5 Reasons Not to Leave a Cold Call Voice Mail

“When I am cold-calling, what should I leave on a voice mail message to get a call back?” I get this question about once a week and, yes, it’s the $100,000 question.

There is no miracle answer to this question, even in the best sales training process. If there were, and I could share it, I would be living on the beach in Hawaii, drinking piña coladas with my toes in the sand. I will tell you, when cold calling and getting a message machine, I believe, when in doubt, don’t leave one. Here are reasons why:

1. The prospect will hear your name and the name of your company, and, not recognizing either, will delete your message without listening to the rest of what you’ve said.

2. The prospect will hear your “pitch” and delete it, because unless he has been thinking about what you have to offer at that particular time, he is too busy to act on it.

3. The prospect will hear your one-way communication and be somewhat frustrated, because there is no opportunity to ask any questions. Then, he will hit “delete,” and click to the next message.

4. You may say something in your message that you assume is important to the prospect. And we all know what happens when you assume.

5. Most important, the more times you leave a message, the more your name and your company’s name are burned into your prospect’s memory, negatively.

So what is the answer? Find alternative ways to prospect. If you have read my column for a while, you know that networking and building strategic alliances in your community are the best ways to go.

When it comes to cold-calling, I will tell you again there is no perfect answer to the voice-message question. But there are a few things that have worked for some.

I truly do believe less is more. The more information you leave, the more opportunity for the prospect to decide that he or she is not interested in what you have, even if he or she doesn’t fully understand what that is.

If you are going to call someone, have a legitimate reason for the call. For example, look on their web site to see if there is a connection to something that you do.

More tips? Go to schulzbusiness.com/cold-calling/.

Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting and training firm. She is the best-selling author of “To Sell is NOT to Sell” and works with Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips, go to schulzbusiness.com and sign up for “GretaNomics,” a weekly video tip series, or email sales questions to [email protected]

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