QUESTION: Mike, do you have suggestions for leaving messages to get return phone calls?  -Howard 

ANSWER: I do not know what messages you are leaving now, but I find vague messages are better.  If you are leaving detailed messages about, for example, on a recruiting call, “I am working on this assignment and here are the 17 reasons why it is interesting and call me back”, I find those get returned less and usually deleted.  

One of the techniques I use and have taught, because it is harder to get return phone calls, is to start all of your messages like this:  “My name is Mike Gionta.  My phone number is (860) . . .”  Note that I do not say Mike Gionta with “X” Firm.  

The message starts with “My name is Mike Gionta.  Phone number . . .” for a very specific reason.  When they are writing the phone number, their hand is not on the delete button, or it less likely to be.  

If it is a recruit call, my message would continue saying “I have no idea what your current situation is.  I just thought I would talk to you kind of quietly and confidentially to see if you are open to hearing about something potentially stronger than your current situation. Curious as to your thoughts on that.  Again, Mike Gionta.”  

Now, I have not said I am with a search firm or anything about my search firm such as  “We are founded with the Pilgrims.”  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  If you go into that detail they will automatically know that I am a recruiter.  I do not want to waste words, and I have built a little intrigue.  

On the marketing side, back to the beginning of the call.  As part of a followup process, I am usually leading with an employer with an email and a candidate, unless I am doing a flip marketing call and then I am leaving basically that same message, very short, very brief.  It still gets a lot of return calls.  What I do notice is if you want to call hiring managers and not do a flip marketing call, meaning you are not trying to recruit them first, I find it is best to send an email, if you are sending an email of a candidate.  

So the first step would be an email.  “I have recently uncovered an individual who ___ (big accomplishment) ___, saved a company $1,237,000 in tax savings in the tax department, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, by finding and uncovering 2 legal loopholes the company previously had not taken advantage of.  This person is adept at finding and uncovering and can do the same for you.”  That quick.  

Now, I might send that email a couple of times.  There are a few different ways we do that.  The third call might be “Joe, I sent you a couple emails.  I recently uncovered . . .” and it would be the same thing.  The voicemail would be the same as the emails.  But they are building off of the message they have already seen.  So I am in a repetition mode in that sense.  

There are a few techniques to get more returned voicemails. Create intrigue. Approach your marketing calls with a combination of emails and voicemails.

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