September 5, 2008

How to prevent hangups

I don't pick up my landline when it rings. 99% of the time, it's a recorded message from a telemarketer.

Here's a message I received yesterday:

"This message is from such-and-such association. Did you know that last..." Delete.

Maybe the recording was going to say, "Last year in California there were 82 train collisions resulting in fatalities." But I'll never know because there was nothing interesting up front to capture my attention. If you're going to leave a recorded message on strangers' voice mail, you need to try a little harder.

Much like the opening in a presentation, an immediate and engaging statement might capture the audience's attention.

What if the message had started out, not with an introduction of the group, but instead, "12,000 people were killed nationwide at train crossings in 1972. By 2006, that number had dropped 76% to under 3,000, thanks to Operation Lifesaver. Find out how you can help get that number down to zero by calling this number."

I still can't say I would have picked up the phone, but they would have had a fighting chance. (The message wasn't from Operation Lifesaver, by the way. I don't remember the name. Boring message, no retention!)

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

Matthew Cornell said...

Good tips. I found additional helpful phone material in Jill Konrath's Selling to Big Companies - I admit calling - even "warm" calls - is my current personal challenge.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks, Matt. I'll check it out.

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