Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.
Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of the United States
As a business developer, chances are you often schedule sales calls by the phone, which means that you probably reach a voicemail once in a while. That begs the question:
Should you leave a message?
You might argue that it’s best to not leave a message. The problem with leaving a message is that it has the potential to create a situation where the prospect calls back expecting you to remember the name and the associated company, even though you left the message days ago.
That being said, you might want to give it a try. When done right, leaving a message can work wonders. Here’s what you do:
1) Be realistic
Most people don’t respond to voice messages, so don’t get your hopes up. Keep in mind that the people who do return your call are usually the ones you never manage to get through to.
2) Be accessible
Make sure to state your name and organization as clearly as possible. Mention your number once at the start of the message and twice at the end.
3) Be concise
Have a new variation of your pitch ready every time you leave a message for the same person. Be prepared to offer a brief explanation of your product and/or service and its relevance to the prospect. You never have more than 30 seconds. That might sound sufficient, but you’ll thank yourself if you set up a template before you canvas.
4) Be persistent
Expect to leave 3 or 4 messages before the prospect returns your call. Make sure to have multiple versions of your pitch ready to go, each of them offering a different perspective.
5) Answer potential questions
When the recipient listens to your message, there are a few questions they’re likely to have:
- What is expected of me? Will it take long to hear this person out?
- What’s in it for them? What will they gain? What will they avoid?
- Which companies have experienced the same effect?
- How do we proceed if it turns out I’m interested?