In spite of the incredible advances made in email marketing, social media and marketing automation, the telephone is still one of the most powerful sales and marketing tools at the disposal of any company. True, we often don’t use it well, leaving messages that ramble and don’t speak to the interests of our customers and in many cases we support typical sales reluctance with a misguided perception that sales people shouldn’t be reaching out to customers who aren’t already screaming to buy.
Let’s face it, most sales reps are looking for the path of least resistance to a completed sale. With all the emphasis placed in the marketing press on inbound leads, the value of social conversations, the (greatly exaggerated) death of cold calling and some cockeyed idea that potential clients who don’t want sales people banging down their door day and night is somehow a NEW market condition, it’s all too easy for mere humans to resist the urge to pick the phone and try to talk to someone.
Can you tell that I think that many of these resistance points are bogus? I do. But, one thing does stand in the way of developing an immediate dialogue whenever a sales rep picks up the phone, and that is voicemail.
Now, whether you view voicemail as an obstacle or an opportunity is pretty much up to you. But how you choose will have a real effect on your success. Obstacles get in your way, they slow you down and in many cases become an excuse for failure. Opportunities, on the other hand offer new ways of doing things and new roads down which you can travel to find more success. In the best of all possible worlds, your competitors will only see the obstacles that voicemail presents and will not see the opportunities.
Voicemail provides a way to take corporate communications created for the universe of prospects and customers and make them yours, by leading with a message in your own voice to say “here’s something I thought would be of interest and value to you”.
Voicemail means that no dial is ever wasted.
Voicemail gives you an opportunity to develop rapport with new contacts.
Voicemail pushes you to the top of a huge group of companies and people trying to be heard.
Voicemail offers you sound bites to start wearing away points of sales resistance.
Voicemail differentiates you from all those competitors who think they can be successful using only email.
Voicemail allows you to automate your outreach on the phone, just as you can with email and even better, allows you to combine the two to drive a more complete message, taking advantage of the personal, persuasive appeal of your voice and the efficient distribution of factual content via the written word.
With all the changes we have seen in the last 5 years, some things have not changed. If you want your message to stand apart from the cacophony and clutter, don’t just run with the crowd.