How to Leave a Voicemail that Gets Callbacks
We’ve all been there before. We craft finely tuned sales voicemail scripts but hear crickets.. Of course, you expect the prospect to call you back. It’s common courtesy, right? And your cold call is important.
But they don’t.
You wait days, and those days turn into weeks. Then, finally, you wonder if you should call them again. After all, you don’t want to sound desperate.
It’s the most frustrating thing, especially when you know you have a great product or service. If only you could leave better sales voicemails.
The good news is that there are ways to leave a sales voicemail message that will at least improve your chances of getting a callback from your client or potential client.
Many sales reps think that to leave voicemails is a waste of time. And, if you hope that leaving a voicemail will get a callback every time, you may be right in thinking that.
But the purpose of leaving a voicemail shouldn’t necessarily be for the expectation of getting a callback. A voicemail script also serves a different purpose.
Leaving a voicemail provides familiarity and additional touch points for when you actually get the prospect on the phone.
Outbound prospecting notoriously has a low connection rate, so sales reps often have two choices – to leave a voicemail, or not. Unfortunately, too many sales reps choose the latter, affecting their results.
So, if we have no choice but to leave a voicemail message on many phone calls, it makes sense to make it a habit and get good at leaving voicemails. It may just be the difference between hitting your sales quota, or not.
This post will share how to leave a voicemail and outline why leaving a sales voicemail message should be essential to your outreach efforts. Also, I’ll provide voicemail script tips and tricks to help you craft an effective one. All you need is their phone number!
Statistics for Sales Voicemails
Outbound prospecting is a numbers game. The more people you contact, the higher the likelihood that you’ll find someone interested in what you have to say.
But with that said, research shows that leaving a voicemail message can be beneficial for sales reps, even if they don’t always get a callback.
Consider the following statistics:
- 80% of sales calls go to voicemail
- Sales reps will spend 15% of their day leaving voicemails
- Effective sales voicemail scripts can increase response rates by up to 22%
- Average response rate for voicemails is less than 5%
With this in mind, it’s no wonder there is such resistance for sales representatives to leave effective sales voicemails.
The key is to not get discouraged if you don’t hear back from every sales voicemail message you leave. The goal should be to focus on leaving quality sales voicemails that provide value to the prospect and increase the likelihood of them calling you back, even if it’s just a small percentage.
Seven Reasons You Should Be Leaving Sales Voicemails
Sales voicemails are still crucial for sales success for several reasons.
First, as mentioned earlier, leaving a sales voicemail can create familiarity when you eventually connect with the prospect.
Second, leaving a voicemail message shows that you are persistent and willing to go the extra mile to reach your potential client. This can help build rapport and trust – all essential to making a sale.
Leaving a sales voicemail also helps you stay top of mind with your prospect. If they consider using your product or service, hearing from you regularly (in a non-intrusive way) can help nudge them along in their decision-making process.
It’s important that you learn how to leave a voicemail that sounds professional. A few other reasons that sales reps should get used to leaving a sales voicemail include:
Improve chances of getting a callback
Let’s face it, if a prospect doesn’t know when you called them and the phone number is unknown (for apparent reasons), why would a prospect choose to call you back? Would you call an unknown number back? Most often, I wouldn’t.
Therefore, leaving a sales voicemail as part of your sales process will increase the chances of getting a callback.
Leaving a voicemail when cold calling should be crucial in establishing a connection with your prospect.
Common statistics say it takes eight touch points before a sales rep has their first shot at closing a sale. Consider a sales voicemail one of those touch points.
The more attempts you make to connect with the prospect, the higher the chances of converting. With software platforms such as Frontspin, sales sequence automation can help you achieve that.
Leaving a voicemail helps build credibility and your brand.
When leaving a voicemail, you are also building your personal brand.
When prospects hear you speak with clarity, confidence, and charisma, you will come across as someone the prospect may want to work with.
Leaving a good sales voicemail is an opportunity for you to demonstrate why you and your company are worth engaging.
Other reasons to leave a voicemail include:
You are a sales professional, and it is part of your job.
