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Leaving Messages

By Wendy Weiss
Oct 18, 2006

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'Hi __________. My name is _________. I'm your ________ sales person calling to introduce myself. I would like to talk to you about what we have to offer.'

The above is an actual message that was left on my voice mail. I did not call back. Would you? Probably not.

Let me state up front that I'm still not a big fan of leaving messages. Having a conversation with your prospect is always so much better, and with some skill and patience it is possible to eventually get most prospects on the telephone.

If, however, you choose to leave a message, you must give your prospect some reason to call you back. 'I would like to talk to you about what we have to offer' does not cut it.

When you are speaking with your prospect for the first time, it is imperative to have a hook, something to grab and hold that prospect's attention. If you don't hook your prospect in the beginning of your conversation, they will not want to speak with you. They will say, 'I'm not interested,' and worse case, they may hang up on you.

It works exactly the same way when you are leaving a message. If you don't have a hook, if your message does not grab and hold your prospect's attention, your prospect will hit delete and that will be that.

The process for finding your hook, whether for your actual
conversation or for your message, is always the same. You want to identify hot buttons, those issues that are so important to your prospect that when they come up, your prospect stops in her tracks to listen. Every single message that you leave must have a hook. And if you plan on leaving more than one message, you will want to have different hooks. (And BTW: If you really want to reach your prospect, you will need to leave more than one message.) This way you will always be saying something new.

Start by making a list. List every benefit and value that you and/or your products/services bring to your customers. Once you have that list, create a message for each benefit/value. You can have more than one message about any one benefit/value, as long as you have another angle or another point that you can make. When you are done, you should have several different generic messages that you could then leave for your prospect. Once you've developed your generic messages, you can then customize them for any particular prospect.

He.re are some additional tips for leaving messages:

* Say your name and telephone number at least twice, once at the beginning of the message and once at the end.

* Spell your name.

* Speak slowly and clearly. No one will ever call you back if they do not understand you.

* Slow down when you spell your name and give your telephone number. Your prospect will interpret this slowing down as a
direction to write, and will pick up a pen and write down your information. This works when you are speaking directly to your prospect as well.

* Make sure to tell prospects that you will call back if you do not hear from them. This way you take back control and are not left sitting by the phone, waiting for prospects to call.

Wendy Weiss, 'The Queen of Cold Calling,' is a s.ales trainer, author and sales coach. Her recently released program, Cold Calling College, and/or her book, Cold Calling for Women, can be ordered by visiting http://www.wendyweiss.com. Contact her at wendy@wendyweiss.com. Get Wendy's fr.ee e-zine at http://www.wendyweiss.com.

2006 Wendy Weiss

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