If truth be told, bankers don’t leave good voicemails to potential prospects. We have heard thousands and have received hundreds and they lack the basic elements of a good voicemail. It is not the banker’s fault because the art of voicemail is rarely taught. That is a shame as a good voicemail can make a difference. A good calling officer carves out at least 2-4 hours per day to prospect and can make 20 cold/warm calls during that time. Usually, only 2 prospects out of 20 will answer a call, leaving 18 on the receiving end of a voicemail. Of those, usually only 1 will return a call. Today, we cover a technique we use to boost that effectiveness more than three-fold.
Your First Voicemail To A Cold Or Just Slightly Warm Prospect
A good business development voicemail is short, simple and clear on the value proposition for your call plus it has a call-to- action. You should, of course, give your name, bank, reason for the call, pain that the potential customer could be feeling and benefit of using your bank. While there are obviously many ways to leave a quality voicemail series, here is just one tested example:
This is John from CenterState Bank and I wanted to see if we can help refinance your existing loan as we believe we can not only increase your cash flow, but I know you will find our service amazing. If you can give me a call back at xxx-xxxx, I can tell you how your personal banker can do 3 things that no other bank can do. I will follow up with an email for your convenience.
This voicemail takes less than 20 seconds and accomplishes the following:
- It emphasizes service over price – likely your main value proposition and mission
- It ask for a call back and gives the receiver a reason to take that action
- It creates mystery as hopefully the receiver will not only want to save money, but will want to find out what are the 3 things that only your bank can do. Of course, when they call back, you should have 3 material things that your bank can deliver that your competition cannot. Maybe it’s the ability to add consultative value, your network of community leaders or your speedy loan closing times. Whatever it is, it should be something beyond personal service.
- Email follow up – This is key as most potential customers would like to respond, but don’t want to take time out of their day to call you back. By following up with an email, you not only create another touchpoint, but reduce the friction for a return call.
Don’t Give Up
The ironic part when it comes to bank selling is that while banks portray themselves as stable and consistent in the community they are anything but when it comes to a calling effort. The average bank customer takes 20 touches (calls, emails, meetings, etc.) to become a customer yet almost calling officers give up after 3 and almost 20% never make a second attempt.
While there is no set rule in how many times you call a prospect in a short period of time, we can all agree that it is at least two and more likely closer to 5. The reality is that a good bank calling officer never gives up from calling a prospect and just reprioritizes depending on the current workload, potential customer response (or lack of) and available time.
Luckily, if you are either sales astute or are a reader of this blog, you have a step-by-step, systematic calling effort (covered at our upcoming Ritz-Carlton “Wow Lending” workshop HERE) that is proven to bring in customers to that bank. If that is you, then you know that most of your success is going to take place on the second call or voicemail.
Potential customers are likely too busy to grab your first call, but you increase your odds with the second call. For this second call, you vary the time and call before 9am hoping to catch the prospect in or after 4pm to catch them in a quiet moment. This varied calling helps increase the odds of getting through.
However, if you don’t get through, you don’t despair as you also know that with your famous second voicemail, the probability of getting a response goes up and not down as it would for an untrained bank calling officer. Now, you take out your secret weapon.
Your Famous Second Voicemail
While it would be fantastic if each bank prospect called you back, the reality is that few do which is why you need to bring both art and science together for this second voicemail. Here, there are two things to accomplish: 1) Link this second voicemail to the first to send the message you are making and effort and that you are not about to give up, and, 2) you have something new to motivate them to call back.
Thus, you start off with the basics:
This is John at CenterState Bank again. I left a voicemail last week regarding how we helped refinance ABC company take advantage of low rates and purchase their building in order to lower their monthly payment and increase their cash flow.
Different than the first, you now provide social validation by referencing another business or maybe even a competitor while articulating a benefit and the practical advantage to the potential customer. You then provide the catalytic carrot:
I would also like to see if you would qualify for (our lowest rate/lowest fees/best terms).This will take just 5 minutes. To schedule this, you can see my schedule and easily book the call here: [add link].
At a time convenient for you, I will give you a call back and show you how we can help further your legacy.
Thank you and we look forward to showing you our amazing service.
Now we have done a couple more things. The social validation is important as it reduces the hurdle for acceptance. The carrot of “seeing if they could qualify” stokes their competitive drive and the offer of delivering the best terms is enticing. Further. using the scheduling software (We use ScheduleOnce) increases appointments by 10%. If you don’t use a scheduling application, then you have to go back and forth on setting a time and date and the likelihood decreases of actually getting to the call because of the complication.
Increase Your Net Income
While there are many ways to increase your net income, becoming more effective at sales generates more revenue, drops your acquisition costs and leverages your fixed costs to a greater extent. While there are many ways to become more effective, leaving a strategic voicemail is an easy one to learn and put into practice. The next time your business development teams get together, have half try this completion template and test it for yourself. You will be surprised on how effective it is.
Submitted by Chris Nichols on March 15, 2016