Over the years of doing what I do, there have been several topics that pop up in conversation again and again. For example, “Where do I find a good sales rep?” But there is another one quickly racing to the top and fighting for the number one spot:
“No one answers the phone anymore.”
Close cousins to this statement are, “Why doesn’t anyone return voicemail messages?” and “How many voicemail messages should I leave before giving up?”
It’s no secret that it’s more difficult than ever to start up a conversation with a prospect. There are several options available— phone, email, text, LinkedIn message, carrier pigeon, smoke signal— but whether it’s due to everyone being so busy, companies building higher walls to keep pesky salespeople out, or the millennial factor, it’s easier to win Springsteen tickets on the radio that it is to make initial contact.
My advice to you is this: Return to the basics. First, practice that voicemail message out loud. Are you selling print or solving a problem? Can you really and truly defend the messages that you are leaving as valuable and worthwhile? Second, are you calling on good prospects and within that category, do you have the right person targeted? Is the research that you do on a company prior to the start of your prospecting process that dictates these first two points. Third, then, is that process itself. Do you have a multi–week, multi–medium, step-by-step approach? And finally, are you being diligent enough?
My friends, don’t give up. When I ask successful salespeople to give up their secret for success, the answer comes back “Diligence!” 100% of the time. 100%! That should tell you something.
Control the things that you can control and let everything else go. As to the answer to that last question, “How many voicemail messages should I leave before giving up but you Mark” I’ll say this: how badly do you want to do business with the account? If only a little, give up quickly. If a lot, remain diligent. If it’s one of your top prospects, never ever ever ever stop calling!
Bill’s next book, Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? is the final stages of editing and will be ready next month. In the meantime…
Bill Farquharson can drive your new business sales momentum. See his training programs at AspireFor.com or call Bill at 781-934-7036. His email address is
To talk about what I can do for your sales team in the form of a live presentation, workshop, or individual training, either call or hit this link and jump on my calendar.