My friend Mike is in sales for an international company. He makes phone calls to prospective clients every day to sell a magazine that helps his clients make more money. When they are not in, he leaves a great message that gets prospects to call him back…. frequently.
His message was once the basic: “Hi, this is Mike. I am not in right now. Please wait for the beep and leave a short message. I will return your call shortly.”
Yeah, that is pretty lame... And it sounds about the same as everybody else on the planet, too.
Last year Mike decided to use a more proactive voice mail message than the traditional one that so many of his peers utilize. It helped him differentiate himself to his prospects and customers. If you want to stand out from every other sales account caller, you have to do something different. Since everyone else is just offering “vanilla” in their messages, you have to add flavor to the people who are calling you.
In a day when people know you aren’t in (Hey, they got your voice mail instead of you so the secret is OUT) and they know what to do after the beep (Duh! They have a beep of their own on their phone - and they all sound the same), Mike wanted to differentiate from the ordinary, “vanilla” crowd. Soooo, he reinvented his voice mail message.
He figured that he should give value in the contact of people calling him that no one else gives to customers. He figured he should tell his clients something unique that might benefit them. He figured right…
Stop telling people something they already know;
start telling them something they don’t know about what do for them.
Basically, Mike changed his voice mail: “Hi, this is Mike. I’m helping a client make a LOT of money right now. Leave your name, number and a brief message and I’ll help you make money NEXT!” Wow! It must have been effective. His clients loved the message. Even other sales reps in his company started calling just to hear it. His sales improved!
Apparently his customers, clients and even his competition were watching him… and listening too. He almost always leads his company in sales closings and, more importantly, has positioned himself as a trend-setter in a very “vanilla” world of account executives. He stands out regularly from the rest of his peers and competition.
In fact, other sales people call just to listen to his voice mail... and learn something.
What can you do?
It wouldn’t hurt each person reading this to call their own voice mail, hear their message and ask themselves, “Would I leave a message for him or her?” “Would this make me want to do more business with them?” Try this out and see what you think when you hear what you say.
What are you saying that makes you stand out from the "vanilla" crowd? What are you doing that is different?