Should you leave a message on voice-mail?

You've got past the gatekeeper and the decision-makers secretary is willing to put you through to her boss. The secretary then?puts you on hold and you sit back in anticipation of finally reaching the one-person who has the potential of making or breaking your sales day. As your call is being transferred, you prepare yourself to deliver an appropriate opener that will get you an appointment, only to find yourself being put through to message bank.?What shoulddo you do, should you leave a message on voice-mail?

In yesterday's post, I shared with you my experience of making multiple successful sales calls after hours. But like you, in some instances, the mobile number I phoned?transferred me through to message bank. Did I leave a message? Did I call back? In this post, what you will learn may well change the way you view prospecting by phone. I have finally got the answer to "should you leave a message on voice-mail?"

As you read in yesterday's post ("Is There a Right Time to Make a Sales Call?"), between 5?and 7 PM when all the gatekeepers had gone home, I was given a tremendous opportunity to get through to multiple decision-makers which resulted in nine appointments and a?45 min online presentation. At 7 PM the decision maker I reached?said, ?"If you can do your presentation now, I have got some time up?my sleeve to view your online presentation."

But as you can imagine, as I was calling after hours, even while telephoning a number of people on their mobile I was left with the question:

Should you leave a message on voice-mail?

When I first started telephoning for appointments last night, I chose not to leave a voice-mail as I had always been taught that it is best to phone back later.

But by the time I had phoned six or seven people to find out I was being put through to voicemail, I thought to myself - what have I got to lose?

So I started to leave voice-mail messages. I?did not explain what the call was about as I did not want to be dismissed out of hand without a chance to argue my case.

The message I left was: "Hello this is Ken Robinson. I have a project I'd like to talk to you about. Can you please call me back on 04......."

By the time I had finished making my calls last?night, I can't remember how many messages I had actually left. That did not?worry me as I did not expect any of these people to return my calls.

What was the result?

Having completed three sales presentations this morning, by about 12 PM I was starting to organise my list of potential calls to be made today. When all of a sudden the phone started to ring.

"Hello, Ken?I am returning your call. How can I help you? Said the decision-making I've been trying to contact from last night.

Without missing a beat, I launched into my cold calling pitch and found myself securing another appointment.

Then minutes later I took another call ? and was given another appointment- and in this case the Managing Director I had been calling?said, " Thank you very much for telephoning us. That sounds an excellent idea. In fact I will organise the entire management team to be in our boardroom so that they can all view?your online presentation. From what you're telling me, it sounds like you have got an excellent idea, I think your idea might even work?for us. Speak soon and thank you for the call."

I have only had two calls back, but if I left messages every day and got two response my sales calendar would be full in no time at all.

Will leaving a message on voice-mail?work every time?

It depends on what you're offering and whether the decision maker you are contacting has a need or can see some potential benefit in what you're trying to sell.

Using my approach, I definitely think you'll get them to return your call.?Whether they do business with you is another question for another post on my blog.

Question:?What has been your experience? What response have you got to leaving a voice-mail message??

I would love your feedback.?Share your thoughts?or make a comment below in our comments section.