Archive for January, 2011

Breaking Through the Clutter — Voice Mail Tips

Friday, January 28th, 2011

by Ginny Speaks ginnyspeaks

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a rep say “I left them several messages, but they aren’t calling me back.”

Leaving an effective voice mail is an acquired skill that should be taken seriously, perfected and practiced often…not just on clients!

When I was a sales manager I received tons of calls each week from people trying to sell me goods or services.  Most of the time, I could tell in the first 15 seconds if I was going to call them back.  How do you become the one that get’s a call back?  BREAK THROUGH THE CLUTTER!   Make yourself stand out from the competition with some simple and easy steps.

Prepare for the Call - Take 2-3 minutes and write out what you want to say based on the tips below.  Say it out loud to yourself before you call the client.Some people don’t like scripts, so write bullet points and use your own style.

Don’t Sell on the Voice Mail – Voice mail should be used as a prelude giving just enough information to get a call back.   Hit the high points:

  • Who are you? Hello, My name is Ginny calling from ________________.
  • Confirm decision-maker. I was given your name as the VP of Marketing for _______.
  • Credibility Statement. Show that you’ve done your homework before you call.  “I read an article about the launch of _____… or, …in speaking to John at ________,  he shared with me that Boston was a focus market”
  • What can you do for the client? In today’s world, everyone has to tie a spend back to ROI.  Whether it’s cars or soda, use their language. Try something like this, “I’d like to talk to you about driving traffic to dealers….creating a program to drive retail pull through…drive sales in key dealers.”
  • How do they get in touch with you? TIP:  Leave your name and number at the beginning of the message and repeat again at the end.

Keep it Brief – Time yourself to see how long your message is to the client.  As a good rule, 30 seconds is plenty.

The best messages are clear and concise and speak the decision maker’s language.  Keep in mind that the person you are calling does not care about what you want to sell or what the deal of the day is or what your station package is.

The client wants to work with someone that is interested in helping his/her business grow by understanding his/her challenges and objectives

A great way to start a dialogue with a client is to also send a follow up email immediately after you leave a voicemail and tell the client you will be doing so.  Many people are willing to commit to an initial conversation via email vs. on the phone.  But be cautious, you want to take the conversation live after the initial contact.

So, the challenge … draft your personal script using key elements to a voicemail outlined above and then dial away.  I look forward to hearing your call back success stories!

Banking on New Revenue in Financial Services for 2011

Friday, January 14th, 2011

by Amber Brown

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it. – Bob Hope

This quote seems to sum up the last couple of years in the banking and financial services business.   Since the financial meltdown of 2008, financial institutions have been struggling to find the right post-crisis recover strategy in light of new government regulations.  The last couple of years have not seen big financial advertising, but remember financial institutions are not only in the business of keeping your money…but MAKING MONEY.  As consumers become more comfortable with the economy, financial institutions are looking to boost revenues.  This could be a good year for business development with financial institutions so keep your eyes on these trends in your market:

  • Say Goodbye to Free Checking – Most larger banks began making broad changes to fees in 2010. The struggle for most banks will be to get this right, while not upsetting consumers.  Many consumers may shop other types of financial institutions.  Credit Unions, Insurance Companies and traditional investment firms may prove to be new options for “over-fee’d” consumers.
  • Look for new product offerings - The last financial meltdown of the 80′s produced a dramatic overhaul in the mortgage business with a resulting new portfolio of mortgage product offerings.  Ironically, many of these products produced the last crisis.  Regardless, from adversity comes opportunity.  Look for a new wave of product offerings to capture consumer dollars.
  • Acquire right customers - Now more then ever, financial institutions are focused on finding those customers with which they can build a long term relationship.   For example, it does no good to acquire a customer with a $100 savings account loaded with a lucrative incentive if the consumer takes the incentive and never makes another deposit.  Many banks are using technology to evaluate product offerings to help grow business with existing customers that offer potential for opening the right types of accounts.  How can you help introduce your customers, listeners, viewers, readers, etc.?
  • Focus on customer experience - Many financial institutions have spent heavily on improving the consumer interaction with the bank as a retention tool.  This includes employing staff at the branch level that can sell a wide range of products and services, which are recommended during routine banking transactions.    Many financial institutions are investing in becoming the Financial Educator to consumers.
  • Focus on local appeal - Some of the biggest winners over the last couple of years have been smaller regional banks and credit unions.   This is an area where we’ve seen continued spending…even in the down economy.  Smaller players can focus on the specific dynamics of their market.  They often tend to be more visible at the grassroots level making them great partners with media.

Take the time to find the regional decision-makers for your market.  Common titles include Regional Vice President, State President, Consumer/Retail Banking VP.  Don’t overlook those decision-makers that focus on Small Businesses.

So while money may have been scarce the last few years, 2011 may be the year to invest your time in finding your share!