How do I get people with whom I am not currently doing work to return my phone call? When I get voice mail, I have a hard time finding the right words to compel the action of a return phone call.
People vary in their responsiveness. Most of us were raised to return all calls, but when you are out all day and return to 10 voice mails, we have to do some triage.
The first to get ignored are unsolicited requests or offers when there is not a clear benefit (usually someone wanting to sell me something they have no idea whether or not I need). I also don't answer ones where it is unclear what they want or the request is a long and rambling one. I usually get to all others eventually.
My suggestion for you is to script the voice message - I mean really write it down, not just go over it in your head. Follow the AIDA principle of marketing: A
ttention (why should I continue to listen to this voice mail?), I
nterest (is there something of relevance to me?), D
esire (is this something I want?) and A
ction (what should I do to take advantage of the offer?). If a call is a request for my time without a hint that there is something in it for me, I am less likely to answer it.
You just need to know what is of interest to the person you called. Part of your script should be to clarify this. If you are soliciting business, how well do you understand the needs of the person you are calling? If you don't, they certainly know this and won't hear what they need to hear in your voice mail. Tip:
Leave a voice mail that proves to them that you are really interested in getting in touch with them. Leave them a date and time you will call back if you don't hear from them sooner, or tell them that you will send them a letter describing in more detail your intended discussion, and make sure you follow up. © 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA