Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.Dan Richards

At one time in the distant past, say 10 years ago,  you could count on people to return calls promptly – that was certainly true of clients and if you hadn’t made a pest of yourself, even many  prospects returned calls.

Today, that’s all changed. Given the unrelenting demands on everyone’s time, we can no longer take it for granted that prospects will return our calls – and even clients are slower to return calls.

That said, there are two things that can increase the chances of your calls being returned – what you say in your voice mail and how you say it.

What you say

Let’s start by agreeing that when you leave a message for a prospect, your voice mail is essentially a sales call – you are selling the recipient on why they should return your call promptly, or in some cases why they should return it at all.

That means that every voice mail has to focus on a short and very clear benefit statement for the recipient, highlighting what’s in it for them. To do that, consider using the “because” test. Before calling, in 20 words or less, write down why a prospect (or client) should return your call.

In other words, a prospect should return your call “because” …

You have a new research report or recent article from a credible publication, pertaining to a concern they mentioned the last time you spoke.

You’ve recently implemented a solution with clients that addresses a problem they mentioned in the past.

You’re hosting clients to a talk on an issue and are calling to invite them to attend.

And as an aside, while this is particularly important when leaving voice mails for prospects, given the jammed schedules of many clients, you’d benefit from having a similar “because” statement prepared to leave for clients.