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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Get Your Calls Returned Using Google Talk And The Voicemail Coach

Back in 2006 I had the good fortune of working with a small VoIP startup for about a year in addition to my sales and training work with the Dale Carnegie Franchise in Ohio and Indiana. The time spent with this group was insightful in a number of ways. But particularly exciting was this VoIP technology and what it allowed its owner to do with their calls.

Why VoIP Is Not A Sales Person's Best Friend

By digitizing and streaming a voice call over a packet network (that’s techno-geek for voice calls over the Internet), the end user had a lot more control over how they handled incoming calls. One of the points that we made with our system was the fact that small companies could now have a rich feature set that was formerly only available to large companies that had the bucks to pay for an enterprise level phone switch (or PBX).

Now, a small one man shop or entrepreneur could decide how an incoming call should be routed before it got anywhere near the intended recipient. You can already see how this would be devastating to sales reps.

For example, if I know the number of one of my important clients, I can have that call automatically forwarded to my cell phone and my home phone at the same time. On the other hand, if I know the incoming number of a particularly pesky sales rep, I can simply set a rule to automatically forward the call to my voicemail, to human resources, or even to my lawyer.

For a manager, director or the president of an organization trying to guard against wasting time, this is a Godsend. For a sales rep trying to break into an organization, however, it’s a devastating piece of technology.

The One Main Concern That Sales People Have In This Economy

I do some writing for the sales and business portal, Manta.com and continue to do sales and coaching with Dale Carnegie Training. We get lots of questions from sales people regarding the sales process and in particular, opening the sales call. In providing answers to these questions, I’ve seen a pattern emerge that is being exacerbated by the sluggish economy.

Sales people are looking for new ways to engage prospects and clients. They want to know how to get to the right people and they want to know how to engage the people that are making the decisions. And they want to know how to use the messaging system to get to the right person and not buried in a deep voicemail vault.

It’s ironic because in our Leadership and Management programs, our participants want exactly the opposite. They want to know how to protect more of their time and remove the idle distractions, i.e. sales people, that occur throughout the day. And the new business class VoIP systems give them the ability to do exactly that.

So as sales people, we have a very small and ever shrinking window and a very limited opportunity to get our prospects attention, make a favorable impression and be viewed as a resource instead of a drain. So that initial call, regardless if it’s a cold call or a call following up on a lead, has to get their attention, give them something of value and has to get them ready to expect our call when we call back.

As I’ve said, I’ve answered quite a few questions on leaving voicemails and making cold calls on the Manta.com message boards. But there is a big difference between having someone write a response to a general question, and coaching their actual voicemails.

It’s a process we started doing back almost a decade ago here at Dale Carnegie Training in Ohio with our very first, archaic voicemail system. With the advent of Google talk, this coaching process can now be greatly enhanced.

VoiceMail Coaching Using Google Talk

So here is the deal.

Use your Google account and the Google Talk client to send a chat connection request to voicemailcoach@salesittech-dot-com (uh, go ahead and replace the "-dot-com" with the appropriate ".com").

Once your invitation has been accepted, you can use your headset and your laptop to send The Voicemail Coach the same type of voicemail that you would typically leave your prospects. I’ll give it a listen, make some recommendations and then get them to you either by voice or email.

Naturally, you will need to have the Google Talk Client installed and a Google account in order to receive and send voicemails through the Google network. And you can use the same headset that you use for Skype or to run your Webinars.

If you haven’t yet tried Google Talk and you don’t have the client, you can get technical instructions on installing the Google Talk Client here at this post on SalesITTech.

In this age of economic contraction, advancing technology and shifting markets, sales people need to take advantage of every learning resource possible in order to better develop the skills and abilities that allows them to take advantage of every available opportunity.

Connect with The Voicemail Coach immediately and let’s see if we can convert more of those prospects into viable business clients today.

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