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I get asked all the time, should you or should you not leave a voicemail when you’re prospecting? Among salespeople this is a hot debate, and I’m of the opinion that you definitely should.

Why would you take the time to call a prospect and then hang up when you reach voicemail?

The prospect will never know you called.

He won’t know that you’re interested in talking with him. He won’t hear that you have a valuable idea to share about a top business challenge he could be facing. He won’t hear your genuine interest in talking with him.

What a waste of your precious time and the opportunity to make an impact. Of course you want to leave a voicemail.

No, your prospect probably won’t return the first call. But that’s not your objective with voicemail. Your objective with voicemail is to peak the prospect’s interest, build awareness, and entice him to pick up the phone the next time to hear what you have to say.

I recently asked our followers which are the worst voicemail mistakes you can make in prospecting and collected their top 10. See if you catch yourself doing any of these.

1. Pretending you have called before when you haven’t. Do some research so you have a grabber value proposition from the start.

2. Not having planned your message in advance. You hang up, or leave a rambling message that you’re later ashamed to have done.

3. Talking about your products, instead of a compelling challenge that matters to your prospect.

4. Not leaving your name and contact information at the end of the message. Here’s a tip: leave it at the beginning when the prospect is poised to take notes and at the end.

5. Giving up after only 2 or 3 attempts. Most prospects won’t return your call until you have tried to reach them more than nine times.

6. Leaving a message that’s so short it doesn’t give the prospect a compelling reason to call you back – or pick up the next time you call.

7. Failing to stick to one topic per voicemail message. You can’t mention every business issue or trigger event you could address. Choose one for this call. Save the others for future calls.

8. Passively waiting for a call back. Put a call back plan in place and continue to try to connect with the prospect.

9. Forgetting to mention a common colleague or someone who has referred you. You worked hard for the referral. Use it.

10. Speaking so quickly that you can’t be understood. Or worse, mumbling. Slow down. Drop the “ums” and “ahs.” Speak clearly and confidently. Be your natural, personable self.

Don’t waste your opportunity to make an impact on your prospects. They may just surprise you and call you back!

By: Kendra Lee

Retrieved: 22 August 2012 from:

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