Cell Phone Caller IDIn a previous post, I mentioned using database 800notes.com to check the numbers that pop up on your Caller ID screen.

So if it is this easy to check a number in this database, what do you do when your number is the one they are checking on?

If you are making a number of outbound dials using a power dialer, like the service provided by InsideSales, you don’t always have the opportunity to leave a message to your target audience. Their phone rings, your number shows up on their Caller ID, and they get dead air when they pick up because your power dialer grabbed the next line in the call sequence.

What’s to stop the person called from calling back just out of curiosity? What happens when someone actually calls the number that shows up in his or her Caller ID?

Do they get a number-not-in-service message?

Do they get an automated message telling them, “If you want to be taken off our list, press 2”?

Do they get a generic message like, “Hi you’ve reached Bob at ACME Corp. I can’t take your call right now but your call is important to me”?

Ideas Learned From Promoting A Toastmasters Contest

Here is something I learned from my time as an Area Governor in Toastmasters that may help you address this challenge.

As Area Governor, one of your jobs is to conduct the Area Contest. And to have a good Area Contest, you need as many people as possible in attendance. Which means you need to promote it like it’s nobody’s business.

Back then, the commercialization of the Internet was just getting started. We didn’t have the search marketing tools we have today. We had to use conventional methods. We emailed our contacts plaintext messages, cold called companies in the area, sent out direct mailers, and we left flyers in places like bookstores, libraries, companies, and hotels.

And all of our marketing collateral had one phone number for our prospects to contact, my home number.

Recognizing that people were going to call to find more information, I saw two options:

  1. I could use the standard greeting; “Hi, you’ve reached Larry Prevost. I can’t get to the phone right now but our call is important to me…”
  2. I could change things up and use that sales touch to promote the contest.

I took 40 minutes, designed an intro message for our International Speech Contest, and created a 2-minute promo as my voicemail greeting.

For one month, when “prospects” called my number, they got the “Full Toastmasters Monty”. They didn’t have to leave a message or go to a website for more information. My promo gave them all of the required details.

Now my friends didn’t appreciate the promo message. They said I sounded like a car salesman pumped up on 20 cups of coffee. However, our contest was a runaway success, attracting 2.5 times as many people as other competing contests, and attracting people as far as 50 miles away.

Prepare Your Voicemail Greeting For Those Prospects That Return Your Call

Here’s the deal. If you are using a power dialer to control your outbound calls, you are probably contacting a whole lot of people and leaving a Caller ID trail right back to your home base, but you aren’t leaving a valued centric message giving a reason for the call.

And if you aren’t leaving a message, you are probably leaving your prospects in a “less than happy” frame of mind.

Don’t do that!

If you can’t leave them a message on their machine when you initiate the call, at least leave them a message on your machine when they return your call.

Decide what you want your audience to do when they call in, such as leave a message, listen to your full greeting, or go to your site and enter their contact information on a form.

Then create your promo message. Provide details about the nature of the call, but use your voicemail skills to make your message energetic, entertaining, and engaging. Just like leaving a voicemail message on their system, use your skills to get their attention, generate interest, and get them to take action.

If you are selling a product or service and you use a power dialing service like the service provided by InsideSales to reach your leads, consider giving yourself some backup by promoting your product or services through your voicemail greeting.

It could keep your number out of the 800notes.com database.

How do you currently use your voicemail greeting in your sales promotional mix?