The Voicemail Vortex

9 08 2010

I was looking through the CRM tool at my new company today and picked up a prospect account – we’ll call it Bob’s Construction and Leasing.  While reviewing the notes for Bob’s, I realized that this account had been repeatedly called on by 4 different reps for the past year and a half – none of which had gotten a single call back.  There were no alternate forms of contact (email etc).  Right then and there I saw this for what it really was – a Voicemail Vortex. 

You may be familiar with the term, or you may not.  But you are certainly familiar with the little “delete” key on your own phone.  It’s the one you keep your finger on when entering into your voicemail box so you can listen to as little of the message as possible and get on with being productive.  Voicemails are like an intrusion on your day.  And guess what – the people you are cold calling feel the exact same way. 

So back to my situation.  After careful pondering, I decided to give it the old college try and dialed the number.  Of course – voicemail.  I left a brief, polite message and went back to the drawing boards.  If this guy won’t answer his voicemail, what can I do to get his attention? 

I decided a brief, cheeky email may be the solution to my problem: 

Hey Mike,

I hope your Monday is going great.  I wanted to shoot you a quick and candid email to follow-up on the voicemail that I just left you.  I know you have been left messages by Cogent reps before, and I also know that you have not had your interest piqued to the point that you would return those calls.  

Look, I know it is not your first priority to respond to cold calls.  They aren’t very fun on either end of the line to be honest.  But what I have to offer you could drastically improve the efficiency of your wide area network.  Cogent specializes in increasing our clients’ bandwidth while decreasing the overall cost of the network. 

Could we possibly schedule a call in the next week to determine how Cogent could be of value to Bob’s Construction and Leasing?

Take Care, 

Tara Wagner

Within 5 minutes I had his response in my inbox as well as 2 other contacts from his company that I should be talking to.   Moral of the story – don’t waste your time leaving voicemails when you know the client won’t listen to them.





Always Wear an Undershirt … and Other Lessons Not Found in Sales Books

26 09 2009

Undershirts for $2 at Walmart. No Excuses.

So… I have been doing printing sales for roughly 7 months now.  Along the way I have learned some key lessons that I haven’t come across in any of the

“How To” and “Motivational” sales books I’ve read.  Maybe this list belongs more in the “For Dummies” books, but I’d like to share these pearls of wisdom with the world.  This blog is dedicated to a little wardrobe malfunction that happened on Thursday of this week.

  1. Always wear an undershirt with a blouse… you never know when a button is going to pop at a very inopportune moment, such as during an important client presentation.
  2. Business cards are your currency at a networking event… NEVER underestimate the amount you will need.  Stash your box in your car in case you are more popular than you anticipated.
  3. If someone starts to pull out a “before” and “after” picture of themselves in any form, run.  I don’t care if it is weight loss, botox, cosmetic surgery, or scar removal – they are in the business of selling, not buying.
  4. Never ever NEVER assume anything about the following categories: Gender, Age, Marital Status, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation, Religion, Natural Hair Color, Political View, etc.
  5. Don’t buy a beer for a client unless you are certain they are not a member of AA.  Really.
  6. If you are sure they are good to go in the alcohol realm, be sure to understand that the “N.A.” designation on the beer bottle is not some new form of beer you’ve never heard of like “IPA”.  It means “Non-Alcoholic.”   People get really mad when they think you are bringing beer and you show up with the N.A. stuff…
  7. Don’t ride a mechanical bull in front of clients, even you are at a Rodeo and they are all chanting your name.  That is unless you enjoy having a bloody lip and walking with a limp.
  8. Iron your clothes even if you think they look swell.  The wrinkles do not add character.
  9. The creator of Dillbert is an absolute genius of insight.
  10. If you are late to a meeting because you hit a parked car, got lost, or forgot you had a meeting… don’t tell your client.  That doesn’t exactly build your credibility.

Now these are just a few gems that I have learned or observed during my short stint in outside sales… I know there are some seasoned vets out there with some awesomely embarrassing lessons.  Please share!