Franchisors: Are your voicemail messages causing you to lose leads?
Investing in a franchise is a huge decision, so once a person decides to pick up the phone to make that first step, they don’t want to be sent through a death spiral of automated messages. Franchise prospects want a person on the other line who is ready to help. If answering the phone is not possible, the next best thing is a clear voicemail message that assures the call will be returned by a real live person in a timely fashion.
If you’re a franchise development pro, the last thing you want is for a prospect to get frustrated and look elsewhere. Here are some voicemail best practices that will entice your caller to leave that all-important message.
Make a better first impression
Phrases like “I’m not at my desk right now,” are vague and obvious. THE CALLER KNOWS YOU’RE NOT THERE! You can make a better first impression through your voicemail by letting your callers know exactly where you ARE. Tell them, “I AM in the office all this week” OR “I’m in a sales meeting till 3 pm.” Or if you want, there’s no special need to say anything other than. “Hi, this is (your name) glad you called. Go ahead and leave your message with your phone number, twice and slowly please, and I will return your call by the next business day.” BAM. Done. Easy for you and the caller.
Be specific and action driven
To me, “I’ll call you back as soon as possible” is a loser statement! Why? Because everyone’s ASAP is different! Count on that. If you’re telling your callers that you’ll call them back, do so and go the extra mile. Give them a time frame and follow through. “I will call you back within 24 hours,” is more specific. Be a ‘standout’ and return calls in a timely fashion. Give the caller direction on the information you need. “Please leave your name, number, and a good time to call back.”
When creating your voicemail message, be yourself. People want to talk to other people, not a robot or a sales machine. Use your normal tone of voice. Sound like someone who is friendly and happy to help rather than someone who wants to close a deal or doesn’t care.
At the end of your voicemail, mention another way to reach you. It can be a landline, an email, a text, or even a FAX. Offering some other way to reach you — such as a secretary or an assistant’s phone number — makes the caller know that you care. Avoid the death spiral of automated messages that often lead to a hangup. “Press 1 for…” is a recipe for frustration.
Ace the return call
Read these three messages and think about the one you would like to receive.
“Hi this is Bob. Gimme a call back.”
“Hi this is Bob at Acme Franchising returning your call. Call me back at 555-333-9999.”
“Hi Nancy. This is Bob Smith from Acme Franchising. I am excited about your interest in our franchise opportunity. Please call me back at 314-555-5555, central time. Again that’s 314-555-5555. Look forward to it, Nancy. If I’m not in, ask for Judy at extension 42 and leave a message for me there. Thanks.”
Leave the type of message you would like to receive. Make it friendly, informative, and straightforward. Let’s not make it any more difficult than it really is. Your voicemail message is often your first impression. Make it a good one!