While leaving a voicemail is not likely to motivate somebody to call you back, it can be a very effective way to impart a sense of your brand.
Distinct voicemails dramatically boost the odds that at some point the target will respond. If you’re missing this opportunity, here are some new messages to try.
The “Mutual Contact” voicemail.
Find a mutual contact that you share on LinkedIn, and either talk to the person and get them to mention you to the target, and/or mention that person’s name in the voicemail.
Example: “Bill, this is Sara from Computer King. I was in touch with Jerry Jones last week and he told me to reach out to you. We reduced his system downtime by 30% and he thought you would want to hear about it.”
It takes more effort to do the research, but this is one of the most effective ways to get someone’s attention. Try it early in the game.
The “Need a Favor” voicemail.
Most people feel about rejecting you and will give a referral to somebody else if you have conducted yourself in a professional manner. When somebody refers you to another person they know, it deepens the relationship to some extent.
Here’s an example: “Bill, Sara from Computer King. I know you’ve been getting my voicemails and chances are it’s not the best time. Bill, I need a favor from you. It would really help me out if you could tell me who you know that wouldn’t mind reducing their server downtime by 30%. I’m sending you an email with more information on this, you’ll see it in your inbox. I need 5 names Bill, let me know. Thanks!”
It is common to overlook people’s desire to help others, and don’t assume that they aren’t open to helping you even if they aren’t buyers. Save this one for mid game.
The “Business Challenge” voicemail.
Messaging that is value adding has a higher chance of catching their attention. But show the target that you did your homework. Very few people are willing to do what I am going to describe.Call the company and ask for an associate of the target. It could be an administrative assistant, coworker, even somebody who works for the person. Ask them what they feel he or she would want to hear about as related to your product, what challenges they are facing that you could provide information about how to overcome. Then drum up some potent information and leave this voicemail.
Example: “Bill, Sara from Computer King. Hey Bill I realize how busy you are so instead of wasting your time trying to guess how I could help, I spoke with Mary in your department today. She said you’d want to hear about new ways to avoid being hacked on a mobile device. So I’m sending you an article through Mary, she’ll forward it on to you today.” This is good to use in the early/middle of the process.
The “Grenade” voicemail.
If you’ve left several messages and not heard back, consider dropping the grenade.
Here’s an example: “Bill, Sara from Computer King once again. I have a meeting tomorrow near your office and thought I would stop by and say hello. Unless I hear back, I’ll be in your office at 10 AM.” Now, you do have to in fact show up if you do not hear back. Chances are that they will respond back and tell you not to come. If they do then at least you got their attention and now you can use it as an opportunity to find out why. It’s possible they are rejecting you because they don’t even know what you are offering them. If you do go, bring a treat for them and if they aren’t available then you can leave it there. Be sure to bring the reception’s phone number so that you can call and ask to be let up if the person doesn’t answer his or her direct phone when you are in the lobby.
I would save this for late in the game because it is an aggressive strategy that could trigger an emotional response. While there is no guarantee that any of all of these will work, this blog serves as an example of how to make your messages go further leveraging contact, both internal and external to the company, the power of relevant information, and most of all, good, old-fashioned guts. Good luck!
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