Inside Sales Buzz Blog

Inside Sales, Scripts & Cold Call Techniques from Michael Pedone

The VAGUE VOICEMAIL Strategy

by MichaelPedone 28. July 2014 09:21

SALES QUESTION:

"My decision makers let everything go to voicemail. I posted my dilemma on a LinkedIn sales group asking for advice and one person said I should simply call, give my number, leave my first name and say "I have a question for you" and then hang up. What are your thoughts on this type of strategy?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

This is called the Vague Voicemail Strategy and it's very damaging to your reputation and wallet.

Leaving a vague voicemail message isn't going to help you win new business.

When a prospect gets a vague voicemail message, they think it's one of three things:
  1. A client needing help;
  2. A potential new customer;
  3. It's a sales call.
So if they take a chance and make a call back only to find out it's a sales call after all, what do you think happens to your prospects mood? How would YOU feel? Probably pissed, right?

First impressions are everything. Is that how you want your first impression to go down with your new prospect? Me neither.

When I'm making sales calls and get voicemail, it's important to realize that I don't want every prospect to call me back. I only want the prospects that desire a change to call me back. Those are the leads I want to invest my time in.

If you want prospects that desire a change to call YOU back, you'll have to hit their hot buttons.

You should know the top hot buttons your targeted audience has before you call them.

This is knowing how to pick your zebra out of the herd. Know the WHY your best clients are your best clients (the problems they had that your solution solved) and make sure you hit that message when calling a fresh prospect and leaving them a voicemail.

Example:

Hi (Prospects Name), Michael Pedone with SalesBuzz.com. Reason for my call is we help inside sales reps increase voicemail callbacks by an average of 20% by providing them with word-for-word scripts customized to their audience. I'd like to see if what we do would work for you as well. You can reach me at 888-264-0562 Ext. 400 until 3 pm today. Again, its Michael Pedone, SalesBuzz.com at 888-264-0562 Ext. 400. 

And now send an email saying the same thing.

Sincerely,

Michael Pedone - SalesBuzz.com's CSS: Chief Sales Scientist

Categories: Voicemail

Voicemail Message #2 - What to Say If They Didn't Call You Back

by MichaelPedone 21. July 2014 08:13

SALES QUESTION:

"I took your voicemail strategies webinar and it helped increase my callbacks, but what should I do with the leads that don't call me back after I leave a voicemail? Should I try them again? And if so, what do I say if I get their voicemail a second time?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

Start with breaking down all the possible reasons why you didn't get a call back after the first message:
  1. They truly have no need for what you offer;
  2. There's interest but it's low priority OR the prospect simply got busy (or was on vacation etc);
  3. Your first voicemail message didn't hit the hot buttons.
If your first time voicemail message has been working to a degree that you are happy with, your message isn't the problem. Don't change what's working for the majority of your leads.

If you aren't getting any callbacks at all, you need to record your own voicemails (call your own phone and leave a message if you have to) and identify if your message and/or your tone need work.

If you're confident in your voicemail message, you must realize that not every prospect is an opportunity. Part of sales is identifying where opportunities exist.

I've found that using a "three strikes and you're out" rule helps me avoid chasing prospects that don't want to be caught while making sure I also don't become a pest.

Therefore, my process is to leave a first time voicemail message, followed by an email and a LinkedIn connection request. Three touches right off the bat.

If I don't hear back, I'll make a second attempt.

WHEN I make the second attempt depends on a few factors, but it's usually within 24 to 48 hours of the first attempt, and sooner if it was a warm lead.

My second attempt message is going to be the same as my first attempt with only a slight difference.

