You can use the same tools when leaving a message as you do when speaking with a live gatekeeper: be aggressive, assume control, sound important, and be confident.
Here are some tips that will help you be an effective communicator on the phone or through voicemail:
- Be clear and clever. Make sure you sound enthusiastic and authoritative on your business and theirs.
- Being an effective communicator on the phone or in a voicemail is a skill that takes practice. Be sure to speak slowly and distinctly enough to be clearly understood.
- Make your message short. Time is valuable. Give the prospect the headlines instead of the entire story, until you’ve grabbed their attention.
- Smile with your voice. A friendly voice will hold your prospect’s interest. Prospects like to buy from people they’re comfortable with so be sure to project your friendliness over the phone.
- Be an energetic speaker. This expresses your enthusiasm for your job and your product.
- Make it clear that you’re not calling to make an immediate sale, rather to make a scheduled time for the call because you understand that their time is valuable. This also implies that you are busy helping other clients, which in turn translates to a perception that you’re successful.
- Listen attentively. No one appreciates being interrupted. Sometimes the prospect will give you useful information that you can use during a face-to-face appointment, or a follow up phone call. Be sure to take notes.
Connecting with a prospect over the phone or through their voicemail can be frustrating, but it is also a very effective way to start the sales process. With the tips above, you’ll be on your way to being a better phone communicator.