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How to leave a voicemail while cold-calling or making follow-up calls.

Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

As most of you know, I still believe in cold-calling. That’s because it still works!

How to leave a voicemail for cold-calling or follow-up calls

The phone is still your friend.

Sure I’ve had people tell me it’s old-school. But I don’t care. Again… it works. It’s not as good as “warm calling”.  And it’s not as good as a referral. But if you’ve got something good to sell and you make 100 calls in a day, I guarantee you’ll find at least one interested person at the other end of the line. That is… if you do it right.

So, if you decide to heed my advice and make some cold-calls, you ought to think about a strategy for your voicemail messages.  Don’t be a coward that makes 100 calls, gets 100 voicemails and leaves no messages.

Instead, plan out your voicemail message carefully.  Think of it as a 15-second radio spot.

Here are three things to consider as you create your script:

1- Don’t be too “salesy”. This is your first call (or second if it’s a follow-up call). Don’t attempt to make the sale in your voicemail message. It simply won’t happen.

2- Be positive, energized and enthusiastic. Make sure you sound like someone who has their act together.  Rehearse your message.  Don’t wing it!  No one will want to call back a person who sounds terrified.

3- Practice by leaving yourself a message. That’s right. Call your own voicemail and lay down your script.  Is your speech clear? Do you sound friendly? Do you like the person you are hearing?  If not, re-write the script, rehearse your delivery and do it again until you are satisfied.

4- Include benefit statements that focus on relieving pain. Let’s not forget pain.  Remember, you can’t sell anything to anyone who doesn’t have pain. So be sure to focus like a laser on the most frequent pain-point your prospects experience.  Then be sure to mention that your firm can fix that problem.

5- Speak clearly and include all the appropriate response information. I can’t tell you how many times I have received a call from a salesperson that sounds compelling.  But- at the end of the message- I can’t make out their return phone number.  The dopey salesperson said it too fast.  I recommend you slow down at this point of the message.  Clearly articulate the phone number they should call. Also, you might want to include your email address. That way, they can email you to engage or to tell you to go away. Either response is a good one.  Remember, I like to count “no’s”.

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