Should you leave a voicemail when using the telephone to prospect? The answer to that question has been debated by sales people since voicemail 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 scammers now make voicemail a must for sales professionals.
To preface this, you should know that my view has consistently been, as a sales professional, if you use the phone as part of a well diversified lead generation program, you should always leave a voicemail. 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.
Typical Scammer Calls
You know the routine. You pick up the phone only to hear a cruise ship horn. Or you hear that 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’s even worse since the shut down of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Surely, there is something we can do to stop these scam calls? There must be laws, right?
6 Steps to Building a Powerful Lead Referral Program in 30 Days
Are Scammers Stopped by the Do Not Call List?
It doesn't matter that I am registered on the national Do Not Call List. Why not? 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.
Why Scammers Have Made Voicemail a Must? Caller ID Spoofing!
Caller ID Spoofing is the act of altering the Caller ID displayed to the person receiving the call.
There are legitimate reasons for reputable telemarketers to change their caller ID display. For example, a call centre calling on behalf of multiple clients. In this case, they need to make it appear that the actual business is calling. Unfortunately however, caller ID spoofing is also common practice for telephone scammers. They use it 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 something very important. The whole practice makes it even more important for sales professionals to use voicemail, and to learn to use it properly.
Why Scammers Have Made Voicemail a Must for Salespeople
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 voicemail, 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 you should always leave a voicemail, check out the case of the $3 million voicemail.
If you are looking for some tips on how to leave an effective voicemail, just enter in the term 'voicemail' in the search box on our blog. Specifically, I think you will find “Why Your Prospect Can't Return Your Voicemail” particularly interesting.
Remember as Okakura once said, “The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.”
“… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”
Do you have a question about sales? You’re not alone. Most salespeople have questions like this on how they can sell more. For the right answers, check out my book, Ask the Sales Coach-Practical Answers to the Questions Sales People Ask Most.