out of Voice Mail
is the best way to avoid X when doing Y can cause X to happen?
Answer: Avoid Y
Such a goofy
little question can lead to a bit of important
insight. Some sales reps get so frustrated by voice mail and
the lack of return calls that they avoid voice mail altogether.
While every sales
professional needs to be able to work with voice
mail, avoiding it can sometimes be a good technique for prospecting
or simply going through the sales
process. Here are a few simple
techniques to help you improve your chances of speaking to your
client or prospect:
Call at the Right Time -
keep regular work hours… 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
and everything in-between. The best way to get around a gatekeeper
is to call when they’re not answering the phone. Many decision-makers
like to come in early or stay late to get work done and don’t require
their admins to work the same hours. The best way to reach a prospect
is when they are answering their own phone. Another alternative
is to call during lunchtime – when the gatekeeper is getting a bite
to eat, you can catch the boss while he’s eating at his desk.
Keep on Calling -
Some people are just tough
to reach. They’re either tied up in meetings all the time or
are just too buried to return calls. The best approach is to keep
calling. We’re not talking about placing calls every hour on the
hour but simply staying persistent.
It helps to occasionally leave a voice mail but you should at least
call a new prospect every day in hopes of tracking them down. Just
because they’re not
calling back does not mean they’re not interested. They may
simply be too busy.
No More Transfers!!! -
Who can’t relate with the frustration that comes with getting transferred
from one person to another? Cable companies, telephone companies
and utilities have, over time, been known for providing customers
with this “valued
experience.” If you find yourself reaching a gatekeeper,
you can let them know that you’ve been transferred around for X
amount of time and are getting really frustrated. Ask them if they
will put you directly through to your prospect. This technique may
get you right in the door.
Forget Transfers… No More
Phone Tag!!! - You may really be missing each other or
you may be the only one playing
phone tag as you seem to be doing all the tagging. Nonetheless,
if you let the gatekeeper know that you keep playing phone tag with
your client or prospect, they
may let you through.