The ultimate guide to leaving a voice mail for apparel prospects. Let's see it in action. For every type of garment export business.
O.k. let’s be honest: "Do you read all your emails?"
Well, I don’t.
But what I always and in 100% of all cases do is:
I always listen to voice mails on my phone.
How about you?
I don't know about you, here's what I dislike about voice mails I get
Yep. When I don’t get contact information – these messages get automatically deleted.
And looooong messages – these drive me crazy.
Or when the message is just not clear, weird, tiresome, and irritating.
That said if I don’t understand the name and have to listen several times to make out name and number.
Leaving a voicemail or not?
A voice message is a much more personal way to reach out than something in writing. Reaching out to potential customers by phone can be an effective way to connect. And powerful if you do it right.
Most of us know that ending up in voice mail is often a reality. It can discourage you when you don't get a returned call. We have as little as one-tenth of a second to make a good impression.
Or put simply:
First impressions are sticky.
Therefore, we want to do everything to avoid those busy buyers don't just listen for a few seconds and then press the delete button.
Attention spans are short.
It takes persistence and many touches to get sales engagement.
That’s where a simple framework comes in.
When you prepare, you boost confidence in your work knowing that it’s making a great first impression – long before your client ever met you in person.
Let's demonstrate that you've put some thought into the discussion you want to have.
We'll get to how exactly you can do this.
Why voicemail is often a slower path to sales than it should be
Did you ever experience this: you call a prospect for a conversation and get straight surprised to the voicemail? You know well the matter you like to discuss. In your mind, it was supposed to be a conversation with two people. Now you need to craft in milliseconds a mini version of what is the most important content you planned to talk about.
Should you think in advance that this can happen and have a guideline for this eventuality?
In short, yes.
No stumble with ehhhm and ahhhm and hmmm.
I realize that is so much easier said than done.
This is why I tell you I left several less-than-perfect voicemails. (And I’m getting comfortable being vulnerable.)
Breaking down the emotions your prospective garment buyer has
Let’s think for a sec what does the apparel buyer you’re calling is wondering.
Because here's the thing:
We hear a voice. We form a first impression. That's just human.
While we can take in a lot of information with a wink of the eye we're looking to navigate quickly.
Though this is perhaps obvious, we're looking for the easy button.
Interestingly, studies found what people exactly think in this situation.
Let's start with the quick essentials.
Buyers want to know:
Who is this?
What does the caller want from me?
What do I get here? Is it for my benefit?
Could it be potentially dangerous?
What are the caller's contact details?
By understanding what they really want to know:
Sure. Just give them what they want.
It'll improve the chances of success.
Remember good first impression with your voicemail = improved chances for success.
How to ensure your voicemail is making the right first impression
7 actionable points to double the likelihood to get a callback.
Now assuming you’re interested in making a stellar impression, here’s a breakdown of what to do. As a former sales agent to Indian knitwear exporter, I relentlessly tested what works faster. And since then, I'm testing what gets customers faster for my clients.
1. Define your goal
In the smart words of Antoine de Saint Exupery: "A goal without a plan is just a wish"
Similarly, if you're not crystal clear what is you're hoping for the buyer to do now, it's unlikely that you'll achieve the results you're looking for. You see, you can only convince when you know where you’re heading. In this context think about the transformation you like to achieve.
2. Run an energy test
What is your energy level like? How do you feel? Confident, bright, calm, positive, concentrated?
Nervous, distracted, puzzled, impatient?
Do you have a smile on your face?
Test your energy in this special moment before you start to reach out so that it's not distracting you from your goal.
Don't get me wrong. This step takes 5 seconds to complete.
Don't skip it.
Then it makes you react. Makes you feel something.
3. Identify yourself
That's an easy one. Be professional and transparent. Tell your name and company name first. Clearly. Without hesitation. This is only required if you're a fast talker.
Your gut will mislead you to speed through the introduction part. Hold your horses here. I've found that even pausing makes sense. It increases the perceived authority.
And more important: it helps to let the buyer think free of pressure.
4. Tell your number
Yap. I say, tell your telephone number. At best say it slowly and clearly. If the buyer can't write your number down effortlessly, you've given them a perfect reason not to call back.
5. Reason for your call
Inform why you called – clearly articulate your intentions.
Express precise, concise, and specific.
Provide a crisp summary.
I've found that leaving a vague message will almost guarantee that you will not get a returned phone call.
