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Getting Them to Call Back

Three Ways to Get Return Calls

Many sales professionals have found that the little technological marvel known as voice mail can be both a blessing and a curse.  Voice mail allows us to leave messages for colleagues, prospects, clients, managers, friends and others without having to trust an administrative assistant to decipher your message.  Unless an assistant listens to and deletes an individual’s voice mails, one can rest assured that the message will end up in the right hands. 

At the same time, voice mails are awfully easy to ignore. Many sales professionals find themselves banging their head against the wall trying to get prospects to return their calls. Even warm leads can be difficult to reach via voice mail. Listed below are two ways to leave messages that will increase your chances of a return call. 

Association Voice Mail

“Good morning, Steve.  This is Dave Dialer at 703-555-8047.  I’m calling from Boheme Chemicals regarding the success we’ve had working with Performance Tires.   I look forward to hearing from you.”

This type of voice mail succeeds because it immediately perks the ears of your intended target. The goal is to be able to reference a successful relationship with one of your clients in the prospect’s industry.  This is crucial. If you’re calling a construction company and you mention your success with an airline, your call will fall on deaf ears. Calling Ford? Mention your successes at General Motors. Calling Coca-Cola? Mention how you’ve built a strong relationship with Pepsi. If you truly have a good story to tell, once the client calls back, you’ll be on your way.

Vague Voice Mail.

“Hi Sue.  This is Greg Pitcher at 415-616-2407.  It is Tuesday morning and I’ll be in the office today.  Thanks!”

Who?  Greg Pitcher?  I think I know the name but… let me call and find out.  Well… clearly, this is a vague message.  You haven’t stated who you’re with or why you’re calling.  Quite a few prospects will call back out of sheer curiosity. 

Tag Team Voice Mail

“Hello, this is Sally LeQuota.  I wanted to speak with you about Greg Pitcher, one of our account managers who spoke with you in May.  If you could please give me a call, I can be reached at 415-616-2498.”

Let’s make one thing clear – before you use this, you have to make sure your rep actually spoke to the prospect. This generally will get you a return call. One effective approach is to ask a client where things went wrong since the company had decided not to work with you. This will cause the prospect to open up to you and will give you a possible “in.” It’s very likely that nothing went wrong… but you’ll know soon enough.

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