My 2nd Voicemail Message Script


When leaving my second voicemail message, I'll start with:

"(PROSPECTS NAME), Michael Pedone with SalesBuzz.com. I left you a voicemail message the other day regarding (and now repeat your HOT BUTTON / WHAT'S IN IT FOR THEM message) and wanted to see if this is something we should discuss. I'll be available till ___ AM / PM today and my number is 888-264-0562 Ext. 400. Again it's Michael Pedone, SalesBuzz.com and my number is 888-264-0562 Ext. 400"

When I'm done leaving that voicemail message, I'll immediately send an email with the subject line: Voicemail / Should we still discuss?

In the body of the email, the message starts with:

"Hi (Prospects Name);

I just left you a 2nd message regarding (repeat original HOT BUTTON / WHAT'S IN IT FOR THEM message). Is this something you would like to discuss before your next sales meeting?"

When I'm done leaving my second voicemail message and sending my second voicemail email, I'll immediately schedule my 3rd attempt in my CRM, and then move on to my next lead.

Sincerely,

Michael Pedone - SalesBuzz.com's CSS: Chief Sales Scientist

Michael Pedone is a straight commission inside sales person and founder of SalesBuzz.com, an online university for inside sales people that don't want to be trained, but want to be BETTER. Take a free online sales course here or request dates / pricing / seating availability for his upcoming live course.

Categories: Voicemail

WHEN PROSPECTS SAY, "We're Considering Other Options"

by MichaelPedone 14. July 2014 17:08

SALES QUESTION:

"When making follow-up calls, how should I respond when a prospect says they haven't made a decision yet and that they are still considering other options?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

The problem is this... 98% of the time this objection is a stall. I prefer to ELIMINATE these types of stalls from happening, rather than try and deal with them.

If you are getting this type of stall often, it is because you failed to ask the right sales questions on the previous call.

The "We Are Still Considering Other Options" is usually a sign that one or more of the following has happened:
  1. You aren't speaking with the real decision maker. (It's OK if you are not speaking with the ultimate decision maker, but it's NOT ok if you DON'T KNOW they aren't the real decision maker. Your sales strategy will adjust depending on the person's role that you are speaking with. If you think they are the real DM and they are not, you are going to use the wrong strategy most of the time)
  2. You did NOT get commitment that the problem (that your solution solves) exists and or that they are committed to wanting a solution
  3. You failed to identify what their ideal solution looks like or would be
  4. You failed to identify their time frame
  5. You failed to identify HOW their decision will be made
  6. You failed to qualify them on price
  7. You failed to identify what the next steps are for moving forward
These are all critical sales steps that you missed (or don't yet know how to execute) on the previous sales call. When you learn to map out and execute / intertwine all the key elements you need to know in order to win the sale, into the conversation, you will no longer have to deal with this type of objection.

Sincerely,

Michael Pedone - SalesBuzz.com's CSS: Chief Sales Scientist

Michael Pedone is a straight commission inside sales person and founder of SalesBuzz.com, an online university for inside sales people that don't want to be trained, but want to be BETTER. Take a free online course here or request dates / pricing / seating availability for his upcoming live course.

Categories:

How NOT to Follow-up on Trade Show Leads

by MichaelPedone 8. July 2014 05:50

SALES QUESTION:

"What's the best way to follow up on trade show leads?"


SalesBuzz Answer:

Most sales people mistakenly call trade show leads and start off with something like "How'd you like the event?" or "you stopped by our booth and expressed interest in our (ex: inventory control software)."

The first opener ("How'd you like the event?") is an example of a salesperson trying to build rapport and often fails miserably at it. C-Level people don't want to chitchat with someone they don't know, especially after being away from the office all week (or weekend). Now add that they will get 50 to 100 calls just like that in a matter of days from all of the other vendors inside sales teams and you can really see why they aren't happy - or willing to talk.

The second common trade show lead opener ("you stopped by our booth and expressed interest in our inventory control software") doesn't fare that much better for the simple fact that trade shows have lots of vendors.

This type of opener is usually responded with "Which booth were you again?" and contrary to popular belief, that is NOT a good thing. Some sales people will make the argument that at least the prospect is "talking" but the problem is you've got them talking about the wrong stuff! You are wasting precious time trying to get him or her to remember which booth you were, rather than getting them interested in discussing a problem that you could help them solve.

