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Whatever Happened to Voice Mail?

ImageRemember the days when you couldn’t WAIT to listen to your voice mail messages? People made things happen and got things accomplished through voice mail. We patiently listened to 3-minute voice mail messages and took action. We even thanked people for taking the time to leave us a voice mail message.

Today, voice mail is a rude interruption and something we don’t even bother to check when it comes through our Smart Phones. We get annoyed when someone leaves a message in our mailbox — and now, with so many predictive dialers, out there,  it’s probably a prerecorded message.

But I’m not ready to just toss voice mail out into the sales-o-sphere — there’s still hope and opportunity for it to hold a prime spot in the sales mix. But that will require a few changes!

1. Voice mail can no longer stand on it’s own. It needs a little help from it’s friends, the gang I call the “Triple Threat” = vm + em + social.

  • The email intro should include your company data, product, solution, ROI, client info.
  • The social (LinkedIn) is your digital footprint, your influence and visibility
  • The voice mail is your tone — your persuasive, authoritative, professional, and engaging vocal stamp.

2. Voice mail and email must be delivered simultaneously. Pressing “send” on your email introduction and leaving a voice mail must happen within seconds of each other.

3. Voice mail must be void of data. The last thing we want to hear in a voice mail message is anything technical or features-oriented. SO BORING.

4. Voice mail must sound conversational. Forget the rehearsed, canned, and automated messages. The ones that get heard are the ones that sound authentic.

5. Voice mail messages need to be 22 seconds long at most. The shorter the better. Remember, we just want to hear the sound of your voice while you are leveraging the other areas in your email message.

6. Voice mail stands at the apex. It may no longer be able to stand alone, but it still functions as the “spokesperson” for all communications media.

7. Voice mail must be personalized. Don’t forget to add something you know about your prospect in your message.

Here’s a sample voice mail message:

Hi Bob,

This is Susan Smith with ABC company.

I’m excited to learn that you [something about them]. I want to introduce myself, and  have sent an email and LinkedIn invite because I want to be your sales resource when it comes to [specifics about your industry/vertical]. After spending time reviewing your organization, I noticed you [something relevant about them and their world that relates to your solution]

My goal is to dive deeper into your current situation and make sound recommendations based on the success our customers have consistently experienced for years. 

Please let me know your availability, or provide me with someone else within your organization I can reach out to to talk about [area of expertise].

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