As you prospect, do you long for a real live person to answer your phone calls?
Are the phrases, “I’m not able to answer your call in person right now…” “I’m in a meeting right now or talking with another client…” and “If you want help with this, please press #2, #1,…” starting to wear on your last nerve… like nails on a chalkboard?
Are you feeling trapped by the very technology that was supposed to serve you?
Well, you’re in good company.
Our informal survey shows the overwhelming majority of sales professionals share your frustration. One of the most frequently asked questions asked by our clients is, “I leave a lot of voice mail messages without getting any personal contact–ever. Do you have any tips for me?”
Yes, I do!
There are simple, yet effective steps to take that will get you around voice mail so you can make contact with a human!
Whether the recording indicates it or not, many systems will reroute your calls to a human being if you press the “0” Operator button on your phone.
Then when your prospect’s operator/receptionist answers, you can honestly say, “I was connected to the executive’s voice mail and I’m looking for a real, live, breathing, speaking human to talk to directly. Is the executive or the executive assistant in today?”
Chances are that you’ll get an empathetic chuckle from the receptionist. Those folks understand how annoying pre-recorded messages can be.
If your prospect isn’t readily available in person, the operator often knows that and will be glad to offer to reroute your call to another human being within the company, such as the executive’s assistant, who can tell you the whereabouts of your prospect.
Equally as import as circumventing voice mail jail is knowing what to say when you succeed and make contact with your prospects operator/receptionist!
In many companies, the operator is authorized to page the prospect for you or to connect you to direct line-if you do one thing in particular…
What’s the key to “authorizing” the operator to search for your prospect on your behalf?
You must ask for your prospect by first and last name and pronounce both correctly.
Here’s an Insider’s secret peek into the mechanics of the executive suites that will equip you to understand what’s going on in their world. Really good executive assistants, with the approval of their executives, talk with receptionists and give them specific guidelines for handling inbound callers who ask for the President’s office.
There are so many calls each day that they must come up with a system of handling them. Or never get any work done! Executive assistants direct receptionists to divert inbound callers who say, “I’d like to be connected to the President’s office please.” The preferred method of handling such callers is to politely reroute them to voice mail jail.
With your new knowledge of this Insider’s secret you’ll want to call and say, “I’m calling to speak to Jack Doe or his assistant, Mary.” You’ll find you receive a different kind of treatment when you use these words. Because of their “in-house” system for handling inbound calls, the operator/receptionist will be more likely to give you the inside scoop as to their whereabouts.
Then, because your words indicate that you “know the rules” the receptionist is far more likely to be forthcoming with information that will help you, information such as whether or not the executive is in the office and the best time to call back to reach them in person.
Those executives and their assistants are early risers!
They frequently slip into the office between 7:00 and 7:30 AM. Executives take advantage of the still of the morning to work through the ever-present to-do list without interruption.
Knowing this about the habits of executives, many a successful sales professional will make prospecting calls during those times and connect with their high-level prospects on the first ring.
Use these tips to circumvent voice mail, be relentless in your pursuit for a human, and get ready to smile as you make personal contact with a real, live, person who wants to do business with you!
Forward this article to friends-they’ll thank you for it!