In today’s digital age, many sales reps stick to what they know; using email, social media, and even texts to prospect and converse with potential customers. The days of cold calling have been left behind, and leaving a sales call voicemail? Not a chance. Although technology has opened new channels of communication, don’t forget about the power of phone calls and voicemails.

I can hear the objections already, “Even if I leave a voicemail I never hear back!” Just as the great Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. You can cold call all day but if you don’t leave a voicemail, you’re guaranteed a 0% response rate. In fact, certain studies show that well-crafted voicemails can improve response rates anywhere from 3 percent to 22 percent (source).

InsideSales.com recent research shows that 32 percent of respondents use email as a preferred method to communicate with prospects and only 6 percent of sales reps use a single call and voicemail in their sales cadence.

Yes, cold calling and voicemails may seem like a thing of the past but it’s important to think about where your message will stand out more ⁠— mixed in with hundreds of other sales emails or alongside the 6 percent of reps who’ve left a voicemail? One study shows that 57 percent of people who receive a cold email think it is spam without even opening it, and the average office worker gets 121 emails a day. It’s time to master the art of the voicemail and get your prospect’s attention with our carefully curated sales voicemail tips below!

Keep it under 30 seconds

There are many articles out there claiming to know the perfect voicemail length but the truth is there is no solid research backing those claims. As a rule of thumb, try and keep your messages under 30 seconds. Leaving something too short can cause a prospect to think it was a misdial, while a message over 30 seconds is expected to be a pitch and thus ignored. Keeping your message around 30 seconds allows you to add value, leave contact information, and leave them wanting more without boring them.

Clearly state your value proposition

Although the real reason you’re calling is to make a sale, a voicemail is not the place to do so. The goal of a sales call voicemail is to get a call back which won’t happen unless you give them a reason to. Instead of talking about how great your product is, provide specific business applications and success metrics. This value statement is the hook that catches a prospect’s interest and makes them eager to learn more.

Repeat your contact information

This seems simple but is often forgotten. Repeating your contact information allows the prospect to note the information without having to replay the message. As a rep, you should always want to make things as easy as possible for your prospects, so think of repeating your information as a courtesy to them.

Don’t start with your name and title

A successful voicemail stands out to your prospect. Almost every sales call voicemail I have received starts with, “Hi my name is John Smith from ABC company…”. This not only blends in with every other sales voicemail, it can also potentially set you up for disaster. Many people will hear this sentence and have either heard of your company and have preconceived notions or they haven’t heard of you and therefore don’t care. Instead, start with stating the reason for your call, adding in a value proposition, and finishing with your name and contact information.

Speak calmly and slowly in your normal voice

We get it, cold calling can be nerve-wracking and leaving voicemails can cause you to freeze like a deer in the headlights. Avoid this by preparing your pitch beforehand so you know what to say even when you’re flustered. Make a concentrated effort to speak slower and in an even tone (often your voice will change in times of stress). Additionally, salespeople are often trained to speak in an excited tone, resulting in an unnaturally high pitched voice. Sales voicemails that get callbacks will sound casual and authentic, like you’re speaking with an old friend.

When keeping busy with texts, emails, and LinkedIn messages, it’s easy to make the mistake of letting phone calls and voicemails fall by the wayside. Voicemails are a crucial tool in a salesperson’s toolkit and should therefore be included in a rep’s overall contact strategy. Even if a prospect doesn’t call back, the combination of voicemails, emails, and messages can build brand recognition and familiarity with a prospect, resulting in more deals closed.

Still having trouble encouraging your reps to make calls? Enjoy these 5 Sales Contest Ideas for Motivating Calls to reinforce this important prospecting activity.

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Tips to Leave Sales Voicemails that get Callbacks
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Tips to Leave Sales Voicemails that get Callbacks
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You can cold call all day but if you don’t leave a voicemail, you’re guaranteed a 0% response rate. In fact, certain studies show that well-crafted voicemails can improve response rates anywhere from 3 percent to 22 percent!
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