If you’re an inside sales rep, you are well aware of the challenges of getting prospects to respond to your voice mail messages. In fact, many telephone reps don’t leave voice mail messages simply because the return call rate is so low.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The fact of the matter is you can increase the volume of return calls simply by combining your voice mail message with an e-mail message.
Integrating voice mail and e-mail gives you a 1-2 punch in terms of messaging. You get the audio power of a voice mail message combined with the visual power of an e-mail message. This creates greater awareness and interest in you and your product/services. This article will show you why this works and how
The Trouble With Voice Mail Messages
As if you don’t know this already but the trouble with voice mail is that there are just too many messages being left with prospects. Every sales rep seems to leave one cluttering up the voice mail box. Worst of all, most of the messages aren’t very good. Consequently, prospects have become skeptical if not jaded. Many barely listen to the message; some ignore them completely. The net result is a low pay off for you.
Voice mails have some additional drawbacks to consider. Voice mail tends to be an 8:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m. medium. In other words, the majority of business people tend to access their e-mail only during business hours. Add to that, many decision makers are not at their desks but rather in meetings or off site so accessing voice mail isn’t always the most convenient of tasks. And let’s face it, very few are checking voice mails at 8:45 at night
Finally, responding to voice mails can be a bit of a pain. Often it means jotting down a number and calling you back. The prospect runs the very real risk that you’re on the line forcing them to play telephone tag and leaving a message. Who needs the hassle?
The Power of an E-Mail
In B2B, e-mail is still the darling of the business world. First off, e-mail provides a visual message. It is something prospects can SEE. It creates a degree of tangibility because it is on a screen or sometimes printed out on paper.
Increasingly, e-mail is becoming the preferred method of communication if only because it is fast and convenient.
Think about it. Most decision makers have a smart phone that they take EVERYWHERE. If they’re in a meeting they can and will quickly check their e-mails. If they’re stuck in traffic they check their e-mails. If they’re watching “Dancing With the Stars” or if they’re at their child’s hockey game, they can -and do-check their messages. This means your e-mail will at least be ‘seen.’
Of course, it can easily be deleted. Your prospect probably gets more e-mails than voice mails so they are adept at scanning and deleting more quickly.
But the point is obvious: an e-mail tags along; it follows and lingers; it’s instantly accessible; it’s easy to craft an instant response.
The next step is to provide your prospect with a visual and verbal message that compels them to take action or to be receptive to your follow up call. See the next post ( Voice Mail/E-Mail – What to Say and What to Write) which will give you some specific tips.