Cold calling is still a widely used prospecting tool and sales strategy. Whether it’s an initial cold call, a subsequent follow-up call, or a “keep-in-touch” call, sales people still rely on the telephone to connect with busy prospects.
However, making that call and getting a return phone call are two different things.
Here are seven reasons why prospect’s don’t return your calls.
1. Your voice mail message is too long. The majority of voice mail messages decision makers receive are far too long. Decision makers are too busy to listen to a long, rambling, and disjointed message. That means you need to get your message across in 30 seconds or less. In fact, I suggest that you try and limit your message to a maximum of 20 seconds.
2. Your voice mail message is too cryptic. On the reverse side, a short, terse voice mail with no details will not likely motivate someone to call you back. You MUST give a prospect enough information to capture their attention and say, “I need to talk to this person.”
3. You leave the same voice mail message. It is important to keep trying to connect with your prospect which often means leaving multiple voice mail messages. However, if you want someone to call you back you need to leave a different message every time you call. Plus, it must be compelling (see the next point).
4. Your voice mail message is not compelling. Most voice mail messages do little to motivate someone to pick up the telephone and return your call. A compelling message MUST demonstrate that you understand your prospect’s industry, situation or circumstances and portray that you might have a solution.
5. Your voice mail sounds like every other sales person. The average executive receives dozens of sales calls a day so if you want a busy executive to call you back, your message MUST stand out from every other call he or she receives.
I once sat in a Vice President’s office as he listened to his voice mail messages on speakerphone and was fascinated how similar every sales call sounded. I was equally intrigued by how quickly this person deleted the messages, too. His finger hovered over the delete button, and in most cases, he erased the message in the first few seconds.
6. Your product or service does not interest them. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone needs your solution and when you call companies that are not the right fit for your product, service or offering, you are simply wasting your time and that of your prospects. Improve your results by more closely targeting your prospecting calls to companies who can actually use your product or service.
7. Your prospect is simply too busy. Most sales people fail to realize exactly how busy executives are. A client of mine once said, “I’m so busy right now I can’t possibly take on any more projects.” This sheer volume of work often prevents decision makers from returning your call because they don’t have the time to talk to you and because they can’t fit another project into their schedule. Unless your product, service or offering is something they desperately need right now, they probably won’t return your call.
If you are serious about increasing your sales and improving your sales approach it is essential that you give prospects a reason to call you back. Then, and only then, will your telephone prospecting methods be effective.
BTW: This webinar will help your increase call backs from prospects. Check it out.