I Don’t Leave Voice Messages

by Jacques Werth

A student once asked me about leaving voice mail messages when prospecting, and this is how I answered.  You can listen to the recording of my answer, or read it below.

I called one company down in St. Louis who I really wanted to do business with, and I put them on my own prospecting list.  I called six times and I talked to the assistant to the vice president I wanted to talk to, and she kept saying “I can’t take a message, I’ll give you his voice mail.”

I said, “I don’t leave voice mail messages.”

She said, “Well that’s too bad, because I can’t take a message.”

The seventh time I called, I called at lunchtime.  I figured out she goes to lunch from one to two, so I called at 1:15, and somebody else answered the phone.  And I gave her my prospecting offer, and she said only Joe “so and so” can give you an answer to that question.

I said, “Well don’t give me his voice mail”, so she said “Why not?”

I said, “I don’t leave voice mail messages because they mainly annoy people.”

And she laughed and she said, “You’re right.  I’ll tell you what I’ll do.  If you’re willing to call here after six o’clock, between six and seven, I’ll give you his private line and you’ll be able to reach him then.”

So I said ok and she gave me his private number.  And I said, “Let me ask you why are you giving me his private number?”

And she says, “Well I know he wants what you have to offer.”

I said, “Why am I calling him between six and seven?”

She said, “Joe’s a workaholic.  He doesn’t leave here until eight or nine o’clock at night.  And that’s the only time he’ll pick up his phone.”

So I said, “Is it ok if I tell him you gave me the number?”

She said, “I wouldn’t give it to you if it wasn’t ok.”

This is a short piece that is taken from a recording of a teleseminar workshop on “Selling Financial Services”.  We sell the complete recording on the Products page of our website.


Degrees of Manipulation

Is it manipulation, or not?  Where is the dividing line?

It’s sort of like speeding.  No matter how fast you are going, you’re not speeding, but the guy going faster than you is.  Of course, anyone driving slower than you would say that you are speeding.

Same with manipulation.  Most salespeople will tell you that what they do is not manipulation.  They don’t cross that line, although others do.  In their eyes, it’s just influence and persuasion, a subtle nudge here and there, but not manipulation.  What they do is only manipulation in the eyes of someone who does it less.

Most salespeople know that pushing too hard is bad for business.  The question is, how little can you push, and still make sales?


%d bloggers like this: