Tips for leaving an awesome sales voicemail.

by Shannon F.

sales voicemails

Do you die a little inside whenever you hear, “Please leave a message after the beep?” Many sales reps find that they are directed to voicemail more frequently than they reach an actual decision-maker. And while leaving a voicemail isn’t nearly as effective as speaking to someone personally, you should treat it as a welcome opportunity to capture your prospect’s interest and give him or her a reason to call you back. Remember that most decision-makers within a company receive dozens of voicemails a day, so you’ll have to catch their attention immediately to get them to hear your message through. Here are some of the best ways to keep prospects from pressing “erase voicemail” before your recorded self has a chance to finish a sentence.

Name-drop shamelessly. For example, say you’re a moving company. Start your message with, “So-and-so told me you might be relocating and in need of moving services.” Of course, this involves actually taking the time to get a referral. Use LinkedIn to see what contacts you have in common with your prospect. If you have a mutual connection, ask for an introduction. When you drop that shared contact’s name in your voicemail, your prospect will at least take the time to hear the message through.

Mention what you did for similar companies. Say, “We recently saved other local technology companies thousands of dollars with our proven IT relocation experience.” You can even name a couple of the companies you assisted. Your prospects will react positively to the industry-specific message.

Offer a quick piece of information to catch their interest. For example, “Did you know that most companies overpay for business telephone systems by $100 or more per employee? We can help you select the system that’s a good fit, with the right price tag.” Or, you could call offering something for free, which is always a welcome change from a typical sales call.

Don’t start with your name. Sorry, but unless you already have a rapport with the prospect, no one really cares who you are. Save your precious time (8-14 seconds per voicemail) for tips 1 through 3, above. Of course, leave your name and number at the end. It may help to repeat your number twice, in case your prospect is slow to grab a pen.

Call at the right time. Voicemails left late Friday afternoon will probably be overlooked. Same with voicemails left early on a busy Monday morning. Before lunch (10 am to 12 pm) and late afternoon (2 pm to 4:30 pm) on Tuesdays through Thursdays tend to be the most effective times to call or leave a voicemail.

Be likable on the phone. If you sound bored, curt, or impatient when you are leaving your voicemail, the recipient of the message will feel no obligation to call you back. You want your prospect to feel pretty bad about ignoring your repeated attempts to reach him or her, so be as pleasant and engaging as possible.

Be daring. It’s not in everyone’s personality to perform an attention-getting stunt while leaving a voicemail, but it can be effective. Starting with a joke, singing, or doing impressions might get a prospect to listen to the entire message. Of course, they might also think you’re crazy and decide to avoid doing business with you at all, so approach with caution. Not everyone can pull it off.

For more cold-calling and appointment-setting tips, attend our upcoming webinar: “Top Sales Leaders’ Secrets to Success.” It’s Tuesday, April 23rd, so you still have a couple days left to sign up.

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