The following is a guest post by RingLead CEO Donato Diorio.
What is the secret to sales success? Lots of practice. This bit of wisdom applies to every area of our lives, as most of us know by this point in our careers. Any real success has been the result of doing it over and over again, and this includes sales calls and sales voicemails. However, all too often, we get stuck in a rut and start doing the same thing again and again, yet expecting different results, and that’s insane.
In the buzz-worthy book, Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, the steps of a specific type of practice designed to improve performance have been laid out. Colvin calls it “deliberate practice.” We call it being deliberate, or mindful down to the most ridiculous level possible. Sometimes you must go to an extreme to initiate change. If you want to improve your voicemail performance, then you had better get deliberate in your practice. This means creating a highly structured practice routine that offers ample opportunity for high repetition and immediate feedback.
Here are seven tips to leaving the perfect sales voicemail. For even more tips, join me on The Science of Sales Engagement webinar on June 18th at 2pm ET.
1. Know what you want to achieve
Becoming a voicemail genius means knowing the differences between a great voicemail, an average voicemail, and a terrible voicemail. Approach voicemails with a scientific outlook: listen to every voicemail you get and score it. Save the highest rated and isolate key elements you want to emulate.
2. Practice Directly
Practice your voicemail message over and over. Let someone listen to your voicemail, or record it. Are you a manager? Record your team so you do not get caught in disputes over what was actually said. If your voicemail sounds like one you would delete, then it needs work. Separate those elements that require improvement, and then focus on one at a time until perfect voicemails become second nature.
3. Practice in the game
This consists of three phases: before, during, and after.
Before you make any calls, start with setting a goal for your voicemails that day. Will you be working on your tone? Your passion? The length of the message? Whatever it is, decide how to accomplish that goal by developing specific, technique-oriented plans.
During voicemails, top performers focus on their execution, at the same time as completing the work. This process, called metacognition, works by mentally observing your own process from the outside. Develop this skill and you will be able to react to changing conditions quickly, in addition to improving your voicemail skills.
After each voicemail, evaluate your performance. Most voicemail systems provide the option of listening to the voicemail you just left. Listen to the recording – it will not lie! The recording gives you the most specific feedback on what you can improve. Doing this as much as possible will improve your voicemail performance more than anything else you can do.
4. Leave your telephone number twice
When you say it a second time, use a different way of sharing the number. This ensures understanding and helps the prospect write it down accurately if they didn’t hear it the first time. It would go something like this, “Call me back at 8-7-7-9-7-7-8-0-8-0. Again that is 8-7-7-9-77-80-80.”
5. Use bullet points instead of scripts
Scripts cause you to sound wooden while bullet points ensure that you get across everything important without sounding like a robot.
6. Use the person’s name often
People pay attention when their name has been said. After all, they have been conditioned to pay attention to their own name their whole life. If you want to get someone’s attention, use their name.
7. Have a sticky ending message
At the end of her voicemails and emails, one of my employees always says, “Make it a great day.” If you create your own message, it becomes part of your personal brand and increases your memorability.
Join the RingLead team for a free webinar on June 18 at 2pm ET to get even more sales voicemail tips.