Accentuating Your Voice Mail

Does your voicemail on your cell phone have personality? Why not, it is easy to accentuate your voicemail with cool little sayings that tell the person calling a little bit about your upbeat personality, strength of character and what is important in your life.

Accentuating your voicemail is fairly easy, but you might have to practice a few times and perhaps keep working on it until you really like it and then the test, call up a friend and ask them to call you back and then find out if they like it? If not you must keep on trying until all your friends think it is cool. Indeed this might take ten more practices. But when you get your voicemail Just right, you will know it and that is how you accentuate your voicemail to the fullest possible extent and I advise that you do this.

You might also considered accentuating your email with a quote of a very famous person that you believe is very important and the message is paramount. Or perhaps you have a quote that you created yourself that you think is worthy of telling other people and also describes a little bit about your dedication and commitment as individual as well as your strength of character.

This will help you win friends and influence people and let those new acquaintances know that you are a real person with integrity and you’re serious about what you do. Consider all this in 2006.

Discover How To Leverage Voice Mail To Make More Sales

Productivity and cost efficiency are key drivers for corporations adopting new technologies. While it is hardly new and few can dispute its overall benefit, voice mail is one technology that has greatly reduced the productivity of Business-to-Business sales people and increased cost for their employers. This, however can be fixed. Here’s how.

No question that trying to engage with a live prospect has become increasingly challenging as voice mail has become ubiquitous. Contrary to what most reps think it is not always a case of people “hiding behind voice mail”, most people are truly busy and use voice mail to cope. However, consistently successful reps always leave voice mail, and as a result get more appointments and generate more sales and revenues There are a couple of dynamics at play. A lot of reps say “I never get a call back”; “No one ever returns voice mails”. Not true, I get return calls from five out of ten messages I leave.

More importantly you also benefit from messages left even when they don’t call back. Studies show it can take anywhere from four to seven approaches before someone responds to or consider something new, i.e. your product/service. Many reps will call numerous times, not leave a message hoping they will eventually get the person live; most will give up after three attempts at reaching someone, and move on. There is a difference between being persistent in getting on a prospect’s radar, and pestering; most reps give up too soon. When you do not leave a message, then you may have tried three or even four times, but as far as the prospect is concerned you’re at zero; you didn’t leave a message, no “calling card” telling them you want to talk to them.

Some reps waste time dialing someone dozens of times, not leaving a message. When they finally connect they let the built-up frustration out on the prospect, as though it was his fault that they called and called and called, instead of leaving a message and having them call back, while making use of the wait time to reach out to more prospects. Another thing to consider is that a vast majority of reps, who do not leave messages, still listen to the entire outbound message on the voice mail, so why not take a few more seconds and leave a message. It’s a no brainer. On the one hand, even if they don’t call back (within 72 hours), you are on the prospects radar (yes initially at the fringe but better placed than the those who don’t leave messages).

On the other hand, you have a 50-50 shot of getting a call back, good odds, and certainly many more conversation leading to more appointments. The technique for getting a call back is very simple. The human mind hates a mystery, given the opportunity to erase a question mark most people will do it. Most messages ask you to leave “a detailed message”, because they want to be able to full evaluate and prioritize who and what they call back. Your goal is to be contrarian and minimalist. Create a need for them to call back if they want to close off or resolve the issue. Using third party references and brevity is the key. Consider using a message like the one below. Assume ABC is a company you currently do or have done business with that the contact will recognize, (competitor, supplier, customer, but one that you are or have dealt with).

“Hi Ms. Smith. This is Paul Drake from Safety Software. You can reach me at 416-555-1212, and I’m calling you with reference to ABC Company.”
Keep the messages short!

If you leave a message like the one above, elicits curiosity and leverage the work you are doing with ABC Company to schedule an appointment with your target. As mentioned above, I get five return calls for every ten messages left. That is five more conversations than those who don’t leave messages, which means more appointments and more sales.

Does Voice Mail Hinder or Help Your Business?

The phone can be your friend or your foe depending on how you use it. Does the fear of calling someone make you pray for the voice mail or answering machine to pick up? Do you stumble around when you do get that voice mail?

Is leaving that message really worth it if you are getting no response? Are you leaving a compelling enough message to get that call back you so desire?

