Sales Coaching

I Think I Know Why They Aren’t Returning Your Calls

January 7, 2014 | Posted by Yvette Alexander Slate

I sometimes have, not just clients, but also friends tell me how frustrated they are when the prospects that they are trying to earn business from, don’t return their phone calls. Sometimes even when I’m not coaching, I feel like I’m always coaching because I truly care about helping people overcome some common barriers to building a relationship. I will then ask the question, “what did you say on the voicemail?” They then go into great detail as to why this person should call them back and I just sit and listen. My first form of feedback is to let the client or friend know that if I received that message, I wouldn’t call back either. After the initial the shock and when the eyebrows come down, they are open to hearing what I have to say.

1.  I believe that when one leaves a voicemail, that the information left should be exciting. It should have the prospect’s best interest in mind. It shouldn’t be why they should call you and what “you can get.” It should demonstrate what you can do for them to help them achieve their goals.

2.  “Well, what are their goals?” you might ask. The average person has personal, professional and financial goals. Sometimes, they are intertwined or connected to some degree with one another. So when you are getting to know a person, you might want to casually ask them “what are you trying to accomplish and how will the outcome affect your personal, organizational or financial goals?”

3.   Now that you know what their goals are like spending more time with the family, being promoted so that they can mentor and train their replacement or even with the promotion, give back to their favorite charity and volunteer with a purpose.

4.  So when you leave a voicemail and it’s not about “you.” Make sure that your goals are not the subject matter of the message. If you are saying, “Hi Marge, this is Lisa and I was wondering if you had a chance to review the proposal and see you’ve made a decision on doing business with us? Please give me a call back so that we can discuss the next steps.” You trying to get their business is not in line with their motives or objectives. 

5.  If you were to leave a voicemail with enthusiasm in which you invited them to an event in which the leader of that organization they were telling you about was going to be there and that they could bring their family, then now they see you as an advocate, good listener, a resource and passionate about their goals.  They are then more likely to return all your calls in the future because now they know you care and you have their best interest in mind.

6.  Remember and I’ve said this in previous blogs, “people do business with people they like.”  They like those who care about them.

So before you follow-up and leave that dreaded voicemail to see if they will say “yes” to your service offerings, take a moment to really evaluate the purpose of the call. Ask yourself, did I take the time to get to know them or did I tell them more about me? Do they know my needs or do I know theirs. Because when you know their goals, exceeding your goals is the benefit from understanding theirs.

We don’t get anything on our own. But if we take the time to understand people, everything we need, that is appropriate, will fall in line with our objectives.

Make a difference today and everyday in the lives’ of others.