be back in the office otherwise, I am just wasting my time building a list of people who are not in. - by Julian
As with anything, it depends.

I would assume that this is a first call and as such, I would leave a quick 30 second voicemessage with a great hook in the first 10 seconds.

I would say something like, "Mrs./Mr. Prospect, similar companies to yours save on average X% by using out service, which could translate to $X over the next year."

This way the prospect has the opportunity to decide if they want to learn more. If you don't leave a message, then how does the prospect know what they may be missing.

The one thing that you should do is put the prospect into a call cycle so that you don't call them once.

Hope this helps. - by salestipaday
I always leave a message. If I don't how could I possibly get a call back from them....and I do more than 30% of the time.

The importance is the simplicity and directness of the voice mail message. - by Paulette Halpern
Beth, I have no way of knowing for sure, but I suspect most of the active posters here rarely call on a C-level executive in the Fortune 500. Why do you think that it would take weeks or months to reach one of them?
On point again ACE .... as usual.

Look, really good Execs are more apt to be able to recognize the need to listen to voice mail than small business owners. When I speak to them and ask them questions about this they say; "you never know" meaning when a call could be helpful.

Of course, if you are calling the wrong person in the first place you are unlikely to get a call back, another reason why calling middle management is a mistake to start out.

I recently got through to the worldwide CEO of a $34 Billion whole-y-owned division of a $179 Billion dollar company. I called the TOP DOG and I got time with him. And, yes, this interaction began with a voice mail ...

LESSON #1 Don't doubt for a moment that you can.

LESSON #2 Learn to deal with screening.

LESSON #3 Learn hgow to get through to Mr./MS. Busy.

The whole prospecting seminar takes a day. But calling very early ... he/she is in and not bothered by staff yet. Call during break time - when the screen_er is not there (gettign past the gatekeeper) ...

Positive reinforcement - don't think or or refer to it as "COLD CALLING" try changing the "c" to a "g" and refer to it as GOLD CALLING ...

Best of luck.
Steve - by Gold Calling
When I used to cold call a residence via telephone I discovered a message that made people call me back. I learned it from a sales trainer. This message I left helped me screen the people who were interested and not interested. Most people in my office hated answering machines but once you test and find a message that gets people calling you back you'll have less reluctance when the answering machine picks up.

However once you test and find a message that gets people calling you back you then have to have a response that keeps them on the hook.

I would say write out what you are going to say when the answering machine picks up. After leaving this message a few times test another message until you find one that gets your phone to ring. Not sure if this works B2B though. - by Cedric
These days the most I call prospects is once a week for 3 weeks. I make each call at a different time of day with the goal of catching the decision-maker live.

After that, I most definitely do leave a voice mail message. I agree with others who have posted - if I do not leave a message how are my prospects going to know I am out there with important information for them?

I even use VM as a way to move a discussion forward with prospects. I VM them with information and a question; they VM me with information and a question. My prospects and I have gone back and forth like this up to three times before connecting and landing an appointment.

My VM messages differ from yours.

I do not leave a message saying I-realy-wanna-talk-with-you. I do leave a message saying here's-how-your-competitors-benefit-from-talking-with-me-please-don't-lose-out-call-me. Additionally, I begin the message with my number and end the message with my number. If they listen to my message a second time the number is right up front for them to grab.

Best,
The Top Dog - by The Top Dog
I have learned to always leave a message. I recommend building a series of scripts to leave as voicemail.

Your scripts should be designed to work together and continue to build interest and value. If nothing else your prospect gets to know who you are by repeated exposure and by the time you connect they will give you an immediate impression of what they are interested in (your product/service or getting off of the phone).

Cheers,

Kevin - by KTjia
There is a problem with leaving VMs which no book ever covers.

You may have made 50 calls left 20 emails .Phone rings its a voice mail recipitent calling back! Who is it? Which company are they from? dont recall the name? not prepared for this call!! etc etc.stcktng; - by smashy
There is a problem with leaving VMs which no book ever covers.

You may have made 50 calls left 20 emails .Phone rings its a voice mail recipitent calling back! Who is it? Which company are they from? dont recall the name? not prepared for this call!! etc etc.stcktng;

I have been in this situation before, actually have been woken up by a call such as this.(I'm a college student, working part-time with a company for B2B Marketing, 7 a.m is just too early sometimes! haha) You really don't need to know the company name or exactly who the individual is with until after the phone call. Speak to them calm and collectively, act like you've been expecting their call and be personable about it. Don't treat them like they're one of the 300 voice mails you left. Individuals want to feel special, so treat them as such. Simply, ask them the questions necessary to determine how much of the product they use as well as actively listen to them set their parameters of what they define as, "Excellent Service."
So, before or after you set up the appointment, (Quotes by phone never work!) get some contact information and with the proper contact information, you'll easily be able to determine what company was responding back to your voice mail.

Let me insert a random statement of ethos because it seems to be appropriate for people around here. I've done this 3-4 times and set up the appointment that even lead to sales! I didn't even know what company it was, until I got back to the office! haha

"Hello Michael?"
"Yes?"
"This is Steve, just returning your voicemail about the mass quantity of pallets we use."
"Oh, hey Steve!(Tone of familiarity and remembering what he's talking about.) I was calling just to see what type of pallets your company uses and how many truckloads you're getting a week/monthly on average." (Inquisitive approach begins!)


-Also, if anyone else doesn't agree with my approach, feel free to give out tips. I would love to hear different perspectives. ;bg - by MoraTheExplora
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