Voicemail machine

Should I leave a voicemail message? This is a regular question I face as a trainer for telemarketing and telephone sales teams.

Making cold calls is difficult enough due to the rejection that you potentially face. But worse perhaps is the fact that you can’t even get through to invite that rejection! You get the dreaded voicemail and then you have to decide.  ”what do I say?”  ”I always fluff my lines” plus “it’s a waste of time anyway, they never call back.”

Admittedly voicemails aren’t the best way of pitching your services,  but it will help you nail your ‘elevator pitch.’ As a rule of thumb though you need to decide whether to leave a voicemail message or not.

If you’ve not spoken to them before, it is probably worth leaving them a message. After all, if they’re looking for the products or services you offer, you could miss an opportunity by ignoring the voicemail.

If you’ve met them and you’re following up a proposal for instance, then again I’d suggest you leave a message.  After all, you’ve put some time and effort in, and so it’s not unreasonable to expect an answer back – a degree of accountability from them. Doesn’t mean to say you’ll get it though of course. 

If you are going to leave a voicemail then, use the following;

  1. Use the prospects name, your name and the name of the organisation you work for. What I usually refer to as the 3 stand intro.
  2. Leave them the reason you’re calling – and offer a reason for them to call you back, “it’s about saving you money on ….” etc.
  3. Let them know that you’ll try them again.
  4. Offer them an alternative way of contacting you. Leave details of your e-mail address or your businesses’ web address etc. This may appeal to them as they may prefer to contact you back using other media.
  5. Make sure you’re aware of your vocal tone and impact. Keep it light and friendly, but also professional. This will of course be influenced by how well you know them. Make sure you don’t sound stern or you’re telling them off for not contacting you. Avoid “….this is now the fourth message I’ve left you….” that type of thing. You may be frustrated, but don’t let it show. Stay cool.

Be selective then with your voicemail messages but keep in touch, and don’t give up. Particularly if you believe there is potential in that account. Nevertheless it must be a balance. You don’t want to sound like you’re hassling them though.

This and a series of other topical subjects are covered on our 2 day telesales and telemarketing courses. To Market  runs telephone skills training courses across the UK, including Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Loughborough, Coventry, Solihull, Daventry, Rugby, Lutterworth, Kettering, Wellingborough, Corby, Peterborough, Cambridge, Newmarket, Bury St. Edmunds as well as wider parts of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, the East and West Midlands.