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How to leave the most effective voicemails

The 5-Minute Guide to Leaving the Most Effective Voicemails


In 2007, it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today, it takes 8 attempts. That means you’ll be hearing the answering machine much more often than a real voice.

With the odds of talking to someone stacked against you, how do you make the most out of a voicemail? How do you ensure that someone calls you back? And how do you avoid coming across as annoying?

Here are our quick tips for leaving the most effective voicemails:


  • Remember that leaving a voicemail is progress: A lot of sellers view landing in the voicemail box as a call failure.  It’s not. It’s actually an opportunity to communicate with your prospect in a way that they are very likely to get. People are more likely to listen to all of their voicemails than read all of their emails. Leaving a great voicemail will help you establish your brand so the next time they are looking at their email, they will recognize your name and will be more likely to open it. 
  • Don’t leave a voicemail every time: Be strategic about when you leave a voicemail so you don’t end up bombarding prospects. Leave a voicemail the first time you call, then every other call or so. This allows for more call attempts to reach your prospect without being annoying.
  • Keep it short: Don’t try to communicate your entire message in a voicemail. The whole point of a voicemail is to get someone to call you back, not to make your sales pitch. The shorter your voicemail, the better. Try something like this, “Hi John, the reason for my call today is [five-second value proposition]. Give me a call back at 555-555-5555.”
  • Offer clear value: Give prospects a reason to call you back and remember you. We all receive countless voicemails that sound like, “Hi John, this is Bob for XYZ company selling…,” but a voicemail like that doesn’t articulate what is in it for the prospect. Instead, say, “Hi John, I’m calling to introduce you to a new solution that can increase your marketing conversion rates by 60%. Give me a call back at 555-555-5555.”
  • Move the conversation to email: If you’re having trouble getting someone on the phone, move the conversation to email so you can track real-time interactions. Leave a voicemail and let your prospect know you’ll be sending a follow-up email. With Tellwise, you can track the email to know when prospects have actually opened that email, letting you call back when you know someone is interacting with your content.
  • Record your voicemails: It’s difficult to leave the perfect voicemail each and every time. You may be tired, distracted, or just not as energized as you normally are. By pre-recording your voicemails, you can ensure that you leave an impactful, positive message every time. And, you can keep your energy level high for when you get to the real conversation.
  • Be clear about next steps: Make sure your voicemail has a clear call to action and that prospects know what will happen next. Don’t be afraid to say, “I will call you back in a couple days to try to reach you again” or “I will send you a follow-up email now.”

Leaving a voicemail doesn’t have to be a scary or disheartening process. Today’s technology, especially sales acceleration software, takes the burden off and helps you save save and energy when leaving voicemails.

Stop thinking of the answering machine like a dead end and instead think of how you can automate and improve the process so you can ultimately reach your prospects.

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