How to Successfully Follow-up on Trade Show Leads


The rule for successfully following up on trade show leads is the same for making cold calls as well as calling warm leads:

You have to verbally draw the WHAT'S IN IT FOR THEM picture within the first few seconds of the call.

Example:

"Hi (PROSPECTS NAME) this is (YOUR NAME) with (YOUR COMPANY NAME). Thanks again for dropping by our booth at the (name of trade show). We're the ones that help (name the type of industry your prospect is in) cut monthly overhead expenses by an average of 18% by eliminating excess inventory." (Or whatever your USP is - USP = UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION)

This type of opener works no matter what industry you are in. It's the formula construction that is key.

Here's another example to help get your creative wheels turning:

"Hi (PROSPECTS NAME) this is (MICHAEL PEDONE) with (SALESBUZZ.COM). Thanks again for visiting our booth at the (name of trade show). We're the ones that show (INSIDE SALES TEAMS) how to avoid being rejected by gatekeepers and leave voicemail message that get returned."

Using smarter openers that hit the HOT BUTTONS of what you DO for your prospects will help your inside sales team get the most out of those trade show leads.

Sincerely,

Michael Pedone - SalesBuzz.com's CSS: Chief Sales Scientist

Categories:

BEST TIME TO COLD CALL

by MichaelPedone 26. June 2014 05:49

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO COLD CALL?

SALES QUESTION:

"When is the best time to cold call? I have had so many opinions and discussions with others suggesting the best times to cold call, however these do seem to regularly contradict each other. Please let me know your thoughts?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

If you want to be successful selling by phone and want to know when is the best time for making cold calls, unless you're waking them up out of bed or stealing them away from their family dinnertime, start by worrying less about "when's the best time" for your prospect and focus on when is the best time for you! When will YOU get the best results from your cold calling efforts?

WHAT I'VE FOUND TO WORK BEST:

Try dividing your sales calls up between cold calls and follow up calls.

You want to separate your call list into two categories and focus your calls on one category at a time (it helps you get into a rhythm and keeps you focused).

Most sales people come in and start with their follow up calls first because they are "easier". That strategy has a steep downside in my opinion.

QUICK QUESTION:

Which takes less energy: Cold calling or making calls to prospects you've already spoken with?

Cold calling, by far, takes more gusto and energy. Now... when do YOU have the most energy in a business day? Most of us would say from A.M. till Noon.

Follow up calls are easier and take less effort as there is usually some groundwork already completed.

You aren't doing yourself or your prospects any favors if your energy level is down and you wait until the afternoon to start making your cold calls.

WHAT IF A FOLLOW-UP CALL WAS SCHEDULED DURING COLD CALLING TIME?

Let's not over complicate things. If you have a prospect that wants a follow up call and it's during the time you have carved out for making cold calls, your prospect requesting the follow up call takes precedence.

But unless you have a SCHEDULED / CONFIRMED follow up call in the morning, I recommend doing your cold calls FIRST (Morning till Noon, as an example) for the simple reason that it will take more energy on your part to make cold calls.

PS... This doesn't mean you shouldn't make cold calls in the late afternoon... I'm simply saying do the bulk of them when you have the most energy and you'll get the best results back for your efforts.

Michael Pedone is a straight commission inside sales person and founder of SalesBuzz.com, an online university for inside sales people that don't want to be trained, but want to be BETTER. Take a free online course here or Request dates / pricing / seating availability for his upcoming live course.


"Michael Pedone is one of the few sales trainers that actually knows what he's talking about... Take his course. It's money in the bank!" Jeffrey Gitomer, author of the Little Red Book of Selling

Categories: Cold Calling

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About the Author

Michael Pedone, founder and CEO of Live Online Sales Training Company SalesBuzz.com
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