Creating convincing sales voicemail scripts that encourage a prospect to call you back should be as crucial as crafting that perfect email or working on that quota-achieving proposal.
But unfortunately, they are not.
Voicemail messages are instead considered time-consuming activities that don’t move the needle enough when prospecting or closing deals.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Receiving a callback from a sales voicemail is often much warmer than a cold call that a prospect picks up. The closing ratio is also much higher.
So, as a manager, ensure your sales team start taking their job seriously by leaving voicemails.
It proves the seriousness of your engagement.
Not leaving a sales voicemail communicates to the prospect that your call isn’t all that important. If it was, you would have left a phone number for the prospect to return and the reason for the call, right?
You obviously want to close the deal, and calling the prospect is worth your time (otherwise, why make the call). So, do yourself a favour and honour that time by leaving a voicemail that just might inspire your prospect to act.
It provides another point of familiarity.
As I have said previously, it takes about 8 touches points for a potential client to agree to a meeting or close a deal.
You are essentially wasting one of those touchpoints by not leaving a voicemail, at minimum explaining who you are and leaving your phone number.
Your persistence will pay off. Either you will move the needle closer to getting the sale or meeting, or they’ll tell you they’re not interested. Either result should be considered a good result!
Every voicemail you leave increases the probability of a callback.
Some research has proven leaving a voicemail improves the chances that the sales call will result in a callback by as much as 10%.
By the 3rd voicemail, the probability of getting a callback improves by as much as 33%!
Start leaving voicemails – a minimum of three – and see if your results start to improve.
Leaving a Sales Voicemail: Don’t Make These Mistakes
When crafting a sales voicemail script, there are certain things you shouldn’t do to help your sales team be as successful as possible.
Pitching in your voicemail script
Leaving a 3-minute voicemail telling a prospect why they should buy your product is a big no, no in my books. And imagine being the prospect having to listen to a one-sided voicemail that completely disregards the prospect’s interest or desire for the product. When cold calling, sell the meeting, not the product. Trying to pitch the product with your sales message before the meeting just screams the desperation of a salesperson chasing commission. Don’t be that person.
Leaving a voicemail that is too long
When salespeople leave me a voicemail, if the voicemails are more than 30 seconds, that’s 10 seconds too long. The voicemail needs to be direct and to the point – provide your name, phone number and reason for the call or request for a callback. That’s it. Keep it short and sweet.
Not using the prospect’s name.
Not crafting your voicemail script in a way that includes the prospect’s name (ideally more than once), you risk coming across as impersonal. It’s like receiving a spam email addressed to the wrong person – it comes across as spammy because it is. But, on the other hand, using the prospect’s name (and company in certain situations) improves outcomes, and it’s the polite thing to do.
Not providing a sense of urgency.
As a sales professional, it is vital to portray a sense of professionalism on your calls, which means being direct, action-oriented and specific about the reason for the call. For example, without a sense of urgency, why should the prospect bother calling you back?
Without sounding too desperate, think of a reason to instil enough urgency that the prospect will be inclined to call you back.
This mistake is a continuation of the previous one. Every engagement you make with a prospect has to be part of a specific plan to move the sale or engagement forward. This means things like having voicemail scripts outlining precisely what you are going to say. Rambling just comes across as annoying so stick to one of the voicemail scripts you have memorised and know by heart.
Not having an engaging tone of voice.
Having the best voicemail script in the world won’t help if you don’t have an engaging tone of voice on your calls. So, when you feel yourself getting into a bit of a sales slump and no longer engaged, it’s a perfect opportunity to take a break from the sales calls.
Get some fresh air and come back refreshed and ready to make sales calls that engage your prospect.
Coming across as desperate
The only thing worse than a salesperson, is a desperate one. We’ve all been in that situation where we can sense the sales reps’ desperation to hit quota or make a commission at the end of the month.
Don’t sound like that.
Your tone is essential when making sales calls. So much so that I ensure my reps spend a reasonable amount of time working on it so they don’t come across as desperate or needy or like a salesperson sounds.
This is another reason not to sell on a cold call – it just comes across as a bit desperate.
