Should You Leave Short or Long Voicemail Messages?

“The scientists. They’ll want to know they sent me to the wrong time… I can leave a voicemail message that they monitor from the present… Can I just make one telephone call please?” -James Cole, Twelve Monkeys
The Art of Leaving Effective Voicemail Messages
A while back, I read a Yahoo blog post by Jim Citrin on crafting the “perfect” voicemail (see insert below). Jim had several tips on leaving voicemail messages after which he provided several examples. What I found surprising were the number of critical comments based on old school thinking.
However, I found all of his tips on point and helpful. Here is a quick recap:

Developing Outstanding Leadership Qualities In Your Team

“If you’re listening to this, you are the resistance. Listen carefully, if we attack tonight, our humanity is lost. Command wants us to fight like machines. They want us to make cold, calculated decisions. But we are not machines! And if we behave like them, then WHAT IS THE *POINT* IN WINNING?” -John Connor, Terminator Salvation
General George S. Patton once said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” Excellent advice when leading your team. In this incident, I had an opportunity to see this philosophy put into action.

Secret To Longevity

The Effects of Stress on Longevity
Look at this  article on aging and longevity. It seems Edna Parker lived to the ripe old age of 115 years old. She became the oldest living person in the known world in 2008.
What I found interesting is the observation that the author placed near the end of the article:
‘[Dr. Tom] Perls said the secret to a long life is now believed to be a mix of genetics and environmental factors such as health habits. He said his research on about 1,500 centenarians hints at another factor that may protect people from illnesses such as heart attacks and stroke — they appear not to dwell on stressful events.

The Importance Of Having A Call Plan In Your Campaigns

One more thing in regards to my post on cold calling, meetings, and the importance of having a call plan.
When I worked in the call center, I remember one of my colleagues making a comment after she had just finished up a call. She said, “I just got off the phone with a guy who said he didn’t have any time to talk because he was in a meeting. I mean, why would you pick up the phone if you were in a meeting? That just doesn’t make sense.”
But I have seen situations where managers and directors were engaged in one-on-ones or were leading a small group meeting and they stopped what they were doing to take a call.
Why would they stop?
Customer service managers do it all of the time. They expect their people to throw unmanageable and irate customers their way. So, they have to put aside what they are doing to deal with the customer crisis at hand.
Or what about the director who is conducting a one-on-one but is expecting a call from his or her spouse to get an update on a family emergency? The will pick up the phone regardless of what they are doing. I’ve seen that happen as well.
So imagine how this individual feels when they are in a meeting and expecting an irate customer or bad news on a family medical emergency and they get… you, a bona fide cold calling salesperson. Think about the emotional roller coaster you have just put that person through.
If you can put yourself in that situation and see from that person’s perspective, you can develop your call plan accordingly. Then, you will be in a better position to respond when you pull them from their meeting.
See The World From Your Prospect’s Point of View Will Help in Developing Your Call Plan
I once called into a company and got the gatekeeper. After using several simple behavioral strategies, I got her to get the decision-maker on the line. She pulled him from his Monday morning sales meeting and naturally, I did not have my USP ready. No USP, no value proposition, nothing. The only thing I succeeded in doing was pulling this guy away from his sales meeting to talk to me.
Naturally, he was not happy and he spared no expense in letting me know.
The tactics and strategies that we discuss in our programs work and they are effective. However, no strategy or behavioral tactic can compensate for having no call plan and having no value proposition.
When you are making your follow up calls or lead generation calls, always have your USP at hand, know your value proposition, and remember that if you caught them in a meeting, they picked up the phone expecting the worst. Apologize, reschedule, and give them something to smile about before sending them back to their meeting.

Drop Old Beliefs and Achieve Goals

“You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.”
-Morpheus, The Matrix

Dale Carnegie Course Teaches Graduates How To Let Go
Back when I  had  achieved my Dale Carnegie instructor credentials, I attend every graduation in the Cleveland area. It was a great opportunity to learn new techniques from other instructors and a chance to gain some different  ideas on class moderation. It was also a great way to achieve additional training experience.
In one particular class, I had formed a working relationship with the instructor and attended the majority of sessions prior to the graduation. So during the graduation, she asked me to say a few words after we had heard all of the participants’ graduation talks.

Smile For Business And Self Promotion

“You can lighten up a bit yourself. This severe routine is getting old, okay? I mean, you act like such a geek. Smile once in a while.”
-John Connor, Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Promote Yourself  and Your Business With a Smile
We all understand the importance of getting recognition for our accomplishments and achievements. However, in today’s frenetic business environment, sometimes we can’t find the time to identify our achievements. Equally as difficult is finding a way to promote our accomplishments without sounding like a braggart.
One area we often overlook are the relationships we have with those we serve and with those who serve us. Sometimes, something as simple as smiling is enough to make you stand out in a crowd.

Factors That Impact an Email Marketing Campaign

As a system administrator, I’ve seen a lot of creative attempts by salespeople to explore a target company. Here’s an observation I think many marketers are facing in creating an effective email marketing campaign.  This one process may be what’s keeping your email messages from reaching their identified targets.

Bad Bosses, Managers, and Leadership Development

I find your lack of faith… disturbing.
-Darth Vader, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

I just ran across this article in the Harvard Business Review entitled “What to Do When You Have a Bad Boss.” The opening paragraph is as follows:
Despite the $15 billion companies spend annually on managerial and leadership development, bad bosses are common in the American workforce.  A study by Life Meets Work found that 56% of American workers claim their boss is mildly or highly toxic. A study by the American Psychological Association found that 75% of Americans say their “boss is the most stressful part of their workday.”
Read the rest of the article here.

