Voicemails can Break through Proactive New Business Clutter

The words you use and the way you use them say a lot about you and your agency
by Todd Knutson

They will determine if you are able to move from voicemails to conversations.

Think about how we pre-judge people who leave us voicemails. If they are a fast-talking salesperson we'll call them "slick" or "slimy". If they are from New York we assume they are "pushy". If they are from the South they won't be very smart. And if they have an accent (any accent unlike your own) it's going to be difficult to communicate with them.

No matter how educated or liberal we think we are, most of us will eventually fall prey to such prejudice.

Here are 6 things you can do to keep from falling into the voicemail trap:

  1. Accent: be sure you or your new business person's accent is "neutral" - i.e. there is no perceivable accent (unless, of course, it's British, which is the trend for those agencies looking to be particularly sophisticated, hip and global).
  2. Inflection: Listen to yourself and be sure your voice doesn't rise at the end of the sentence, or conversely trail off to nothing at the end.
  3. Clarity: Is your voice clear and sparkly? Do you mumble?
  4. Word choice: Do you sound strong and self-confident? Are you able to use a few good words to describe your agency instead of a paragraph?
  5. Length: Are your voicemails short and to the point? Wordy and Verbose?
  6. Message: Is your message respectful of the person you're calling? Demanding? Intriguing?

Used effectively, voicemails can be extremely powerful branding vehicles for your agency. In the hands of the wrong person they can be downright destructive.

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