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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

I was reading the other day an article on LinkedIn about how if you hire this guy, he will craft you an amazing voice mail, that will not only allow you to articulate your value proposition, but will get people to return your calls. (NB: I write calls in the plural as he wrote calls in the plural, versus, a call in the single.)

So let me get this straight there are people that actually return cold call voice mails? For real?

So let’s set the record straight, I don’t return voice mails. I’ll be honest, that I get very few cold calls nowadays, partly because I block everybody that calls me and partly as GDPR legislation means you cannot hold my details in the first place. Making cold calling pretty irrelevant.

But for the sakes of argument, (and this blog) I do get a cold call, would I return a voice mail? No, of course not. Nobody gets up in the morning and says “today I want to talk to an aggressive sales person, who will take me through a manipulative script so I am tricked into buying something I don’t want”. After all, isn’t the internet there to enable you to search for products and services in “sales avoidance” mode?

Why would I want to talk with a manipulative salesperson who will try and sell me something I don’t want and don’t need? But then I got thinking.

I get emails from people in Africa that have a fortune they need to smuggle out of the country and people obviously reply to them, otherwise they would stop. So there must be gullible people that thinking returning voice mails must be some sort of civic duty or something.

Or maybe it’s just people within the “bubble” of sales and marketing. I was in a meeting with a Marketing Director today and she said she clicked on banner ads. But then she only admitted, she did this for professional reasons. She followed up the statement by saying, of course, nobody clicks on banner ads anymore.

I wonder, therefore, that maybe it’s just sales people who have a professional interest that return these calls. Or vested interests who have (as this “sales guru” did) a reason to make you want to think that leaving voice mails generate you business, in fact cold calling has some amazing output in today’s internet, social media and mobile powered world.

Here are 5 reasons why leaving voice mails are a waste of time:-

  1. I’m not interested in your products and services, if I was I would look them up on social.
  2. Interrupting me, in fact interrupting anymore in today’s hyper fast world will only lead you to piss them off. We are all busy and interrupting me and then broadcasting me your message does just that, pisses me off.
  3. Leaving me a voice mail as part of your cold calling allows me to realise our desperate your company has become. We all know why you are cold calling, it’s because you have no leads and meetings. And you decide to broadcast that your company is a loser to everybody. Totally bizarre.
  4. Legislation such as GDPR means that you are no longer able to hold by data to call me unless you have good reason to do this. I can then ask (and i will) for my right to remain forgotten. If you call me again I will report you to the ICO and expect them to enforce 4% of turnover fines. This is the same wherever you are in the world. GDPR is enforceable (if you call me as I reside in Europe) globally.
  5. Technology is such that standard iPhone functionality means I can and will block you.

I get that a sales guru that teaches you how to leave great voice mails won’t make a living, but maybe, just maybe, their time in sales is up?

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