We all have had this happen many times. In fact, I just messed up a voice message today that made me want to kick myself. The voice mail picks up and we start rambling. “My name is Jane and I am with XXX Company and I was wondering if you would be interested in XXX product or booking a party. We have these great hostess gifts and programs”…. and blah, blah, blah…. What you end up doing is trying to sell on a voice message. Don’t do it! Control yourself!

If you can possibly manage not leaving a voice mail at all, don’t. Keep calling back until you reach the person you want to talk to. Yes, it may take a few calls or even many calls, but in the long run it is worth it. How many messages can you leave without sounding desperate, or stalker like? Do you think that your listener saves it to call you back at another time or simply deletes it?

If you simply must leave a message, make sure it is compelling and even a bit mysterious enough to make them want to call you back. If you client knows you, then you can leave a tiny tidbit about why you are calling. If you are making customer service calls, a simple message will suffice. If you do not know the person, mention how you got their number especially if it is by referral. “So and So gave me your number. When you have a moment, return my call at xxxx.”

Take the time to even script a generic message or two so that you don’t stumble and fumble around. You will increase the chances of that person actually returning your call.

The Difference Between An Answering Service and Voice Mail In Clinic Setups

If you are very dependent on your live receptionist to handle calls, then you are not giving sales opportunities the attention that they are due. There are two reasons for this: a.) your staff is not 100% in receiving calls because they have other paper work to do and b.) if you have only a couple of telephone lines and a hundred calls coming in, you will be missing almost 80% at a time. In today’s times, patients want instant gratification. They cannot wait for you to answer the phone or even have the patience to give you a second chance after a failed first impression. So instead of hiring more people to accommodate more calls get your clinic an answering service.

Answering service vs. Voice Mails

Voice mails are essentially programs that take incoming calls. There is little interaction between the machine and the caller. The machine will only announce the name of the company and the unavailability of an agent. Then it will cue the caller on when to start recording his or her message. Then the recorded message will be gathered by the live agent and the appointments booked.

The problem with this old setup is that there is much room for doubt. Patients are not assured that their call has truly been received. Also, there is no immediate gratification because the appointment is not instantly confirmed. It may take a day or two before a return call is made (if there is any) confirming or rejecting the appointment.

And since the act of appointment setting is still left in the hands of the live receptionist, there is still much room for error. Double bookings are still possible especially if you have to receptionists harvesting the left voice mail messages.

On the other hand, an answering service takes the essential qualities of an effective live receptionist and then adds its machine-endowed efficiency. It can handle numerous calls at once without experiencing technical difficulties. In most cases, it may even mimic a human voice for bettered experience.

An automated system offers better interaction. The program will ask a question and then record the caller’s answer. It can review past appointments set and instantly inform a patient whether the requested slot is available or not. But it does not stop there. If the slot is taken, the system will automatically offer you options for alternatives so you can get immediate results in a single phone call.

Add to that, an interactive program can group calls based on importance. This way, existing patients can get in touch with a practitioner during emergencies. The system does not panic and maintains the same high level of efficiency no matter the scenario.

Although both the answering service and the voice mail operate 24/7, the earlier would require minimal human interaction. The system will continue working without downgrades because in most instances, maintenance is down automatically by the software provider. It has a bigger capacity so you won’t have to delete messages every day, unlike voice mails.

Truly, there is much reason to celebrate the introduction of an answering service. So don’t just stick with the old setup in clinics. Shift to office automation soon.

Do You Need a Voice Mail Service?

Cell phone users, all around the world, love their phones for a number of different
reasons. One of those reasons is because many come equipped with voicemail.
Voicemail is similar to an answering machine. The only difference is that many
voicemails can be retrieved from a number of different locations. If you are a small
business owner, you may want to examine what a voice mail service can do for your
business.

If you are wondering why you need voice mail when you have an answering machine,
you are not alone. A large number of business owners are wondering the same thing.
When it comes to answering machines, a large number of answer machines only replay
the messages on that specific machine. If you are out of the office or away from your
desk, you may be unable to retrieve your message. Depending on the type of business
you have, you may be losing business with an answering machine.

If you are interested in learning more about a voice mail service, you will have to find an
individual or company who offers the service. Voice mail services have the same goals,
but many individuals and companies operate different ways. If you want to know how a
specific voice mail service works, it is best that you learn directly from the source.
Despite the fact that different voice mail services operate different ways, you will find a
number of common services and features. These features all have to do with voice mail.

