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11 B2B telemarketing voicemail tips

Telemarketing is a “live” direct marketing environment, and only by testing various approaches do we learn which one works best. Therefore, what follows are some guidelines and tips for leaving B2B voicemails that drive the desired behavior and/or a return phone call.  

General tips for leaving voicemails:

  1. Relevancy trumps all and depending on what is known about the individual called, that information should be used in structuring the voicemail. Such data elements as industry, job function, name of company, and past behavior are all potentials to make the message relevant. When doing so, also allow for the data to be wrong and use a phrase such as “According to our records …..” This insures that if you are wrong, at least you have forecasted it.

2. Be specific in the voice message as to what you want the individual to do. As an example: for trade shows, mentioning the dates of the show, location, and even how many weeks remain are the kind of specifics that might drive registration. As the show draws closer, the availability and choice of hotel rooms also becomes a specific. Even mentioning the hotels still available is another relevant specific that may drive behavior.

3. Be short, as attention spans are also short. Voicemail messages should be no longer than 20 seconds. The optimum length is between 8 and 14 seconds.

4. Be professional and friendly as in B2B you are leaving a message to a professional from another professional. Use the person’s first name at least twice. All the touches an individual receives accumulate to a brand impression. Telemarketing is a very high impact touch.

5. Speak clearly and a little slowly as rushing will not allow the individual to hear and digest what is being said.

6. Best times for leaving messages are from 7 to 8 AM and from 4:30 to 6:30 PM. Obviously other times need to be used as all calling can’t be done only at these times.  Save the best times for the highest priority calls.  Do not leave messages on Monday morning, Friday afternoon, or odd hours of the night if the call is expected to be returned.

7. Repeat your name and the phone number to be called twice – at the beginning and end of the message. Do not leave other contact information such as the website, as it will be too much for the individual to process. On the other hand, if the purpose of the call is to drive the individual to the website for registration, repeat the web address twice, and mention something specific they will find on the website that is an incentive for them to visit it.

8. Asking questions that are relevant to the individual will likely solicit a return phone call. They should be specific and of interest to the individual and not you.

9. Don’t use a traditional close such as “Please call me back” or “I’ll call you back on X date” but rather close with a question to be answered and then repeat your name and number again.

10. Do not read the script but rather phrase it in your own words.  The worst voice messages in B2B are the ones that comes across as canned or read. These messages will not be returned or acted upon.

11.Know the telemarketing regulations as even though they mostly deal with B2C situations, calling a number on the Do Not Call (DNC) list can potentially incur an individual’s wrath and even substantial fines.  Your house list of attendees and exhibitors is fine as this represents a current relationship, but telemarketing lists from outside vendors should be scrubbed against the DNC list to insure compliance to current regulations.  It is smart to keep up-to-date with the changing telemarketing regulations.  

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