Now, while some may argue that cold calling is dead, and while it’s not the most efficient way to generate sales, there are going to be times when that ideal client you’re after happens to be someone who never visits your website, isn’t active in social media, and isn’t likely to see your internet ads because they’re just not online very much. What then, are you to do?
If they’re a high-level decision maker, chances are that a cold email is probably going to be filtered through their assistant, who may not be able to see the value in what you have to offer as clearly as the client might. The same might be the case for a phone call, if the gatekeeper is particularly tough. Now assuming that you have something really good to offer, there is a way to get through to your prospect. Leave an intriguing voicemail.
Now, there’s a lot of ways to do this, but the best approach is not to try to ‘sell’ your service in a 30-45 second voicemail. In fact, it’s best that you don’t ‘sell’ at all. First, of course, make sure you get the direct number of extension for the prospect, then call very early or very late so as to get routed to the voicemail system. However, don’t do this until you’ve determined what you need to say, and this is how I’d suggest you do that:
Know your prospect. What are their specific needs as regards your services or product? Do some research on their position in the industry, as well as current developments in their leadership, and the most salient problems or challenges they are facing.
Know their industry. You don’t just want to come be an expert in your field, but rather develop a working knowledge of their industry, not just with regard to what you want to sell. A good understanding of the ‘big picture’ challenges of a business will help you to find creative ways to use your products and services to solve specific business problems, making you a valuable partner and not just a vendor.
Address the big picture need or challenge. When you leave you message, place what you have to offer in the larger context of a major challenge your prospect has, and how you will be able to help them overcome that challenge. If you’ve done the first two steps correctly, it’s likely that you may have thought of additional ways in which to create a lasting benefit to the prospect.
When I worked in the recruiting industry, the voicemail I’d leave would be something like this:
“Hello, this is Sam Medina from ____. I understand your company’s had some challenges with regard to employee turnover, so I wanted to get a chance to speak with you about how to make your hiring process faster, simpler, easier, and more cost effective, while at the same time bringing you more and better qualified candidates. You can reach me at ___.”
It might seem simple, but most of the time, I got a call back.
Eliminate all hesitation and uncertainty from your voice. If you don’t sound sure of yourself, why should they have any confidence that you can deliver the goods?
Be conversational. You can skip the ‘radio announcer’ tone; it’s more likely to make them ignore you. Just speak confidently. Remember that you are a business equal reaching out to offer your help, and let your voice reflect that.