Love it or hate it, voicemails are a standard feature of a salesperson’s day. Whether your sales reps are cold calling or following up with warm prospects, they’re likely encountering voicemail boxes and answering machines many times each day.
Unfortunately, many of these voicemails are never responded to. In fact, the problem is so bad that some professionals advocate not bothering to leave voicemails at all.
But sales voicemails can be effective when they’re done correctly.
Coach your sales reps with these tips to leave voice messages that actually get callbacks. Before we jump into the tips, remember this:
Before They Leave a Sales Voicemail
Don’t let your reps use voicemail as an easy out to avoid harder options. Before simply leaving a voicemail and moving on, teach them to:
- Try another phone number. In most cases, your records will contain multiple numbers to try. Use them!
- Call back later. Sometimes, a prospect who is not available right now will be available in an hour or two. Teach your salespeople to make a habit of trying at least twice before leaving the voicemail.
- Plan to send an email. Don’t let the voicemail be the only form of contact. Teach reps to accompany a voicemail with an email as a second point of contact, to make it easier for the prospect to respond.
8 Tips for Increasing Voicemail Response Rates
After your reps have attempted and failed to reach the prospect directly, it’s time to leave a voicemail.
Teach them these 8 tips for leaving voicemails that get callbacks.
1. Have a Great Attitude
Nobody wants to return a call from someone who sounds surly or bored.
Teach your salespeople to put on their best game face and go into voicemails with a positive attitude.
This doesn’t mean adopting a cheerleader voice. Instead, teach them to focus on sounding cheerful, empathetic, and engaged.
2. Be Brief and Direct
Long rambling voicemails are a turn-off to busy professionals.
Teach your salespeople a simple script that gets to the point quickly, provides the necessary information, and gives the prospect a reason to return the call.
3. Provide Contact Info at Beginning and End
Make sure it’s easy for prospects to call your rep back as soon as they decide they want to, by providing contact info at both the beginning and the end of the voicemail.
This way, if they decide right away they want to call you, they don’t have to wait through the whole voicemail, but if they do listen to the whole thing, they don’t have to start at the beginning again to get the contact info.
It’s also a good idea to repeat the callback phone number twice or more to be sure the contact had a chance to capture it.
4. Ask for Help
People hate to be sold to, but they love to help. When appropriate, callback requests can be phrased as requests for help.
For instance, your rep might say, “I’m hoping you can help me find the right person to talk to. Can you call me so I can explain what I’m looking for?”
5. Provide a Benefit
Nobody wants to return a call just so they can be “sold to.” That’s why it’s important for your salespeople to declare to voicemail recipients the benefit of calling them back.
For instance, they might say, “I have an idea that could save your company $xx on advertising this year. Call me back so we can figure out if it will work for you.”
6. Have a Goal
Vague voicemails that simply ask for a callback are unlikely to be returned.
Make sure your salespeople go into every voicemail with a clear goal for what they want out of the callback, and that they state that clearly as either a benefit or request.
7. Use a Voicemail Script
Scripts can be useful in routine situations, and they don’t have to be complicated. In fact, simple is better. Here’s one that works well for almost any outbound calling situation:
Hello, this is [Name] from [Company]. My number is [Number]. I’m calling about [Thing You’re Calling About]. Please call me back so I can [Benefit You Can Provide]. Again, my phone number is [Number]. I look forward to speaking with you!
Leaving great voicemails is an art and a science. Don’t leave it up to chance, but encourage your salespeople to practice on their own time and during coaching sessions.
It’s also a good idea for them to listen to their own voicemails and evaluate each one to see where they can improve next time.
Leaving a buyer-focused, professional voicemail can put your sales rep and your company on your prospect’s radar, even if they don’t call your rep back the first time.
Remind your sales reps to articulate and speak confidently during every interaction with a prospect or customer—whether in person, on the phone, or over voicemail.
IMPACT Selling teaches salespeople how to get the most out of every selling interaction they have, including calls and voicemails.