Are You a Keyboard?

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Are you a keyboard? ‘Cause you’re just my type!

Groan. There’s not much that’s cheesier than a traditional pickup line. But there’s another kind of pickup line that shouldn’t be cheesy at all—the kind you craft in order to motivate someone to pick up the phone to call you back.

Responding to web-generated leads within five minutes equals a 900% increase in contact rates. That’s a whole lotta percents to have in your favor. But there’s more to it than timing. You also have to know what you want to say, and how to say it.

Here are some tips to help you leave an effective voicemail so your leads will pick up the phone and call you back:

1. Create a list of bullet points that you know you want to cover. Print it out and keep a copy in your wallet or purse, in your car, and at your home. Bullets, not a script. It’s important to sound authentic, not like a call center.

2. Give them a good reason to want to do business with you. Can you save them money and/or time? Is your customer service exceptional? Make that part of your spiel.

3. Be sure to include your contact info.

4. Practice your message. Try it at different times and locations—during your kid’s ballgame, in the parking lot at the grocery store, at a busy restaurant.

5. Practice saying your potential customer’s name before you call. Ron doesn’t want to be called Rob, and Potter isn’t Porter. If you can’t figure out how to say a last name, acknowledge that. Don’t mangle it.

6. Enunciate. If you’re a fast-talker, slow it down.

7. What if someone actually picks up the phone? Carry what you need to take notes, whether that’s pen and paper or a handy electronic device. Just be sure if it’s the latter, you can still speak without losing audio clarity.

8. Most importantly, be sincere.

When it comes down to it, the best “line” you can deliver won’t be a line at all. The goal is a long-term relationship and a chance to impress their family and friends. Bringing your “A game” to the first interaction can make all the difference to your future.

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