How to Leave Effective Voicemails
So, now you know what not to do on a voicemail; how should you leave a good voicemail when calling? If you’re a manager everyone in your sales team needs to get this right, so ensure it is brought up on the next sales training.
Many of these suggestions are self-explanatory, but it is worth getting the foundations right if you are entirely new to sales and want a call back. The best thing you can do is memorize your sales voicemail script so you aren’t reading off the page!
Without further ado, keep these points in mind when leaving effective voicemails.
Wait for the cue to speak.
When you call and come across a voicemail, ensure that you leave a little time after the beep (after the prospect’s voicemail message) and before you start speaking.
The last thing you want is for your prospect to receive a message only to miss who you are, and the company you are calling from because you were too eager to start speaking.
This is also important with voice to text translation services – the AI needs to know what you have said clearly to translate effectively.
Keep it short (and to the point)
As I have said previously, don’t try to pitch, and don’t try to close deals on a voicemail. Instead, your goal is to make a cold call that creates enough interest to warrant a follow-up.
State a concise reason for the call and mention you will follow up if the prospect doesn’t call you back.
Your name, phone number, the reason for the call, and CTA (requesting a call back) are all required for an effective voicemail. There’s no need for lengthy and over-complicated voicemails.
Ensure to speak clearly, so the prospect understands you.
When making voicemail drops ensure that you are speaking clearly so the prospect can understand you. It’s no use crafting the perfect voicemail template only to have the prospect not know what you are saying on the call!
So, start practising enunciation by reading books aloud and recording yourself to hear how you sound. You must communicate professionally.
Finish the voicemail with a specific call to action
Remember how I said earlier that the best salespeople are action-oriented?
Well, it’s essential to end the voicemail with a specific call to action regarding why you called. For example, is it to follow up on an email response? Is it to discuss one of the various value propositions your product provides or the pain points you address? Is it to book a meeting? Whatever the reason for the call, ensure that it is stated clearly at the end of the voicemail.
It’s amazing the amount if times that SDRs don’t say “call me back” at the end of their script. It’s a simple request, that’s often overlooked. You can also say something like “thanks, [name], it would be great if you could call me back on [insert phone number or contact information]”
Use the prospect’s name.
This point is also fairly obvious, but to experience more success with your voicemail script, state the prospect’s name, particularly if it is the first time cold calling the prospect.
You want to provide a sense of familiarity, and addressing the prospect by their name helps establish that, and increases your chance of a call back.
Part of your voicemail strategy should include identifying yourself at the start of the call. This includes providing your name, company as a minimum, and phone number if the situation warrants it.
Ensure your tone of voice is relaxed and personable.
Your tone of voice should be relaxed and personable; it should not come across as stiff, salesy or overly formal. Effective communicators understand how to adapt their tone to the situation. If you sound like a robot leaving a voicemail, it is unlikely that you will get a callback!
Speak with a tone that is as if the prospect is in the same room as you. You don’t want to sound monotonous or overly excited. A direct and authoritative tone comes across well. Remember, you will often be speaking with C-level decision-makers.
While voicemails may not be the most ‘sexy’ part of sales, it is a necessary evil if you want to win more business and tone is an extremely important factor when learning how to leave effective ones.
Provide specific context as to why you are calling.
Your voicemail should always include specific context as to why you are calling. This means providing value up front and giving the prospect a reason to want to hear more from you.
For example, if you are selling a product that can save your prospect time or money, then make sure this is stated in the voicemail.
You can take the time to tell the prospect how you discovered their business and why a callback might be beneficial to them.
The more information you know about the prospect, the better, so ensure you take the time to study the business’s website and/or social media profiles to have one or two details you can reference, Touching on this type of information in a voicemail helps the prospect feel valued and not just another prospect in a sales sequence.
Make sure you have a clear value proposition.
A value proposition is a statement that tells the prospect what they will get by using your product or service.
When leaving a voicemail, you want to make sure that your value proposition is clear, so the prospect knows exactly what they would gain from returning your call.
Don’t try to cram too much information into the voicemail.
