December '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 D E C E M B E R P R I N T W E A R || 19 discuss your particular situation and evaluate several possible solutions to the problems you were having. (pause) Would next Tuesday at 11 work for you? (pause)" The most common misuse of voicemail involves trying to do too much with one mes- sage. Most business owners would agree that voicemail messages like the first two above are not the best ways to promote a product line, highlight its exclusive features, and give customers the impression that you're are a good listener or that you have their best interests in mind. Good voicemail is like Asian cooking. Many years ago, I was advised to take a lesson from the practices of Asian chefs when trying to improve my electronic communications, in both voicemail and email. I was as puzzled hearing that advice as you may be reading it, but there is a logical reason why Asian cuisine is prepared in the manner it is. Asian food is cut and prepared into bite-sized pieces, so that much of the work eating it has already been taken care of. It is quickly cooked as in stir-fried, for example, or not cooked at all, as in the case of sushi, so as to preserve the food's nutrition and taste. When hot and spicy flavorings are added, the diner is forewarned for what's to come. So how is that like effective voicemail? With voicemail, you should avoid run-on sentences with highbrow words when shorter, simpler, everyday language will work as well. When you don't "overcook" the message, you preserve its value and generate an increased interest in learning more. If you have to deliver "spicy" news or get someone "hot" about doing some- thing, serve it up with care and some warning. While it's true that a relatively short time after consuming an Asian meal one could experi- ence renewed hunger pangs, that phenomenon is a good thing if your customers are hungry for more of what you're serving up. QUICK TIPS FOR VOICEMAIL EXCELLENCE Here are some final thoughts that should further raise your voicemail response rate: • Consider the right medium for your message. If you have more information than can fit in a 30-second message, hit the highlights in a voicemail and refer the other party to a forthcoming email that will contain the details. By leaving the voicemail to instruct the receiver to check their email, you are still taking advantage of adding the proper tone to your message. • Rehearse your voicemail message by sending it to yourself first. Most people rush their speech while leaving a voicemail. Talking uncharacteristically fast tends to cause the lis- tener to mistrust or doubt the validity of the message. When you send yourself a practice voicemail, you give your mind and vocal chords a chance to warm up. • Be persistent, but don't become a pest. The National Sales Executive Association con- ducted a study on how many attempts at contact it took to earn a sale. Only 20 percent of all sales were made within the first four contact attempts. Reportedly, 80 percent were made on the fifth through the 12th tries. Vary the time of day and the day of the week when trying to hook up with a targeted prospect. • For longer messages, conclude your message (even if you've led with it) with your name, phone number, and appreciation, in advance, for a return call. On the outside chance that the receiver did not have a pen and paper handy at the beginning of the voicemail or if he fast-forwarded to the end of the message, at least your final words will sum up your contact information. Try something like this: "I look forward to your return call. Please call me at (pause) area code 7-7-0 (pause) 3-2-9-5-1-0-7 at your earliest convenience. Thank you, Gordon." M&R SALES AND SERVICE, INC. 800-736-6431 · 630-858-6101 For more information, go to MRPRINT.COM /S Meet the NEW ADDITION to our popular and versatile line of computer-to-screen (CTS) imaging systems. Not only is M&R's new i-Image S ™ exceptionally affordable, it features the same software, printhead, output quality, image area, and screen size as the ground- breaking single-head i-Image ST ™ 36. • Unprecedented affordability • Compact footprint • Up to 100 screens per shift • 20" x 26" maximum image area • Up to 26" x 36" screen frames Let us show you how i-Image S can revolutionize your screen room. Meet the NEW ADDITION Image S ™ Computer-to-Screen Imaging System Affordability without Compromise

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