My opinion: relationships are built on trust, so don't try to trick somebody.
Bottom line: Keep it real.
6. Reason why they should call you back
You will get a call back when there’s something he/she wants from you.
Or is curious.
Arguably a buyers’ time is one of their biggest assets.
This person doesn't know you yet. So you better give him/her a well-shaped reason that they decide to call you back. There are a couple of different topics you can talk about.
Create a unique sales hook.
Like a hot-selling article, a new solution for a particular problem, new developments, a special deal, etc. Can you tease this thing, make them curious?
You are not in the business of selling your garments or services around garments.
You are in the business of providing a solution to someone's problem.
Do this in the easiest and quickest way to get your buyer to call you back. Give a compelling reason that favors your prospective buyers.
I'm a firm believer that specific is beneficial. Receiving no response is a signal to go back to the hook and try something different for the next buyer. If you keep it too broad the value will not hit home.
I'm feeling a bit like a broken record at this point, but here goes: admit that you don't know yet if this is really what your prospects needs, likes and what would help him/her.
Do you give them an "out"?
Your potential customer feels less natural resistance due to less pressure.
Finally, the better you communicate the value of your promise, the more sales you’re likely to make.
7. Ending your voice mail
It's time for a quick greeting, again repeat your name and tell your phone number again. And again.
It might be too quick for them to note it down. Repeating your phone number twice makes it easy for the buyer.
When I first tried this technique, it felt a bit strange to repeat my number three times in total. One time at the beginning and two times in the end.
What I find?
I then got a call in my mailbox from a person who repeated his number multiple times. Sure, you have the number on the screen - still it's convenient.
This supports my recommendation.
- Give yourself permission to call again. If they call you back the better. However, if they don't you can call again. That's okay. In today’s garment export market, if your prospect doesn’t know who you are, you’re not going to have much luck with leaving them a voicemail and actually hearing back from them. At this point in your journey, they're not yet convinced. But this way you keep the door open to reach out again. And convince down the road.
- With your voicemail, you've already started building familiarity and warming them up for your next call.
- Try to avoid asking the person to call you back at a certain time. Buyers are incredibly busy. This can provide a perfect excuse to ignore your call.
- Keep it short, suggest up to 20 seconds maximum.
- Conversational and personal. Simple. You are one person. You talk to one person. About one promise. That's the whole thing.
- Not particular on a Friday evening. It's likely you know your prospect's time zone. Quiz time: I get a call 4:30 am in the night on my mobile. If you guessed I delete this number immediately the next morning, you're a winner, winner, chicken dinner. Why should I engage with someone who's not knowing my time zone?
- Also, remember to tell the country code and area code of your phone number. Never assume everybody knows.
But here's where things get tricky...
Something which is dear to my heart, and I keep saying to my course clients.
Does it make you nervous, the idea of getting no callback?
That part shouldn't make you nervous.
All it means is that they didn't call back.
It's possible that you made a great first impression so they're actively waiting for your next call.
Waiting for you to call.
I have interviewed 150 apparel buyers with the result that 30% of buyers wait to hear back from you even if they are 70% interested.
You are doing fine.
Use this voice mail template to reach out to apparel retailers, garment importers, fashion brands, and land your next opportunity.
When crafting your voice mail, remember to:
- Do your research
- Dig around until you find the decision-maker so you can personalize the greeting
- Be unique, stand out, and show what you can offer them and their customers
- Be thoughtful and thorough
I created a FREE RESOURCE for you with 5 word-for-word voicemail scripts
Oh and ideally, you should have a few scripts handy to guide you through the calls. So that I created 5 scripts.
Try these, you’ll like them.
You'll be giving yourself the best chances to get your prospecting voicemails returned.
"5 proven templates for leaving voice mails for your prospects (word-for-word script). Plus bonus tips" Download here.
You can start using today to separate yourself from the other 95% of voice mails that get ignored, deleted, and never returned.
To clarify, if you only remember two nuggets from this blog post, it’s
1. to overcommunicate contact info: your name, company, phone number.
2. The best voicemail message you can leave is one with a specific purpose that addresses the needs of your prospect and offers them a solution that is worth them taking the time to call you back to learn more about. Now, they have you in their ears and seeping into their brain.
Love to hear your ideas and thoughts on this topic of leaving voice mail.
What did you experience works out for you?
If you have a friend, a co-worker who is in the same field and can benefit from this article – please share.
PS This article comes with a sweet free resource you get right away.
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