July 16, 2018

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The Best Voice Mail Message, Ever

Rats. I mean, Hooray! I got his voice mail!

Sometimes it seems that the technology which was designed to improve our communication continues to build layer after layer of impenetrable walls between us and the people we need to reach. So instead of looking at voice mail as a hindrance, look at it as a direct mail advertisement with a one hundred percent open rate. One hundred percent of the voice mail messages you leave will be heard by the people you want to reach. Itís up to you to come up with a way to get them to take action and call you back.

The type of message you leave is dependent upon the type of person you are trying to reach. For prospective clients, your sales message is fruitless if itís just a pitch and doesnít offer anything of value. For prospective candidates, if you tell them you are a recruiter and that you have a great opportunity, theyíll probably roll their eyes and delete your message, just like they did with the five other identical messages left for them this week from your competitors.

Iíve seen different variations of getting candidates to call back. The most ridiculous is the silly trick of hanging up before you tell them why youíre calling. My name is Harry the Happy Headhunter, my number is 555-5555 and I need to talk to you about..(click!) At first it might seem that weíve just discovered a new way to get people to call back. But what if they donít? What if theyíve already had that trick used on them before? Itís an overused and trite sales trick that dates back to the origination of voice mail. If you do this then you canít ever leave another message for them. Youíve lost them and your credibility with them, forever.

Last week, I achieved one hundred percent success in getting call-backs from candidates when I left this message: "Joe, my name is Scott Love, my phone number is 828 225 7700 and I need to talk with you about Gina Smith. Please call today. Iíll be available between three and five this afternoon. If my assistant tells you Iím on the phone, please ask her to interrupt me so I can take your call. My number is 828 225 7700."

Thatís it. Who is Gina Smith? She is someone that worked for me two years ago that already talked with this candidate. Go through your database and look for candidates who have already been engaged in conversations by recruiters in your office who are no longer employed by your firm.

When the candidate calls back, you can say, "Iím glad you returned my call, Jim. You had spoken with Gina Smith two years ago. Sheís no longer employed by our firm. I work for a company named (your company name). Our firm accelerates the careers of people in the widget industry, we do executive search. When you spoke with Gina it didnít seem like the time was right for you to consider making a move, so I wanted to touch base with you, Jim, to see if you are open to hearing about other opportunities. Is that something you are open to right now?"

And you take the call from there. You are using that other personís previous conversation to open up a dialogue with them. It doesnít matter whether or not they remember the other recruiter. Youíve got them on the phone without being duplicitous. Itís a legitimate way to get people to take action, to get them on the phone with you, and to put them in your process.

- Scott Love

Copyright © 2008 Scott Love

Scott Love improves recruiter performance by getting them to think at a higher level and showing them a simple step-by-step system that anyone can duplicate. Over 2,000 search firms have invested in his training products, seminars, videos, books and consulting. Visit his website for free videos, training tools and articles at