A large number of voice mail services allow you to record a message. This message is
often what your customers will hear when they are unable to make contact with you
directly. If you are looking for a professional message, one may also be provided to you.
Since you will need to retrieve your voice mail messages, you will need to obtain log-in
information. This information often includes an account number and a password.

Additional voice mail service features may include, but are not limited to, extended
message times, voice mail alerts, caller id, and a time stamp. Caller id and a time stamp
will help you know who called you and when they called. Extended message times are
preferred by many customers because they do not feel like they are being rushed. Voice
mail alerts are ideal for letting you know when someone called. These alerts often
involve an email. The previously mentioned features are not offered by all voice mail
services; therefore, if you need them it is important to determine their availability ahead
of time.

Whether you want to use a voicemail service for an extended period of time or just for a
little while you can. Most voice mail services offer flexible plans. To find the right voice
mail service, you are encouraged to examine all of your options. With comparing the
services offered and your business needs, you should be able to find the perfect match.

Selling Strategies: Leaving The Perfect Voice Mail Message

When I want to get a publisher to take on one of my new titles, I don’t try to catch their attention by sending a formal query, or by trying to get them on the phone.

I leave a killer voice mail message.

If I have crafted a winning book proposal, I’ll know it based on the number of big-time editors that call me back.

If the concept sucks, I’ll know that, too.

My problem is that I’m too strong on the phone when I get editors on the line, in the flesh. This sounds arrogant, but I don’t mean it that way.

By strong, I mean it’s easy to get them to say, “Sure, send me a proposal on that,” even when their interest is marginal, or worse, when they’re just trying to sound kind or to get me off the line. Then, I’m committed to endlessly following up with them, chasing phantoms who have no genuine interest.

When I leave a voice mail, they can repeat it, chew on it, and consider it on its merits. And only if they have interest will they ask to see the proposal.

So, in actuality their voice mail is helping me to screen them!

Editors are very, very busy people, and talking to them on the phone as an initial gambit is a waste of their time. They’re readers, not talkers.

I’ll script the message, so it sounds as crisp as good writing. But of course, by delivering it verbally, I lend drama to it, breathing life into it.

My most successful messages follow this format, which is really like a mini-sales talk:

(1) I tell them who I am;

(2) I tell them I’d like them to consider a new title;

(3) I give them two-to-four quick bullet points about it;

(4) I ask them to call me back, leaving my “800” number; and my email; and

(5) I end with a friendly, “I hope this is something that will be a good fit for your list.”

This, as you may know, emulates the AIDA format in selling: Attention, Interest, Decision, and Action. I didn’t plan it that way–it just seems to work well if I use this design.

In later articles, I’ll share even more strategies for leaving the perfect voice mail message.

Dr. Gary S. Goodman ©2006

The Difference Between An Answering Service and Voice Mail In Clinic Setups

If you are very dependent on your live receptionist to handle calls, then you are not giving sales opportunities the attention that they are due. There are two reasons for this: a.) your staff is not 100% in receiving calls because they have other paper work to do and b.) if you have only a couple of telephone lines and a hundred calls coming in, you will be missing almost 80% at a time. In today’s times, patients want instant gratification. They cannot wait for you to answer the phone or even have the patience to give you a second chance after a failed first impression. So instead of hiring more people to accommodate more calls get your clinic an answering service.

Answering service vs. Voice Mails

Voice mails are essentially programs that take incoming calls. There is little interaction between the machine and the caller. The machine will only announce the name of the company and the unavailability of an agent. Then it will cue the caller on when to start recording his or her message. Then the recorded message will be gathered by the live agent and the appointments booked.

The problem with this old setup is that there is much room for doubt. Patients are not assured that their call has truly been received. Also, there is no immediate gratification because the appointment is not instantly confirmed. It may take a day or two before a return call is made (if there is any) confirming or rejecting the appointment.

And since the act of appointment setting is still left in the hands of the live receptionist, there is still much room for error. Double bookings are still possible especially if you have to receptionists harvesting the left voice mail messages.

On the other hand, an answering service takes the essential qualities of an effective live receptionist and then adds its machine-endowed efficiency. It can handle numerous calls at once without experiencing technical difficulties. In most cases, it may even mimic a human voice for bettered experience.

An automated system offers better interaction. The program will ask a question and then record the caller’s answer. It can review past appointments set and instantly inform a patient whether the requested slot is available or not. But it does not stop there. If the slot is taken, the system will automatically offer you options for alternatives so you can get immediate results in a single phone call.

