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How To Deal With Voicemail When Prospecting

Oct 26, 2007
When I first started in network marketing, I just assumed that every time I dialed the phone I'd be talking to a live person. Like so many other people in this industry, I found myself unprepared, not realizing how many people do not answer their phones when an unrecognizable number calls.

Statistics show that 60%-70% of your phone prospecting will be answered by voicemail. I can say for certain, and you probably can too, that when a strange number shows on my caller ID, I do not answer it. Period. I listen, however, to the voicemail message.

When you think about it, it really makes sense. I mean, with all the bothersome telemarketers trained to keep you on the phone as long as they can, why not use any tool at your disposal to avoid them? I know I do. Caller ID and voicemail are our friends.

So, what's a real marketer to do? How do we reach our prospects, letting them know that we're not the typical annoying salesman trying to sell them something they don't need?

The first thing to keep in mind is that the phone is intrusive. You call this person when you are ready, not when they are. They might be helping little Bobby with his homework when you call, or just learned that their spouse was cheating.

Personally, I would rather get voicemail the first time I call a prospect. I find when I follow up a couple days later, it feels less like I'm cold calling. After all, this person has heard my voice, knows my name from the message I left and my follow-up email, and hasn't yet opted out.

When you finally do speak with this prospect, it almost feels like they're an old friend. They've usually had time to look over your website, are somewhat accustomed to your voice, and are in a much more receptive frame of mind, which is vitally important.

There are really only 2 objectives for leaving a voicemail message. One, as I just mentioned, is to insure that the prospect will be in a positive frame of mind when you finally do speak. Your voice, when used properly, can gradually melt the ice between you and your prospect. This alone puts you light years ahead of traditional marketers.

The second objective is to get the prospect to call you back. Honestly, this rarely happens. Still, leave your number as if you expect him/her to do so.

Finally, you must have a valid business reason every time you call a prospect. When you buy leads from an opt-in lead list, your valid business reason for your first call is obvious: The prospect requested information, and you're getting back with them.

The valid business reason for the second call is not so clear. After the first call, I usually send the prospect an email directing them to my website. I use the second call to see if they received it, and to answer any questions they might have.

I generally follow a "3 strikes you're out" policy when calling prospects. The third voicemail I leave tells the prospect I won't be calling them back. After all, they requested information, and if they can't be bothered to answer the phone or call me back, how serious can they be about building a business?

Contrary to those who believe voicemail is less effective than speaking directly with the prospect, I believe leaving a voicemail message, especially on the first call, to be far superior.

When calling a prospect for the first time, I rejoice when I hear, "Your call has been directed to an automated voicemail system."

Music to my ears.
About the Author
Gregory McGuire is a successful network marketer living in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

"Stop wasting time on old school network marketing techniques--find out why 97% of mlmers never make any real money."

Visit http://www.calling-my-own-shots.com/article01.html
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