Don’t be afraid of the big, bad Voicemail


It’s a known fact that most people hate making cold sales and marketing calls due to all the rejection and awkwardness that inevitably occurs so you’d think that the opportunity to leave a message on a machine for the prospect to listen to at a later stage would appeal but, no, that seems to create a whole new set of fears all of it’s own.  “what do I say?”  “what if I sound stupid?” “they’ll never call me back anyway, there’s no point” are some of the comments I’ve heard during my time on the telephonic coal face.

Whilst I agree that voicemails are perhaps not the best means of pitching your services, you’ve far more chance of a prospect calling you back if you do leave a message and, personally I find that a well crafted voicemail message, combined with some relevant information on an email can work wonders.

Depending on the size of the organisation you’re calling and the seniority of the person that you’re trying to contact you may find that some days you speak to more voicemails than people so why miss that opportunity to make an introduction?  It’s simply another means of getting in touch with a prospect so you’d be a fool to ignore it

So, dipping into my pot of wisdom – here’s 5 tips to make voicemail messages work for you!

  1. Start with a good morning/afternoon – use the prospects name, use your name and the name of the organisation you work for/are representing
  2. Mention why you’re calling – and give a reason for them to call you back, “we can save you money on….., we work with a number of clients to create efficiencies in…. etc etc”
  3. Mention that you’re looking to send them across some information regarding your company and ask if they’d be kind enough to look through it then you will call back at an agreed point (I find a couple of days later to be an acceptable amount of time, that way they’ve had enough time to glance over it but not so much time that they’ve forgotten who you are)
  4. I always mention that I’ll try and get their email address from a colleague but, if I don’t manage to will leave my email and contact details should they wish to call me back – as a brief side note, if you then only get given a generic address or can’t get an email address at all, search for the company domain name, type that into google with an @ symbol where the www.’s would be, write the word “email” after it and 9 times out of 10 you’ll get the format that the company uses.   Often, just a slight tweak in the way you ask for the email can improve results.  I tend to say “i’ve just left your colleague…. a voicemail message to say I’ll be sending him my details on an email, would you be kind enough to give me his/her email address”  Obviously sometimes you just can’t get an email – use this as another reason to call them back.  At least when you speak to them eventually they’ll already know your voice so it won’t be an absolute cold call
  5. Sound like someone who they’d like to talk to – this is probably the most important point of all.  If you sound friendly, professional and approachable you’ve a far greater chance of having your call returned than if you sound too “salesy”.  Rehearse your message before you leave it – maybe even call yourself and leave a message on your mobile so you can hear what you sound like.  Be honest with yourself – would you return your call?  Do you sound like someone that can bring benefits and value or are you rushed, stuttery or overly familiar?

For me, one of the biggest plus points of leaving a message is the fact that any emails you send, any future calls you make will no longer be “cold”  they’ll already know your voice, your company and what you can do for them and you’re never going to get that if you just hang up

Happy calling!


Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078


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