Text Messages, Voice Mails And Flash Drives – Welcome To The New E-Discovery

Most companies will now be required to retain and produce a wider range of electronic data because of the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which were approved on December 1, 2006. The types of electronically stored information that companies could be required to produce in a lawsuit range from docs, e-mails, voice mails, text messages and just about any digital information saved on a company’s server, e-mail database or employee’s desktop.

IT departments, as well as corporate counsel, are not very well prepared for these changes. A recent study by Deloitte Financial Advisory Services in November 2006 found that nearly 70% of the respondents said they would require more training on their own corporate record retention policies and procedures. The respondents included CFOs, tax directors, finance directors, controllers and corporate counsel.

One way to reduce a company’s risk is to implement an IT audit system. Employees tend to install additional programs to their computers often without the IT department’s knowledge or approval. Instant messenger (IM) programs for example are readily available and most employees use these types of quick applications to chat with other employees as well as individuals outside of work. IMs are considered ‘faster’ than e-mail, but nonetheless is data being sent to and from somebody.

These ‘text’ messages are where companies can get in trouble. While most e-mail servers have traceable logs and backups, most employee desktop computers are not managed by the IT department and can have those features disabled. It is entirely possible for an employee (or employees) to have a lengthy conversation via text messages totally bypassing the company’s e-mail server where text messages are expected to occur.

Voice mails and Flash drives are also quick methods to share information. Faxes can be sent to voice mail boxes and flash drives are a quick way to share files between computers not connected via a network.

It is these types of situations that a company can find itself in trouble when it comes to litigation. Companies should evaluate their network to find other such areas that may need attention and discuss their options on saving the data.

Hello! Create a Customer-Friendly Voice Mail Greeting

Who answers your business phone when you’re not in the office? Most home-based business owners use an answering machine or voice messaging system. But it’s not enough to just make sure the phone gets picked up when you’re not there; the greeting your callers hear says more about you than just “leave a message.”

That announcement may be the first contact someone has with you, and if you don’t sound professional, the caller may not leave a message or may not call back.

It’s not necessary to sound like you’re a major corporation, but it is important to sound like you’re a serious, legitimate operation. Use these tips to create an effective voice mail greeting:

– Write a script. Don’t try to record off the top of your head. Write a script that covers all the points you want to make in a concise format. Practice it so you can record without any awkward pauses or stumbles.

– Be friendly, but avoid being cute. Speak in a warm, friendly voice that lets your personality show through, but don’t try to be cute or funny-it’s not professional, and it could easily backfire.

– Avoid the obvious. It’s not necessary to say things like “I’m away from my desk” or “I’m out of the office”-callers know that because you didn’t answer the phone. Ditto with statements like “Your call is important to me”-callers know they’re hearing a recording that you’ve made for everyone, so don’t waste their time with generic fluff.

– Change your message frequently. People with flexible schedules may even change their announcement daily so the information is always current and accurate.

– Let callers know when you’ll be available. If you won’t be able to return calls for several hours, or until the next day, say so in your announcement so people aren’t left wondering when they’ll hear from you.

– Tell callers how to skip the message. If your system has the feature that allows callers to bypass the greeting by pressing * or #, include that in your announcement.

– Include your fax number and website or e-mail address. Some callers may just want to send you a fax or an e-mail; if your greeting tells them how to do it, you won’t need to call them back.

– Provide alternate contact information. If you carry a pager or a cell phone and don’t mind taking calls while you’re out of the office, include that number in your greeting. An alternative is a system that automatically pages you when someone leaves a message, so you can quickly decide how soon to return the call.

– Include seasonal messages. Between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, start your greeting with “Happy holidays.” For greetings that indicate you’re closed for long weekends such as Memorial Day or Labor Day, end with a wish for a safe and happy holiday.

Here’s a sample script:”This is Joe Smith. To bypass this announcement and leave a message, press # and begin speaking at the tone. Please leave your name, telephone number, the best time to reach you, and a brief message, and I will return your call within three hours. If you need to send a fax, that number is 888-123-4567. Or please visit my website at www-dot-websitename-dot-com for more information or to send me an e-mail. Have a great day!”

Cold Calling – How to Get Your Voice Mails Returned!

One of the most frequent question I get asked by salespeople and business owners is how many voice mails should I leave and at what frequency?

1) My first rule on how to get your voice mail returned – is to leave one! If you are not leaving voice mails you are really doing yourself a disservice!

2) As far as frequency goes I would say every 3-5 days is enough to ensure that you look “serious” without looking like a “stalker”.

So let’s get in to the “meat” of the blog, would you like to meet a lot of new and interesting people?

