The most powerful and persuasive sales tool remains the human voice.
It’s how we articulate knowledge, establish rapport and create connection. People do business with those they know and trust, right? Dialogue is the foundation of a meaningful business relationship.
This why I was stunned to read this misguided gem in a blog post authored by Howard Sewell of Spear Marketing Group:
“Who the heck responds to voicemail these days even if they DO have a need? Certainly not me. It’s 2015: use email, for crying out loud.”
The context of Howard’s comment was a discussion of lead nurturing and the appropriate role enterprise sales professionals should play in that process.
I met Howard earlier this year at a conference hosted by private equity firm JMI. I think he is well versed and his firm – Spear Marketing Group – does good work for its clients.
Yet, his discount of voice mail as a credible and convincing channel for sales professionals is completely off-base. In fact, I encourage the sales teams at Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) clients to embrace voice mail in their lead nurturing activities.
Here is why:
- Emotion is more easily communicated. I am certainly a fan of the emoticon, yet it simply doesn’t convey empathy like a well articulated voice message. Even if the person elects to not return the call, voice mail is an opportunity to brand and message.
- It is an effective complement to e-mail and other forms of digital communications. As our Inbox becomes increasingly noisy and cluttered, a simple voice message can call attention to a timely and important Email.
- The person may actually answer the phone. Yes…it happens…more often than you think. Always inquire if the prospect has a few minutes to talk. Even if the answer is “no,” I’ve found the person much more amenable to set a time to talk at a later date.