I was recently in a Linked In discussion talking about lead generation, cold calling and the best way to make an initial contact with new customers and I contributed using voicemail as a good door opener with a email follow up to provide additional information.
I don’t have any objection to sending a warm up email first, but until I have left the voicemail there is no confidence what-so-ever that a message has been delivered. Too many emails don’t get delivered, but I know when the voicemail is in the box.
In principle, people generally agree, but far too many respond that they’re not ready to initiate a phone call until they have some level of “warmth” with the contact. And that’s fine with me because it’s what the voicemail is for. It’s a free standing medium all on it’s own.
I understand that when most sales people think of voicemail, they consider it a second choice outcome on a live contact attempt – and sometimes that is true. But it has become so difficult to reach new contacts live that the expectation IS that you are going to voicemail.
Voicemail is not a substitute for a phone conversation, it is a medium in its own right. It will not get blown away secretly by a spam filter and will give you an opportunity to use the emotional and persuasive power you hold in your own voice and the impact of a one to one communication to begin the process of a sales introduction and a relationship.
And now and then, when you pick up a phone and dial a number, the person you want will pick it up. With luck they’ll associate you positively with the messages you have left and be interested in talking to you.