I haven’t done any real research on this but it seems to me the odds are pretty good these days that when we call someone we’re going to get their voicemail rather than actually talking to them.
There are probably several reasons for that but I think a big one is the simple fact that people are really busy. The convenience of letting a call go to voicemail is just easier than stopping whatever we’re doing to take a call.
It’s gotten to the point where I’m almost surprised when a real person actually answers the phone. I expect to get someone’s voicemail and I’m prepared for the moment I hear the beep. You know the beep, it is the indication that you should start talking.
I’m amazed at the number of people who use the phone for business who are apparently surprised when they get someone’s voicemail and who then go almost totally braindead when they get the beep.
They stutter, stammer, hem and haw, start and stop their sentences and generally sound like it’s the first time they have ever gotten the beep.
Folks, I have to tell you if you’re making phone calls then you’re gonna get the beep. Often!
Be prepared for it…
If you’re in sales and you get the beep then every stutter and stammer, each hem and haw, and all the false starts impact not only your professionalism but your credibility as well. A customer or prospect might just get the impression that you don’t know what you’re doing, no matter how experienced you actually are.
The lack of preparation for the simple task of leaving a coherent message is easily spotted by your prospect or customer. Plan as if you’re going to get the beep and know exactly what you’re going to say. Know why you’re calling and why the person you’re leaving the message for should return your call. Say everything as if you’ve said it before. Say it with the confidence of someone who has said it a thousand times and with the enthusiasm of someone saying it for the first time. Give the appearance of a professional who is prepared to have a professional conversation.
When I say know “exactly” what you are going to say I mean that you should say it, really just say it, speak it as if the other person is on the phone. Do not read it. If your message is really just something you read from a script then in my little opinion you probably don’t deserve a call back.
Professionals prepare to succeed. Professional salespeople prepare for every customer interaction, even for interactions with the customer’s voicemail. Every time you call someone you should be prepared to leave a message, a clear, compelling and concise message.
Leaving only your name and phone number by the way is NOT a message, it’s just some information that the person you’re calling will likely never use. Prepared professionals provide the other person with a solid reason for calling them back.
If you use a phone to call other people you’re gonna get the beep. If you’re using the phone for business purposes then you best be prepared for it cause if you’re not the beep may be the only thing you ever hear from your prospect or customer.