The key is to keep the message short, sweet, and to the point.
You want to be able to deliver your value proposition and call-to-action clearly and concisely without overwhelming the prospect with too much information.
Remember, you’re not trying to sell the product. You simply don’t have time with a 30-second voicemail script. What you are trying to do is leave voicemail messages that inspire the prospect to call you back.
A good exercise is to consider what you would say if you only had one paragraph to explain what your product does and the value it provides. That’s how much time you have. A simple framework to follow might be:
“We help[TARGET CUSTOMERS] achieve [CUSTOMER NEEDS] by [OUR FEATURES AND BENEFITS].”
The beauty of the above it that it forces you to keep the value proposition short and concise.
Create compelling reason for the prospect to call you back.
In a similar vein to stating a call to action. Establish a sound reason for the prospect to call you back. The reason must be compelling, you made the sales call after all. Does something need to happen by a specific date? Is there an offer you have that might pique interest? Is there enough value in your product to warrant a meeting?
Even if a prospect might be interested in the product we have to offer, they simply might just be too busy to call you back. Although it is impossible to avoid this, you can improve the chances that they will call you back by providing a sense of urgency to your voicemail. If you do, they might just make it a priority.
So, ensure you provide a timeframe in which you would request that that prospect call you back. If you come across as vague and non-committal the prospect will have no reason to respond to your request with any urgency.
To sweeten the chance of them calling you back, you can present a time-sensitive offer, or sales collateral. This could be in the form of a discount or some other type of promotion that is only available for a limited time.
If you have a meeting or event coming up that might be of interest to the prospect, mention this in the voicemail as well. You can use this as an opportunity to provide additional value and establish a reason for the prospect to call you back.
By following these simple steps, you can be sure that your voicemail will be more effective and increase your chances of getting a callback. When leaving voicemails, you always want to be thinking, ‘would this prospect be compelled to give me a call based on what I am saying?’. If the answer is no, it would be a good idea to improve your sales voicemail script until it does.
Voicemail Script Example to Get You Started
All the points above should put you well on the way to crafting your own sales prospecting voicemail script, but if you want a voicemail script example for inspiration, here is a general one to get you started.
[Prospect Name], this is [Your Name] from [Company]. I’m reaching out to you [because | in response to] [insert reason for the call]. I’d love to talk to you about [insert benefit to calling you back].
My number is [insert phone number]. You can also text me at this number. I’ll follow up with a quick email with a few more details and all of my contact information.
Take a look, and then we can discuss if there’s a fit. Look forward to hearing from you.
Voicemail Automation for Cold Calling
Crafted your sales voicemail scripts but want to take your voicemail skills to the next level? There are now quite a few solutions out there that can automate much of the process when it comes to leaving voicemails. All you need to do is remember your phone number! Check out a couple of solutions below:
Cloudtalk provides a voicemail drop feature that can help you make your outreach efforts more effective by automating the process of leaving a voicemail message.
When each voicemail takes up to 30 seconds to record, it can take up quite a bit of a sales rep’s day. Cloudtalk help by letting a rep prerecord a sales voicemail and automatically insert it when they reach the prospect’s voicemail.
Similarly to Cloudtalk, Agile CRM has a voicemail automation solution built directly into their customer relationship system. This allows you to select from multiple voicemails that have been recorded perviously saving you and your sales reps precious time.
There you have it, how to leave a voicemail.
There’s no real complexity to leaving an effective voicemail.
The approach is simple – address the prospect, say who you are, the reason for the call, and call to action (don’t forget to leave your phone number!).
Unfortunately, too many sales reps stop doing it, thinking the effort isn’t worth it, or simply due to sheer laziness.
Like Linkedin or email prospecting, leveraging an effective voicemail script should be considered cumulative – meaning the payoff may not be immediate, but if you make an effort consistently, there will be an eventual payoff.
I hope this post has provided excellent insight into improving your voicemail skills, whether you’re a manager who has to manage inside sales teams or a CEO looking to improve the sales process at your company. In the future, I will add another section about leaving effective voicemails examples.