eb6c7c01c4e98e1f2578f9959463b973Have you ever called a prospect 5-6 times and been unable to reached them or have your sales prospecting voice messages returned? Don’t worry, you are not the only person to experience this.

Written by: Morgan Busam, Lead Development Associate

Let’s face it in today’s business world, buyers are busy and decision makers can be difficult to reach by phone. Don’t assume that the lead is not interested in your product because they have yet to return your phone calls and voice messages. It just means you have yet to make a connection. More often than not, you could be trying to reach an individual who is simply too busy right now to get back to you. Regardless of type of decision maker you are calling, if you have yet to reach them after your fourth call, it is time to get creative in your prospecting efforts. Here are three tips and tricks that will help get you noticed:

Take advantage of the Internet: When it comes to inside sales, accurate data is key to your calling success. With the marketplace constantly changing, people leave organizations, change roles and transfer to a different location various times in their career. No one wants to spend a month calling a lead, who has not been with the company for the last two months. To avoid that situation, use the Internet to your advantage as it can reveal a large amount of information about any average person. Start with a quick search and see what pops up. With luck, the prospect’s LinkedIn profile will populate early on and you can obtain their current employment status instantly.

*Remember to be cautious about the amount of time you spend browsing the Internet for information on your lead. Keep in mind the purpose of your search. You are strictly trying to verify that the lead is still with the company and what their current position is. Limit yourself to 3-5 minutes per contact.

Seek alternative communication: Chances are your voice message is one of many unanswered sales calls sitting in the prospect’s mailbox. If you want to stand out and get your call returned, try reaching the lead via another communication channel, such as email or LinkedIn. This is your chance to refresh their memory of your call and possibly receive a quicker response. Start by drafting a subject line that fits the purpose of your note, such as “my call” or “follow up to my voice mail”. As you move into the content portion, be sure to keep the message, short and concise; rough 4-6 sentences.

*TIP:Don’t be afraid to reach your lead by both phone and email in one day.  Sometimes prospects need the double reminder to get them to return your calls.

Zero Out Option: Zeroing out is particularly important to keep in mind when you are calling direct numbers. Don’t keep filling the lead’s voice mail if you are not getting any response after 4+ calls, instead try the “Zero Out Option”. This feature provides callers the option to transfer to a live, predesignated person instead of leaving a message by pressing “0”. In order to “Zero Out”, dial the prospect’s telephone number and wait until you get connected to their voice mail. As soon as you hear the lead’s greeting, press “0” on your telephone keypad. Typically the phone system will transfer the call to a live operator. Be sure to leverage this live assistant as best as you can. Let them know you have been unsuccessful in reaching the prospect by phone and ask if they have an alternative contact method. If they don’t, explain the reason for your call and ask for a referral. The designated operator may tell you that the lead is the right person for the call and that’s okay because now you have confirmation that you are contacting the right person.

*Please note: The “Zero Out Option” is subject to an individual’s discretion and may not work for every mailbox system.

Remember decision makers are busy. The next time you are unable to reach your prospect, don’t just leave a voice message and hope for a response. Take action, think outside of the box and use multiple communication channels.