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Professional Selling Skills Training: Voice Mail Messages

Selling yourself via voice mail is difficult in any circumstance. In response to several requests from readers, here is my perspective:

First, accept the fact that very few voice mail calls will be returned if you don’t have a relationship with them. This means that the voice mail message you leave will wind up being only the first part of your sales process.

Secondly, never leave any more information than you need to. The more information you leave, the less likely the person will call you back. People use voice mail messages as a screening tool, so if you leave too much they will use it to validate in their mind why they don’t need you. Keep your message concise by providing only your name, phone number, and a very short statement. You are opening the door for you to contact them again under the premise that the first voice mail call is probably not going to be returned.

The exception: If you’re dealing with an opportunity that has a very low chance of ever coming to pass, then go ahead and leave them a lot of information (enough to disqualify you). With this strategy, they’ll only return your call if they truly do have a reason for doing business with you. Keep in mind that this should only be undertaken if you have the ability to leave thousands of voice mail messages and you don’t care how poorly people view your name and company. In other words: keep your messages short and be sure to repeat your phone number slowly, saying it at least twice.

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