I know it’s not news to you that it’s difficult to reach decision makers. Perhaps this crazy statistic from CRM company Ringlead will underline how dire the situation is for you. Cold calling alone isn’t going to fill your lead pipeline. For many industries who rely on this old standby (investment advisors, realtors, insurance brokers, charities etc.) this is really frustrating news.
So here’s my advice around voicemail:
Avoid Leaving a Voicemail
Block your caller ID (*67) and call at different times, after work hours being the most productive ones to reach executives. I’ll never forget the Christmas week that I scored big meetings with CEOs who were working alone in their offices while the whole staff were off on vacation. When you leave voicemail, you’re giving the ball of responsibility over to a very busy person who has almost no motivation to call you back. So just don’t do it and instead, penetrate the world of the decision maker in other ways.
Meet Them In Person First
Is the decision maker on a panel you’re attending? Is she going to be at an industry gala? Will he be accepting an award by the city? Get there and get in line. In fact, try to connect with them prior to the event and tell them that you’re coming to the meeting. Then ask if you can say ‘Hello’ to them there. I’ve used this one to get access to real top guns. In person, everyone is so nice and those deadly boring events are the best places to meet and fawn over your prospects. Once you’ve met them in person, now you’ve got a better chance that they’ll actually respond to your voicemail.
Give Something Of Value On the Voicemail
If you do leave a voicemail, make sure it’s to tell them about something truly valuable that you’re offering. And no, just another workshop or lunch and learn isn’t going to provide value unless it’s about a very specific topic that they have a stake in learning more about. So, learn about the industry/company needs through research and offer an insights paper or a trend report or a presentation about their competitors and what they’re doing right in the market. When you give value, nobody can turn you down, on voicemail or not.
Keep the Voicemail Short
The optimal voicemail message is between 8 and 14 seconds according to the consulting company The Sales Hunter. So hone in on what value you’re going to provide and how you’ll intrigue them in that brief message. For examples, one of the messages I leave is “I’m having an Executive Roundtable to discuss reducing the close to $1 trillion in wasted marketing and sales efforts for the Food and Beverage Industry. I’ll follow up this week to see if you’d like more info.” Done.