Voicemail Approach & Getting Mobile Numbers

With the abundantly destructive voicemail culture prevalent in the global buying community, one way around this cold-calling prevention malaise is through the classic out-of-hours approach.  Calling before 9 and after 5:30 will often lead to someone other than a doorman-bouncer-esque receptionist fielding your call, and putting you straight through.

You should clearly always ask for a mobile, after all “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”.  The problem is though that in general, people are loathed to give out a colleague’s cellphone number, especially if that person in question is a superior.

If you don’t get put through (maybe for instance because your prospect ‘doesn’t take cold calls’) a way to grab your prospect’s mobile phone number can be by asking for a direct line so you can leave an introductory message.  You’ll then hopefully either be put through, be given a direct landline, or make a cheeky request for the mobile seem fine.

With voicemail, another way, is to leave a message on their voicemail at the office, in such a way that you tee up a telephone appointment and focus on what you’re required to do to earn that vital 5-minute audience.  Most advice on voicemail message leaving suggests your normal pitch, truncated if necessary into a 30-second soundbite.  I’m not sure this is the best way ahead.

If everyone else is doing this, and results appear patchy, then you should do something different (& better) shouldn’t you?

My recommendations are along these lines, and I’ll be testing them out with my cold-callers over the next few days:

  1. intro yourself,
  2. half-a-dozen words only on what you can do,
  3. re-iterate they’re slap-bang in the middle of your target market – similar to the vast majority of your other customers
  4. ask what you can provide to earn a five-minute phone conversation about opportunities for them to progress ideas
  5. give a path of actions that’ll create engagement, such as things that’ll progress your cause, like perhaps let a receptionist know a different number when I next call, email me what you’d like to know, suggest a colleague to talk to first

As a post-script to this, I sell to sales people and recently came across a survey of where sales team priorities lie during the coming year.  So my approach will involve something like “hopefully you’re in a similar position to the 1-in-3 sales teams that this year wants to progress…..”

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