If cold calling and prospecting for new business is fairly critical to your success as a company and/or as a salesperson, then I hope so! Yet, I work with a lot of salespeople and as important as it is, some salespeople would do just about anything rather than cold call. Some of my best friends and business associates I have met through cold calling. Think about it, most of your friends were strangers at one point or another.

Therefore, the first step in having success at cold calling is your attitude.

Think of cold calling and prospecting for new business as a way to make new friends.

Secondly, the reality of today’s very competitive marketplace is that cold calling can be a very frustrating experience if you don’t have a strong pitch or a compelling message. That’s why many salespeople grow complacent or reluctant to prospect for new business by cold calling.

Your cold calling strategy should be part and parcel of an entire prospecting strategy, a strategy that places you as “top of mind” with your prospects and also serves to educate your prospects as to why you would be the person to do business with in your industry. Think of it as planting seeds.

Many sales people I work with express the frustration of having to deal with voice mail and I often get asked, “What is the secret of leaving a voice mail that gets returned?”

So let’s look at a sample voice mail.

“Hello, (pause) my name is Bob, I work for Lumin’s Print Shop. I’m just calling to see if you would like some information on our latest promotion this month. If you would like some information on how we can help you I look forward to hearing back from you. My number is (555) 555-55553

Can you see the mistakes Bob made? Before moving along to the next section – why don’t you reread Bob’s voice mail and count how many errors you think he has made.

“Hello” – The goal of a voice mail is “to get a person to call you back” Voice mails should be personable and always begin with the use of the person’s name.

The correct way – “Hello, Dan…”

(pause) – One of the key tools in ensuring your success with cold calling, is your CONFIDENCE. You should be practicing what you are going to say and how you are going to say it prior to making your call to ensure that you have a smooth delivery.

“My name is Bob” – Hi, my name is… sounds like something you would hear at a speed dating event or at a group therapy session. You want to project an image of position and status. In our society, perception is very important.

The correct way – “Hello, Dan. This is Bob Simons… “

“My name is Bob” actually counts as 2 – because Bob didn’t leave his last name. “Bob” or “Susan” is found on the name tag of your bank teller or the gentleman who bags your groceries at the local supermarket. “Bob” or “Susan” is NOT the “go to guy” who is your peer in business.

“I work for…” This is another way for Bob to imply to his prospect that Bob just isn’t that important. Bob is just another employee or worse just another “salesperson”.

The correct way – “Hello, Dan. This is Bob Simons from Lumin’s Print Shop…”

Or “Hello, Dan. This is Bob Simons of ….”

“I’m just calling….” – Implies that the call is casual. That there is no real reason to return the call.

“…If you would like some information on our latest promotion this month. If you would like some information on how …” – I think Bob got so nervous he repeated himself.

“My number is (555) 555-5555” – ALWAYS leave your phone number twice. Most people have 3, 4, 6, 8 or more voice mails. Their busy and generally hate to have to replay their voice mails to write down your phone number. Make it easy for them!

The correct way – “Hello, Dan. This is Bob Simons from Lumin’s Print Shop. If you would like some information on our latest promotion this month. I look forward to hearing back from you. You can reach me at (555) 555-5555. That’s Bob Simons at (555) 555-5555.”

No salutation at the end. People like the personal touch. It’s important that you are courteous and mindful of proper business etiquette.

The correct way – “Hello, Dan. This is Bob Simons from Lumin’s Print Shop. If you would like some information on our latest promotion this month. I look forward to hearing back from you. You can reach me at (555) 555-5555. That’s Bob Simons at (555) 555-5555. Thanks Dan.”

So how many mistakes did you find? Did you expect to find 9?

Bob actually made 10 mistakes and the last one is absolutely crucial to getting your voice mails returned. Do you know what it is?

The worst mistake Bob made, was that he didn’t leave a compelling reason for his prospect to call him back, he didn’t leave a hook.

Cold calling, prospecting and getting your voice mails returned is an art all by itself. If you’re not experiencing the results that you want, you might be making mistakes that you are not even aware of. Cold calling doesn’t have to be “just a numbers” game. If you know what to say and you structure your pitch properly you can and will get that appointment.

And if all else fails you can always try the “Hail Mary, I don’t have a hope” approach : “Hi Dan, I know you desperately want to place an order with us, but you’re probably trapped under your desk and can’t reach the phone… Don’t move, we’re coming to get you!”

Did you know that up to 80% of all new sales and business people who fail within their first year do so because of cold call reluctance? What if I could show you an easy to follow, easy to use system that took the “cold” out of cold calling?

Do you someone who needs help with their cold calling skills?

