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Leave a voice-mail or keep calling back?

When a salesperson's intial prospecting calls are not being returned by the prospect should the salesperson keep calling back or leave a voice-mail and hope for the best? - by Community Mailbox
Well if you are calling and not leaving voice mail, how is the person supposed to call you back? So voice mail is a must, the very first time you dial the prospects and get their outbound message. The issue is the type of voice mail you leave and the desired results and realities.

Good luck, - by Tibor Shanto
State I have tried to connect with you........ times and certainly you must have received my letter or voice mail. I understand your are busy and I like you do not like to be hounded. This is my last correspondence to you. If you feel I can assist you I look forward to your call. If not I wish you the best and hope our paths might cross in the future.

Then move on. There are too many rude and unprofessional people in the world and too many selling professionals waste time with negative non decisive people. Work on your strengths and those that desire your service.

Good Selling.

Drew - by Drew Stevens
There are 2 different scenarios where you might be faced with the choice of whether or not to leave a message:

The first is when you're calling from a long list. Let's say that you have 200 prospects to call and you're simply going through that list. In that case, when you get a prospect's voice mail, hang up and call somebody else. The time you spend first listening to the message and then leaving your own message is wasted time. Try that particular prospect again 3-4 more times and if you're not able to reach them directly, put that lead aside.

The second scenario is when you have a highly targeted list. You have a handful of specific prospects that you want to reach and you have a specific reason that you want to reach these particular prospects now.

In this case, if you can't reach the prospect directly then leave a message. You'll have to leave more than one message because the likelihood of someone returning your call from one voice mail message is very slim. Instead, create a message campaign.

Craft a series of messages that you can leave for the prospect. Each message should focus on the benefit or value that you (your company/product/service) bring to customers. Leave your message every 3-5 business days. It should take you a month to 6 weeks to do this. By the end of this time if you haven't heard back, you probably are not going to. Most prospects will respond to this type of consistent campaign. The key is to have something compelling to say that focuses on value.

You can really only successfully handle this type of campaign with a few prospects at a time. It's important to keep track of the messages you are leaving. - by Wendy Weiss
I get asked this question a lot. I've left over 35,000 voice mail messages in my career and I've test every imaginable strategy. Here are a few quick thoughts:

1. Don't leave the typical voice mail that every salesperson leaves. The typical message usually sounds something like, "Hi, this is Joe Salesperson and I'm calling to introduce myself. Our company specializes in ______ and I'm just calling to see if you have any needs (or projects) that I can help you with. For an alternative approach, you can listen to a recorded webinar I conducted on voice mail strategies.

2. Whenever possible, leave messages for more than 1 person in the account. This way, you can leverage the other execs and mention that you are also planning to reach out to them.

3. Make sure you follow up to your previous message within 3 days. Otherwise, you'll lose momentum.

4. Consider using email in addition to voice mail. 3 years ago I saw much better results with voice mail. Today, email has it beat hands down. After leaving a voice mail, follow up with an email and you'll see twice the call-back rate. Here's an article on using email as a prospecting tool. - by Jake Atwood
When a salesperson's intial prospecting calls are not being returned by the prospect should the salesperson keep calling back or leave a voice-mail and hope for the best?
Some terrific ideas here from awesome experts.

I would add to shake up your follow up, all with valid business reasons as opposed to a sales spiel to follow up: use voice mail, use email, then send a real postcard, make an in-person visit if geographically in your territory, use voice mail again, send another email, send a fax, send another greeting card.

Sales is often the timing with a prospect's pain and your offering.

I'm off to listen to Jakes webinar! - by patweber
There's nothing wrong with voicemail but I believe it is being misused by both prospects and salespeople. Modern vm systems are being used by salespeople to leave ever increasing and sometimes boring sales "pitches" - probably because they are believing that they have a captive audience. The truth is of course our prospects simply hit the delete button once you have introduced yourself!

Prospects on the other hand are guilty of hiding behind voicemail as a way to screen out unwanted calls. In my particular experience there is not a problem with gatekeepers mearly that prospects are all on voicemail. Leaving a message on these types of voicemail is completely pointless, no matter how creative you are.

I dont think there is a "solution" that we can employ. It is just something that goes with the territory as a salesperson. Just move on to the next call. - by Julian
I think it all depends what you are calling for of course.

If it is a lead that you are following back up, and than I would not leave a message right away. Why, well because you may have reached them at a bad time and you do not want to give the customer a way out, of not calling you back. If you get a solid lead, than you need to talk to them on the phone, and that will make it much harder for them to turn you down.

If it is regular sales list, just keep moving on. There are much more fish to fry and it becomes a numbers game. However, just because you leave a message does not mean you should not to a follow up call. - by Jumpman
Leave a voicemail everytime you call. They probably have a caller id system and can tell you've called even if you hung up without leavning a message. And that doesn't help you. - by ToddR
I say yes.

If you are calling for the first time, I would leave a message and state your value prop, but do it quickly, not a 2 minute rambling voice message, try to create something that and be said in 20 to 30 seconds tops.

Also, I usually send something in advance (an intro package or piece of literature) to someone I am calling so that I can reference why I am calling them.

Also, I call back on a fairly consistent schedule, approximately every 4 to 8 weeks (once again after sending them something).

What you don't want to do is call every few days as this becomes stalker scary and this is a sure fire way to get someone to delete your message before they hear more than 3 seconds of it. - by salestipaday
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