Short, Flat, and to the Point

In which we learn to keep our voice mails focused when calling prospects. Normally, I would say, forget about leaving voice mail messages when cold-calling. I delete almost every voice mail I receive from a potential vendor within 5-7 seconds. I didn't delete this one. I'm planning to call the guy back:

“Hi, this is Kevin, and I’m in the carpet and upholstery cleaning and duct and vent cleaning business. We’re trying to increase our customer base in the area, and to do so, we’re offering some seasonal carpet and upholstery cleaning and vent and duct cleaning specials. If I could help you with either of these two services, please feel free to call me back at 777-777-7777.”

“Our services also include hardwood floor sanding and refinishing, hardwood floor installation, duct and vent cleaning for forced hot air and air conditioning systems, floor stripping and waxing, power washing, window washing, mold remediation, and water, smoke, and fire damage restoration.”

“So, again, if I can be of help to you or your family, please feel free to call me back at 777-777-7777. Thank you, and I hope all is well with you and your family.”

It looks like a lot of words. Why did I save this message and make it the subject of a Weekly Sales Thought, you were wondering?

1) His voice caught my attention. His tone was flat. He sounded like a real person with a real business. He spoke at a slow, even, measured pace. I could understand every word.

2) He got to the point quickly. He described his focus within 5 seconds. Turns out, I’ve been thinking I want those services. I kept listening. Within 20 seconds he described his offer: seasonal specials.

3) He finished a second pass within 50 seconds, describing his additional capabilities. Again, I’m interested in some of them, so I saved his message.

This is a message that anyone, with a little practice, could leave. It’s not likely to convert anyone who wasn’t already thinking about the service, and it was remarkable for its clarity and pace. All you need is:

1) A crisp, short description of what you do. (This is tougher than it sounds.)

2) A reason to talk now. In Kevin’s case, “seasonal specials.”

3) The patience to write out a script so you can pace the message.
–   7 – 10 seconds for the focus and offer.
–  Another 15 – 30 seconds for additional information
–  A clear call back or next step

4) A believable delivery. (This also is tougher than it sounds.)

Even with all that well done, it’s a not likely to fill your pipeline with new business. However, for folks who might already be considering your service, it’s a start. I’m calling the guy back.

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