How to cold call anyone, anywhere, without fear of rejection! Stop your prospect from what they are doing, get their full undivided attention and have them instantly build rapport with you! CLICK HERE! [http://www.salesmasterybook.com/Order%20Cold%20Calling%20E-Book.html]

Text Messages, Voice Mails And Flash Drives – Welcome To The New E-Discovery

Most companies will now be required to retain and produce a wider range of electronic data because of the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which were approved on December 1, 2006. The types of electronically stored information that companies could be required to produce in a lawsuit range from docs, e-mails, voice mails, text messages and just about any digital information saved on a company’s server, e-mail database or employee’s desktop.

IT departments, as well as corporate counsel, are not very well prepared for these changes. A recent study by Deloitte Financial Advisory Services in November 2006 found that nearly 70% of the respondents said they would require more training on their own corporate record retention policies and procedures. The respondents included CFOs, tax directors, finance directors, controllers and corporate counsel.

One way to reduce a company’s risk is to implement an IT audit system. Employees tend to install additional programs to their computers often without the IT department’s knowledge or approval. Instant messenger (IM) programs for example are readily available and most employees use these types of quick applications to chat with other employees as well as individuals outside of work. IMs are considered ‘faster’ than e-mail, but nonetheless is data being sent to and from somebody.

These ‘text’ messages are where companies can get in trouble. While most e-mail servers have traceable logs and backups, most employee desktop computers are not managed by the IT department and can have those features disabled. It is entirely possible for an employee (or employees) to have a lengthy conversation via text messages totally bypassing the company’s e-mail server where text messages are expected to occur.

Voice mails and Flash drives are also quick methods to share information. Faxes can be sent to voice mail boxes and flash drives are a quick way to share files between computers not connected via a network.

It is these types of situations that a company can find itself in trouble when it comes to litigation. Companies should evaluate their network to find other such areas that may need attention and discuss their options on saving the data.

Hello! Create a Customer-Friendly Voice Mail Greeting

Who answers your business phone when you’re not in the office? Most home-based business owners use an answering machine or voice messaging system. But it’s not enough to just make sure the phone gets picked up when you’re not there; the greeting your callers hear says more about you than just “leave a message.”

That announcement may be the first contact someone has with you, and if you don’t sound professional, the caller may not leave a message or may not call back.

It’s not necessary to sound like you’re a major corporation, but it is important to sound like you’re a serious, legitimate operation. Use these tips to create an effective voice mail greeting:

– Write a script. Don’t try to record off the top of your head. Write a script that covers all the points you want to make in a concise format. Practice it so you can record without any awkward pauses or stumbles.

– Be friendly, but avoid being cute. Speak in a warm, friendly voice that lets your personality show through, but don’t try to be cute or funny-it’s not professional, and it could easily backfire.

– Avoid the obvious. It’s not necessary to say things like “I’m away from my desk” or “I’m out of the office”-callers know that because you didn’t answer the phone. Ditto with statements like “Your call is important to me”-callers know they’re hearing a recording that you’ve made for everyone, so don’t waste their time with generic fluff.

– Change your message frequently. People with flexible schedules may even change their announcement daily so the information is always current and accurate.

– Let callers know when you’ll be available. If you won’t be able to return calls for several hours, or until the next day, say so in your announcement so people aren’t left wondering when they’ll hear from you.

– Tell callers how to skip the message. If your system has the feature that allows callers to bypass the greeting by pressing * or #, include that in your announcement.

– Include your fax number and website or e-mail address. Some callers may just want to send you a fax or an e-mail; if your greeting tells them how to do it, you won’t need to call them back.

– Provide alternate contact information. If you carry a pager or a cell phone and don’t mind taking calls while you’re out of the office, include that number in your greeting. An alternative is a system that automatically pages you when someone leaves a message, so you can quickly decide how soon to return the call.

– Include seasonal messages. Between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, start your greeting with “Happy holidays.” For greetings that indicate you’re closed for long weekends such as Memorial Day or Labor Day, end with a wish for a safe and happy holiday.

Here’s a sample script:”This is Joe Smith. To bypass this announcement and leave a message, press # and begin speaking at the tone. Please leave your name, telephone number, the best time to reach you, and a brief message, and I will return your call within three hours. If you need to send a fax, that number is 888-123-4567. Or please visit my website at www-dot-websitename-dot-com for more information or to send me an e-mail. Have a great day!”

Cold Calling – How to Get Your Voice Mails Returned!

One of the most frequent question I get asked by salespeople and business owners is how many voice mails should I leave and at what frequency?

1) My first rule on how to get your voice mail returned – is to leave one! If you are not leaving voice mails you are really doing yourself a disservice!

2) As far as frequency goes I would say every 3-5 days is enough to ensure that you look “serious” without looking like a “stalker”.

So let’s get in to the “meat” of the blog, would you like to meet a lot of new and interesting people?

