Inside Sales Buzz Blog

Inside Sales, Scripts & Cold Call Techniques from Michael Pedone

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

Prospecting: How to Identify Your Targeted Audience

by MichaelPedone 24. June 2014 04:25

SALES QUESTION:

"My inside sales team needs to do a better job at generating targeted leads but trying to get them to prospect is like pulling teeth. Any suggestions?"


SalesBuzz Answer:

I remember like it was yesterday when I started working for a company that I was really excited about, and on day one, my new boss told me I would need to prospect for leads. My enthusiasm was immediately replaced with dread and fear.

Closers don't usually like spending time "prospecting" and just hearing the word "prospecting" turned my stomach sour.

And then he taught me one of the most valuable secrets to sales success:

How to Identify Your Targeted Audience through Prospecting

Something I feared and despised turned into one of my greatest assets, and that, combined with my own unique process on selling by phone, had me leading the sales pack in short order.

Here is what he taught me:

STEP 1: Target prospects that are already spending money to generate the type of results you offer.

When most sales people start prospecting, they contact random people and try to convince those prospects that they need to start doing XYZ. This is a huge waste of time.

When my new boss opened my eyes with easy to follow prospecting tips such as "call those who are already spending money" it just made total sense - and I felt a little "duh" moment - but nobody ever shared that simple concept with me before. All of my previous managers simply said "smile, dial and good luck".

So, how do you target prospects that are already spending money trying to achieve the results you offer?

Here's one example:

Since we sold online advertising, marketing and lead services to high-end car dealers, my boss gave me two high-end car dealer magazines. He said to go through these magazines and TAG all of the FULL PAGE AD dealers and ignore those with half or quarter page ads. His theory was that the ones with the full page ads already knew the value of advertising and the small page ads were prospects that either had small budgets or were just testing the waters and that I wouldn't want to waste my time trying to convince them to up their budget or convince them that going bigger is better.

Ok so you don't sell advertising. I get it. But the theory still works across all platforms.

Let's look at a few different industries. Let's say you sell:
  • Office cleaning services - Square feet of office space (do you want to target small offices or would you rather call clients that have large / multiple offices?)
  • Shipping / Logistics - Number of shipments per week / month. (Would you rather land a new account that ships once in a while or tons everyday day / week?)
  • Heating and Cooling AC / Supplies - Do you want to try and sell to a mom and pop AC repairperson or an AC heating and Cooling company that has 5 different locations? Top AC companies advertise on the radio, print and tv. Target those companies to resell your products.
  • SEO Service - Look at those doing the PAID Google Adwords. They are spending money to drive leads. If they could spend less money getting into the top organic section of Google, they will love it.
Are you starting to get the picture? If you are going to seek and find your best prospects, you have to know what you are looking for, rather than simply smile and dial.

STEP 2: VERTICALS

Next, my new boss taught me how to go after verticals that we helped - make a list and then call them to let them know what we are currently doing for XYZ Company to get in the door.

So for example, if we had a few Ferrari dealers using our service, it wasn't hard to build a list of all the Ferrari dealers in the US (and their sales ranking order) and add them to the prospecting hit list.

And the opening value statement was easy and effective too:

"Hi (PROSPECTS NAME) this is (YOUR NAME) with (YOUR COMPANY NAME). Reason for my call is we're helping (Ferrari dealers 1, 2 and 3) move cars off the lot by generating an average of 10% more pre-qualified leads per month..."

What GM of a car dealership is going to say "No, thanks" after hearing that?

OK so, so far we have two techniques for prospecting:

Target prospects that are already spending money for services that will generate the type of results you provide.
Go vertical. There's a saying "sell to common folk and go broke. Sell to a niche and get rich."
The third technique I was taught was WHEN to prospect.

Now, in the scenario I've been using (me starting at a new company and being told to prospect) I was told to NOT get on the phone and sell until I had my prospecting list built and ready to roll. My manager shared with me that most sales people waste their "selling time" prospecting. Meaning, instead of making dials, they are "researching" etc.

I was instructed to generate a list ranging from 200 to 500 prospects that matched the criteria I was given, before getting on the phone.

Now I know most of you reading this are already deep into the employment phase of your job and are wondering what you should do.

The answer is simple.

Once you've identified what your top targeted audience looks like and where to find them, prospect before work, after work or once all of your calls for the day have been completed.

One of the worst things you can do is prospect for new leads in the morning because while you are researching for leads, a more organized, motivated and determined sales person that works for your competition is calling your prospects while you are researching for them.

Sincerely,

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

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About the Author

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