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Cold Calling Hell: Strategies for Dealing with Voicemail
By Mark Sanford, PhD

Leaving a voicemail message that gets some reply has always been the Holy Grail of telephone work. LeBon recommends identifying yourself and your company and then presenting a "grabber" up-front related to their business.

In my opinion, your grabber should come first, before you introduce yourself. The grabber must be be a statistic or business fact about which your prospect might be ignorant and that specifically relates to the product or service you're selling. The idea here is to select prospects in a given industry and then research that industry on the Internet. The "fact" you use should be phrased in such a way that addresses the prospect's challenges or situation, but not boast about your own company or offering.

Here are 3 examples of what I'm suggesting:

"Mr. Jones, a recent study by the Gartner Group shows that an average company with 1,000 employees loses 3,500 employee work days annually due to family illnesses where the parents have to stay home to care for a child who can't be taken to school or daycare. Is this problem affecting productivity at your company?

My name is Mary Jones and I represent XYZ, Inc. We specialize in helping companies like yours deal with this costly problem. I will call you today at 3:30 p.m. to set up a time when we might meet to discuss some of the solutions that XYZ has developed for this problem."

Here's another scenario:

"Ms. Smith, no doubt you are aware of the recent changes in energy costs as they affect the dry cleaning industry. You may have even begun applying a surcharge to your prices to cover these extra costs, thereby possibly eroding your customer base. Our company has developed a device that can save as much as 25% off your current electricity bill.

My name is Bill Bright, and I represent ABC Company. We specialize in assisting dry cleaning firms like yours to survive the current energy crisis. I will call you today at 4:30 p.m. to set up a time when we might meet to discuss some of the solutions that ABC has developed for this problem."

And here is one more:

"Ms. Jones, a recent case study by a leading internet service provider indicates that by 2004, 35% of on line brokerage clients will be actively using wireless based brokerage services for trading purposes. Is your firm ready for this change? Our company has the expertise and consulting manpower to help you handle this conversion effectively and efficiently.

My name is Jim Brown and we specialize in ecommerce solutions for the telecommunications industry. I will call you today at 2:30 p.m. to set up a time when we might meet to discuss some of the solutions that our firm has developed for this problem."

Using a grabber like one of these 3, might be just what you need to break through the everyday clutter of voice mail. Why not develop your own and try it today?



Mark Sanford, of Sanford Associates, is a business development coach and trainer with 30+ years of business experience. More free articles and training materials on cold calling. Mark can be reached at 925.253.0646.

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