My question is why don’t more managers and leaders realize this? Are they unaware of the situation surrounding their leadership or do they just not care?

Email Marketing Ideas Using the Dale Carnegie Principles

Dale Carnegie Principles in Personalizing Email Marketing Campaigns
Here’s a useful item about email marketing that my Google Alerts picked up.
I’m a big fan of Dan Kennedy. I’ve read many of his books, including his No BS Direct Marketing, and found them invaluable. But the one interesting thing I’ve noticed in his teachings are his numerous references to the Dale Carnegie principles. Sometimes, he paraphrases the principles in a subtle fashion to make his point. In others, he simply hits you in the face with a bag of nickels.

Your Physical Position Is Hindering Your Sales Success

I wrote an article about talking less to sell more based on my work with Dale Carnegie and the PRSPX Inside Sales Team. In that post, I outlined four communication tips to keep in mind when opening your sales call.
I strongly believe a big part of sales success is the ability to structure your communication processes to achieve your outcome.
Realize that you will not achieve all of your outcomes in all situations. You are dealing with living human beings. They are complex and dynamic elements in the equation of achievement. Each word you use, every change in inflection, and every change in the environment will impact their responses.

Your Sales Activities May Be Branding You as a Hacker

After looking at an earlier blog entry, I had a nasty revelation.  In part, this line of thought grew out of a conversation I had I with the a sales manager.
This manager asked me if I had ever been a hacker in addition to a “Nerd Herder”.
Naturally, I pleaded the fifth to avoid incriminating myself.
Now, if you’ve ever been a system administrator, you’ve probably “hacked” a system to get it operational, gain access after all other avenues were exhausted, or you just had to get some speed out of an aging system.

Inside Sales Tip When Opening The Sales Call

Sometimes, inside sales people lean too heavily on their script. Check this out.
This morning, I got a call from an inside sales rep selling subscriptions to an executive level magazine. I can appreciate what they are trying to do and the challenges that they face. However, if you were pushing an executive level magazine and you’re targeting executives, I would think that your communication style would be a little more… executive-like.

Teleprompter Options That Are Flexible and Affordable

When to Use a Teleprompter to Deliver Your Presentation
Most of what we teach about public speaking in the Dale Carnegie Course involves being natural and engaging in front of the audience. Typically, this means not memorizing a speech and not reading it from a teleprompter. It means  delivering a presentation from your heart and staying connected to your audience. If you want to be an engaging speaker, you’ll need to be free to read the audience’s body language. That way, you’ll know if you are communicating with them or if you are putting them to sleep. Armed with that knowledge, you can make the necessary adjustments in your presentation delivery.

4 Ideas on Building Your Contact Network in a Company

During my time as a Dale Carnegie instructor, I’ve had the opportunity to address questions about building a solid contact network for business professionals. Many questions came from salespeople who, in their cold calling campaigns, wanted a method for building their contact network without sounding too “salesy”.
In general, salespeople wanted to know:

6 Phrases That Hinder Your Communication Process

“IT’S NOT A  BOOK! IT’S A WEAPON! A weapon aimed right at the hearts and minds of the weak and the desperate. It will give us control of them. If we want to rule more than one small, town, we have to have it. People will come from all over, they’ll do exactly what I tell ’em if the words are from the book. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again. All we need is that book.”
-Carnegie, The Book of Eli

Here’s another phone call example using a poor communication process pulled from my early days in lead generation. I’m sure you’ve all had similar encounters.
He was the vice president of an architectural firm, and I called him once a week for 6 months.  I always managed to either get his voicemail or his administrative assistant.  She was always cordial and polite when she took my information. And she always told me she would relay my message when I spoke to her.  But on this particular day in August when I called, she let me in on a secret.

Show Appreciation Through Social Media

In my early days of selling Dale Carnegie,  corporate gave us a set of marketing phrases to promote the programs. These suggestions included phrases like, “It’s time to get human again” and “cut the screen time and get more face time.”
I could easily see that these were statements positioned social media and technology as our competition. The underlying message was clear: one or the other, but not both.

Sales Words That Weaken Your Sales Opening

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight’s entertainment! I only have one question. Where is Harvey Dent? … You know where I can find Harvey? I need to talk to him about something, *just* something little.”
-Joker, The Dark Knight

Capture Your Prospect’s Attention By Removing This Word From Your Sales Opening
I monitor several sales blogs and newsletters to stay on top of what other sales gurus are teaching.  Recently I received a sales newsletter that brought up a point I learned back when I was undergoing my NLP certification.

4 Social Media Listening Tips From The Dale Carnegie Course

“CQ, CQ, this is W9GFO. Is anybody out there?”
-Ellie Arroway, Contact

Dale Carnegie’s Principles in Social Media: Be A Good Listener
In communications today, everyone makes a big deal of how to correctly use social media to interact effectively with their prospects and clients. It almost seems like everyone sees social media as an new and groundbreaking communication ability.
However, social media is simply a new conduit that allows people to communicate and share information with other people.
And that’s the key. If we look at social media as a way to communicate with people, then the human relations and communication principles still apply.

Boost Your Social Networks Using Dale Carnegie Principles

I’m sorry. This is the fun-vee. The hum-drum-vee is back there. -Tony Stark, Iron Man
LinkedIn. Twitter. Facebook.
If you want to get noticed in today’s business environment, you need to be active on these three social networks.
In fact, something I heard was if you were using social networks for sales and marketing, you have to play by a different set of rules.
Well, I just came across some findings that would suggest otherwise.

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