The goal of lead generation is to talk to potential clients. The underlying assumption to productive lead generation is the ability to leave terrific voicemails. As I am sure all our contractors have experienced at one point or another, all leads do not call you back. One reason could be an ineffective voicemail message.
Whether it was the wrong time, wrong tone or wrong opening, there is no way to know why a lead did not call you back. However, there are certain tendencies you can implement to greatly increase your chances of getting a call back.
Below are our 10 do’s and don’ts for leaving more effective voicemail messages. If we missed something or you think we were dead wrong on a specific tactic, let us know in the comments section below.
1. Keep it Short
If there is one tip you take home from this article, it is that all voicemails should be short. People do not want to listen to a five-minute spiel from someone they have never met. You need to get your point across and need to do it fast. We recommend voicemails to be under 30 seconds, but if you can, try to get it under 20 seconds. In order accomplish this, we highly recommend you write a script for all sales calls and practice shortening it each time. Once you have it under 20 seconds, you are golden.
2. Be Personal
No one likes hearing from a robot or an automated machine. No matter how far we have come in technology, people do business with other people. They do not decide on the proposition on product alone. Therefore, you should act like a real human when leaving a voicemail. Do not act like you are reading a script. Practice it multiple times so it comes off naturally. Act and show that you know where they are coming from and why they requested your services. If you make a mistake, just keep going. Salesman and contractors are humans and our homeowners know that. Humans make mistakes. So if you screw up, just keep going because the homeowner will at least know you are a real person and not some machine autodialing your leads.
3. Always Mention Referral if You Have One
As has be the theme of this blog the last month, people listen to other people they know. After all, if a friend told you to try Restaurant A and an advertisement told you to try Restaurant B, which one would you go to? The same principle applies with voicemails. Many times, a friend or colleague gives you a lead. If that is the case, you should always mention their name on the voicemail. That is instant credibility. Now, the lead knows that their friend or colleague has faith in you to do their job, vastly increasing your odds of closing the business. If you have a referral, we highly recommend mentioning their name within the first 10 seconds of the voicemail.
4. Repeat First Name & Number Twice
This may be obvious, but people can’t write as fast as you talk. Therefore, it is imperative to repeat your first name and phone number twice in your message. Going back to No. 2, you should only repeat your first name to give the message a more personal touch. Think of it this way. If you were calling your friend and leaving a message, would you say your last name as well? Even though you most likely don’t know the lead you are calling, they should have a good idea of who you are, where you are from and how to contact you by the end of the message. Therefore, no need to add a last name and make the message impersonal.
5. Add a Call to Action
Whenever you want something from someone else, be it in business or personal maters, you should always add a call to action at the conclusion of your conversation. By adding a call to action, the receiver knows exactly what you want them to do. We like to think that most consumers would be able to decipher why we are calling, but a call to action makes it simple on all parties involved. Whether the point of the message is to call you back, check out your website, email you or just send a follow-up text, make sure you tell them exactly what you are requesting.
You Should Never Give them a Reason to NOT Call You Back, so…
6. Don’t Start with Your Name
Every voicemail on earth starts out with “hi (recipient name), my name is (your name) and I am calling from (your company).” Bear in mind, as your potential lead is listening to this message, they are most likely holding their finger above the delete button. You MUST be different. Get to the point and get to it right away. This way, they will know exactly why you are calling in the shortest amount of time. I would start a message by saying “hi Bill, I saw you just put in a request for a kitchen remodel…” This way, they know exactly why you are calling and if they are still interested in redoing their kitchen, they are most likely going to return your call. You are connecting with the potential lead before any interaction.
7. Don’t Ask them to Call You Back at a Certain Time
We all have busy schedules and would love for all our leads to call us back when we are away from other projects and back at the office. These potential leads have busy lives and you can’t limit the times for them to call you back. We have to make their return call as easy and seamless as possible. By telling them to return your call in a specific time period, the underlying notion is that you don’t care about their time. Other than being extremely impersonal, this can be considered rude and certain leads will not return your call.
8. Don’t Say You Will Call Them Back
I want to repeat that you can’t give the potential lead a reason NOT to call you back. When we leave a voicemail, many of us tend to conclude the message by saying “I will call you back in a few days to follow-up.” Your persistence is fantastic, but you just gave them a perfect reason not to call you back. If you mention a follow-up call, the consumer will just wait for your next call. As a result, you won’t ever know if they actually received your first message.
9. Don’t Call at Odd Hours
Jump into the consumer’s point of view for a second. If you got a message from a contractor at 11 P.M., would you think that contractor really wanted to talk to you? The answer is probably not. Once again, this can come off as rude and many homeowners will not call you back.
Even though we always advocate contractors calling homeowners as soon as you receive the lead, voicemail research suggests you should contact homeowners in the middle of the week. Messages left on a Friday afternoon are the least likely to be returned. For most people, Monday mornings are very busy and, as a result, only high–priority activities will get their immediate attention.
10. Don’t Sell Over the Phone
No matter how good a salesperson you are, you are not going to sell your services with a 30-second voicemail. People buy products from other people and therefore, will want to get to know their potential contractor before hiring. As a result, combined with the fact that these voicemails should be under 30 seconds, you should never make your entire sales pitch over the phone. Leave them wanting more, giving the lead a reason to call you back.
Now that you have mastered leaving a message, make sure your own voicemail has all the necessary aspects of an effective voicemail greeting.