Add to that, an interactive program can group calls based on importance. This way, existing patients can get in touch with a practitioner during emergencies. The system does not panic and maintains the same high level of efficiency no matter the scenario.

Although both the answering service and the voice mail operate 24/7, the earlier would require minimal human interaction. The system will continue working without downgrades because in most instances, maintenance is down automatically by the software provider. It has a bigger capacity so you won’t have to delete messages every day, unlike voice mails.

Truly, there is much reason to celebrate the introduction of an answering service. So don’t just stick with the old setup in clinics. Shift to office automation soon.

Do You Need a Voice Mail Service?

Cell phone users, all around the world, love their phones for a number of different
reasons. One of those reasons is because many come equipped with voicemail.
Voicemail is similar to an answering machine. The only difference is that many
voicemails can be retrieved from a number of different locations. If you are a small
business owner, you may want to examine what a voice mail service can do for your
business.

If you are wondering why you need voice mail when you have an answering machine,
you are not alone. A large number of business owners are wondering the same thing.
When it comes to answering machines, a large number of answer machines only replay
the messages on that specific machine. If you are out of the office or away from your
desk, you may be unable to retrieve your message. Depending on the type of business
you have, you may be losing business with an answering machine.

If you are interested in learning more about a voice mail service, you will have to find an
individual or company who offers the service. Voice mail services have the same goals,
but many individuals and companies operate different ways. If you want to know how a
specific voice mail service works, it is best that you learn directly from the source.
Despite the fact that different voice mail services operate different ways, you will find a
number of common services and features. These features all have to do with voice mail.

A large number of voice mail services allow you to record a message. This message is
often what your customers will hear when they are unable to make contact with you
directly. If you are looking for a professional message, one may also be provided to you.
Since you will need to retrieve your voice mail messages, you will need to obtain log-in
information. This information often includes an account number and a password.

Additional voice mail service features may include, but are not limited to, extended
message times, voice mail alerts, caller id, and a time stamp. Caller id and a time stamp
will help you know who called you and when they called. Extended message times are
preferred by many customers because they do not feel like they are being rushed. Voice
mail alerts are ideal for letting you know when someone called. These alerts often
involve an email. The previously mentioned features are not offered by all voice mail
services; therefore, if you need them it is important to determine their availability ahead
of time.

Whether you want to use a voicemail service for an extended period of time or just for a
little while you can. Most voice mail services offer flexible plans. To find the right voice
mail service, you are encouraged to examine all of your options. With comparing the
services offered and your business needs, you should be able to find the perfect match.

Selling Strategies: Leaving The Perfect Voice Mail Message

When I want to get a publisher to take on one of my new titles, I don’t try to catch their attention by sending a formal query, or by trying to get them on the phone.

I leave a killer voice mail message.

If I have crafted a winning book proposal, I’ll know it based on the number of big-time editors that call me back.

If the concept sucks, I’ll know that, too.

My problem is that I’m too strong on the phone when I get editors on the line, in the flesh. This sounds arrogant, but I don’t mean it that way.

By strong, I mean it’s easy to get them to say, “Sure, send me a proposal on that,” even when their interest is marginal, or worse, when they’re just trying to sound kind or to get me off the line. Then, I’m committed to endlessly following up with them, chasing phantoms who have no genuine interest.

When I leave a voice mail, they can repeat it, chew on it, and consider it on its merits. And only if they have interest will they ask to see the proposal.

So, in actuality their voice mail is helping me to screen them!

Editors are very, very busy people, and talking to them on the phone as an initial gambit is a waste of their time. They’re readers, not talkers.

I’ll script the message, so it sounds as crisp as good writing. But of course, by delivering it verbally, I lend drama to it, breathing life into it.

My most successful messages follow this format, which is really like a mini-sales talk:

(1) I tell them who I am;

(2) I tell them I’d like them to consider a new title;

(3) I give them two-to-four quick bullet points about it;

(4) I ask them to call me back, leaving my “800” number; and my email; and

(5) I end with a friendly, “I hope this is something that will be a good fit for your list.”

This, as you may know, emulates the AIDA format in selling: Attention, Interest, Decision, and Action. I didn’t plan it that way–it just seems to work well if I use this design.

In later articles, I’ll share even more strategies for leaving the perfect voice mail message.

Dr. Gary S. Goodman ©2006