Doing Business on the Phone
By having a name to start with, a rep can ask for that individual. If that person isn't in, then the rep should ask the receptionist whether that person is the actual decision maker. If they aren't, then the rep needs to probe to get the right name. This is a critical juncture where a rep often drops the ball. Specifically, a rep may leave a message for a person, without determining whether that is the right person.
The result is often a fruitless exercise of leaving messages for someone who probably won't return the call. Not only does this sidetrack any potential sales that could have resulted from speaking with the correct person, but it also saps a great deal of positive energy from the rep.
LEAVE A MESSAGE THAT STIMULATES A CALL-BACK
Why should a prospect return a call from someone they don't know and have never heard of—in essence, a stranger? The best chance of it happening is if prospects are made to feel—through the type of message left—that it might be worthwhile for them to make the effort. My experience is that this can be accomplished by a message that piques the person's interest, without telling the entire story.
If the rep says too much (I have heard reps actually ask for the sale on the voice mail message they left!), they may scare off legitimate prospects; or a prospect may misunderstand the message, and opt not to return the call.
Also, it goes without saying that people are very busy, and they prioritize their call-backs. The best way to have your message leapfrog to the top of the list is to generate some curiosity through the messages you leave.
ASK GOOD QUESTIONS, FOCUS ON BENEFITS—QUICKLY!
A rep has an incredibly thin window in which to make a positive impression on a prospect. Within the first few seconds, the prospect will decide whether this is a conversation that they will: (a) allow to continue and (b) approach with any degree of seriousness (we've all gone through the motions with a telemarketer before).