If cold calling and prospecting for new business is fairly critical to your success as a company and/or as a salesperson, then I hope so! Yet, I work with a lot of salespeople and as important as it is, some salespeople would do just about anything rather than cold call. Some of my best friends and business associates I have met through cold calling. Think about it, most of your friends were strangers at one point or another.

Therefore, the first step in having success at cold calling is your attitude.

Think of cold calling and prospecting for new business as a way to make new friends.

Secondly, the reality of today’s very competitive marketplace is that cold calling can be a very frustrating experience if you don’t have a strong pitch or a compelling message. That’s why many salespeople grow complacent or reluctant to prospect for new business by cold calling.

Your cold calling strategy should be part and parcel of an entire prospecting strategy, a strategy that places you as “top of mind” with your prospects and also serves to educate your prospects as to why you would be the person to do business with in your industry. Think of it as planting seeds.

Many sales people I work with express the frustration of having to deal with voice mail and I often get asked, “What is the secret of leaving a voice mail that gets returned?”

So let’s look at a sample voice mail.

“Hello, (pause) my name is Bob, I work for Lumin’s Print Shop. I’m just calling to see if you would like some information on our latest promotion this month. If you would like some information on how we can help you I look forward to hearing back from you. My number is (555) 555-55553

Can you see the mistakes Bob made? Before moving along to the next section – why don’t you reread Bob’s voice mail and count how many errors you think he has made.

“Hello” – The goal of a voice mail is “to get a person to call you back” Voice mails should be personable and always begin with the use of the person’s name.

The correct way – “Hello, Dan…”

(pause) – One of the key tools in ensuring your success with cold calling, is your CONFIDENCE. You should be practicing what you are going to say and how you are going to say it prior to making your call to ensure that you have a smooth delivery.

“My name is Bob” – Hi, my name is… sounds like something you would hear at a speed dating event or at a group therapy session. You want to project an image of position and status. In our society, perception is very important.

The correct way – “Hello, Dan. This is Bob Simons… “

“My name is Bob” actually counts as 2 – because Bob didn’t leave his last name. “Bob” or “Susan” is found on the name tag of your bank teller or the gentleman who bags your groceries at the local supermarket. “Bob” or “Susan” is NOT the “go to guy” who is your peer in business.

“I work for…” This is another way for Bob to imply to his prospect that Bob just isn’t that important. Bob is just another employee or worse just another “salesperson”.

The correct way – “Hello, Dan. This is Bob Simons from Lumin’s Print Shop…”

Or “Hello, Dan. This is Bob Simons of ….”

“I’m just calling….” – Implies that the call is casual. That there is no real reason to return the call.

“…If you would like some information on our latest promotion this month. If you would like some information on how …” – I think Bob got so nervous he repeated himself.

“My number is (555) 555-5555” – ALWAYS leave your phone number twice. Most people have 3, 4, 6, 8 or more voice mails. Their busy and generally hate to have to replay their voice mails to write down your phone number. Make it easy for them!

The correct way – “Hello, Dan. This is Bob Simons from Lumin’s Print Shop. If you would like some information on our latest promotion this month. I look forward to hearing back from you. You can reach me at (555) 555-5555. That’s Bob Simons at (555) 555-5555.”

No salutation at the end. People like the personal touch. It’s important that you are courteous and mindful of proper business etiquette.

The correct way – “Hello, Dan. This is Bob Simons from Lumin’s Print Shop. If you would like some information on our latest promotion this month. I look forward to hearing back from you. You can reach me at (555) 555-5555. That’s Bob Simons at (555) 555-5555. Thanks Dan.”

So how many mistakes did you find? Did you expect to find 9?

Bob actually made 10 mistakes and the last one is absolutely crucial to getting your voice mails returned. Do you know what it is?

The worst mistake Bob made, was that he didn’t leave a compelling reason for his prospect to call him back, he didn’t leave a hook.

Cold calling, prospecting and getting your voice mails returned is an art all by itself. If you’re not experiencing the results that you want, you might be making mistakes that you are not even aware of. Cold calling doesn’t have to be “just a numbers” game. If you know what to say and you structure your pitch properly you can and will get that appointment.

And if all else fails you can always try the “Hail Mary, I don’t have a hope” approach : “Hi Dan, I know you desperately want to place an order with us, but you’re probably trapped under your desk and can’t reach the phone… Don’t move, we’re coming to get you!”

Did you know that up to 80% of all new sales and business people who fail within their first year do so because of cold call reluctance? What if I could show you an easy to follow, easy to use system that took the “cold” out of cold calling?

Do you someone who needs help with their cold calling skills?

How to cold call anyone, anywhere, without fear of rejection! Stop your prospect from what they are doing, get their full undivided attention and have them instantly build rapport with you! CLICK HERE! [http://www.salesmasterybook.com/Order%20Cold%20Calling%20E-Book.html]