Voice mail doesn’t produce results…for me

In the last few months I have left over 2,500 voice mail messages. I have had exactly two responses. I’m not such a dope that I don’t recognize a bad investment of my time and effort.

I stopped leaving voice mail messages and an interesting thing happened. My overall results improved. Because leaving voice mail is very time consuming as part of a high volume cold calling program, when I stopped, my dial counts went up by about 20%.

As a result of higher dial counts I reached more prospects and this resulted in more “yes” responses and thus more new qualified prospects.

Needless to say, I’m happy with my decision to stop leaving voice mail messages. That being said, I would like to learn more about how others do it and see if anyone else is able make it a high enough return-on-investment endeavor to justify it.

In preparing to write this article, I scanned the Web to see if I could find some helpful information on the topic. I found what I always find when researching voice mail as a prospecting tool – nothing really helpful.

Most of the articles you find on the topic tell you really basic stuff like, “don’t be boring” or “leave more than one, but not too many.” Some will suggest scripts that would have you going through these totally unrealistic dialogs that completely ignore the fact that most executives are super-busy and get dozens of “these calls” every week.

My conclusion at this point in time is that leaving voice mail is a waste of time as part of an initial contact cold call campaign. It’s fine once they at least know who you are.

One last thought. Perhaps voice mail does not work well for initial contact prospecting is because the “cost” of responding is high. In order to respond to a voice mail the prospect has to call you back. That means they have to take the time to write down your phone number, dial it and then risk that they will reach you, a sales person they don’t know and that you will then slime them with a serious case of diarrhea of the mouth. Much safer, easier and faster to just delete your voice mail.

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