Should you leave a voice mail when using the telephone to prospect? The answer to that question has been debated by sales people since voice mail was invented. Recently though, I had a run in with phone scammers and caller ID spoofing. The whole experience has led me to believe that leaving a voice mail is now a must for sales professionals.
To preface this, you should know that my view has consistently been, as a sales professional, you should always leave a voice mail. I also always believed you should show you are always ready to do business by never screening your calls. Recent experience has changed my opinion on that last point, however.
You know the routine. You pick up the phone only to hear a cruise ship horn or a voice saying the tax man is going to come and arrest me if I don’t give my credit card number to pay up immediately. On both my personal and my business number, the calls just keep coming. It doesn’t matter that I am registered on the national Do Not Call List because the scammers are just dialing random numbers. It also doesn’t matter that they can be calling from another continent because with the use of caller ID spoofing, they make it look like it is someone local is calling.
There are legitimate reasons for reputable telemarketers to change their caller ID display, such as a call centre calling on behalf of multiple clients that need to make it appear that the actual business is calling. Unfortunately however, caller ID spoofing is also common practice for telephone scammers to hide their real identities in an attempt to mislead.
Most of us know that when we receive such a call just to hang up, but when the fake number the scammers choose to display in the caller ID field is an actual live number belonging to an innocent bystander, that person quickly becomes collateral damage of the scam. Such was the case with a friend of mine recently. After hearing of her being inundated with angry “Stop calling me!” calls, I realized the whole practice makes it even more important for sales professionals to use voice mail, and to learn to use it properly.
What’s my thinking? Simple. I don’t care if you are selling the absolute best mouse trap since the dawn of time, if you are not on my contact list, I will not be answering the phone when you call. If you don’t leave a voice mail, I will not note your number from the call display about why you are calling and still will not pick up the phone the second time you call. Simply put, if I don’t know you, I now will never pick up the phone unless you leave a voice mail.
If you are still not convinced to always leave a voice mail, check out the case of the $3 million voice mail.
If you are looking for some tips on how to leave an effective voice mail, just enter in the term “voice mail” in the search box on our blog. Specifically, I think you will find “Why Your Prospect Can’t Return Your Voice Mail” particularly interesting.
Remember as Okakura once said, “The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.”