Let’s face it.

Cold-calling has never been more difficult.

The percentage of people answering their phone has never been lower, and there’s nothing to think it’s not going to go even lower.  This has lead a lot of people to say cold-calling is dead — to which many salespeople say, “Good!”

The reason I believe a lot of salespeople say good riddance to cold-calling is because they don’t like doing it.

Let’s accept the fact cold-calling is not as effective as it used to be, but that does not mean cold-calling should be discarded.  Cold-calling can and does still work if you apply the right strategy — and the strategy starts with voicemail.

Yes, we all would much rather have people answer the phone, but the strategy I’m saying is one that uses voicemail.

It’s perfectly fine to use voicemail as a means to create name awareness.  Don’t view voicemail as part of the sales pitch or decision-making process.  You have to accept it as helping to build awareness.

What this means is you use cold-calling voicemails as one part of your prospecting strategy, and the other parts are going to include email, direct mail, networking, and so forth.

The key to a cold-calling voicemail message is to not make it a sales pitch, but rather use it as a sound byte to share information the person would find of value.

An example might be to share a short sentence about a change in legislation that would impact the prospect.  Another example is letting them know about new economic numbers impacting their area.  The idea is that in each voicemail, you share a different piece of information the prospect would find of value.

Do not use the voicemail as a means for you to tout your newest product features.

The objective of the voicemail messages is for the prospect to see you as somebody different.   Most salespeople leave short sales pitches.  No wonder people don’t answer the telephone!

Make the message meaningful. This means they still have to be less than 14 seconds in length (that’s what makes it a sound byte).

By mixing voicemail messages with other forms of communication you will create a level of awareness.  Your objective is that over time, this will help open the door and at some point you will have the privilege to talk live with the person.

By using this approach with thousands of salespeople the last couple of years, I’m pleased to say we’ve had very positive results.

Is it perfect?  No.

Does it take work? Yes.

Prospecting requires discipline.

Check out this additional article on surviving and thriving with voicemail.

The approach, while not perfect, still offers you the opportunity to broaden your prospecting success and strengthen your presence in your industry.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

Share This