Extending Your Brand with Voice Mail
Companies spend millions of dollars building their brands. Advertising campaigns, trade shows, digital content, etc. is all designed to create a positive reaction in the minds of customers and prospects. Companies not only want their target audience to react positively to their message, they also want them to have a clear understanding of what they offer and the type of impact they can make.
Most branding activities are macro in nature. The same message is communicated to a large audience. Everyone who hears a commercial or reads a blog post is getting the same message. However, marketers try to customize their messaging whenever possible, so they don’t have to be all things to all people. Databases are continuously being “sliced and diced” into sub-segments who share certain attributes. This allows marketers to deliver a message that will hopefully be more relevant and resonate with their target.
The smaller the target is, the more customized your message can be. Developing a marketing message for an industry vertical segment is better than creating a message for your entire market universe. Developing a message geared toward a functional decision-making title (i.e., CFO or VP of Sales) within that industry vertical allows you to be even more customized. The ideal scenario is to deliver a marketing message that’s highly customized and specifically designed for a designated target. What if you could craft and deliver a marketing message that was specifically designed for not just for CFOs of a vertical segment, but to a particular CFO at a specific company. Sounds impossible or at least very expensive.
Actually, sales organizations use a tool every day that allows them to deliver this kind of highly targeted message. Unfortunately, many don’t realize the power this common tool has and they don’t use it to its maximum potential. This common sales tool that too many take for granted is the voice mail message.
Many sales people don’t leave voice mail messages when calling their prospects; some use voice mail sporadically; and most give little thought to the content of their messages. Below are steps to deliver a well-crafted voice mail message that can actually extend your brand; differentiate your brand from the competition; and reinforce your position as a trusted solution provider.
Develop a strategy. Too many sales people give little or no thought to the voice mail message they leave behind. Voice mail gives you a unique opportunity to craft a “mini commercial” that is customized for that specific target contact. Take your time. Know what you want to say and why you want to say it. And then write it down, so you can be sure your message is delivered properly.
Know your audience. In order to develop a customized message, you first need to do a little research. Your message should convey that you know their business and are familiar with their issues. Everyone who listens to a message is saying to themselves (at least subconsciously), “So what. Why should I care?”. Give them a reason to care.
Get to the point. Don’t ramble on and on and be efficient with your words (this is why a voice mail script is important). Everyone is busy and have short attention spans. Don’t give them a reason to hit the “delete” button before they’ve heard your entire message.
Speak to the person. Not the machine. Remember, just because a machine is taking the message doesn’t mean that a machine is listening to the message. Speak in a professional and clear tone. Don’t speak to quickly. Slow down and emphasize the key words or phrases. Practice your message and leave it for yourself first to see how it sounds.
Define the next step. You not only want to give your target contact a reason to respond, it’s also important that you clearly define what that response should be. Provide a call-back number; an email address; and/or a website. Then tell them what will happen next if they respond. Don’t keep them in the dark. Make it as easy and comfortable for your prospect as possible.
Your inside sales team is probably reaching a voice mail more often than not. What are they saying when they do? Do they have a strategy to leverage this powerful tool or are they just “winging it”? Every sales person would prefer that their target contact answer the phone. However, the next best option is for them to hear a message that clearly communicates your brand; your solution expertise; and your potential impact to their business.