Voicemail symbol

Shall I leave a voicemail? Telesales tips for telesales and telemarketing personnel.

Voicemail is the bane of the modern telesales or telemarketing person’s life. You get put through only to end up with a machine. What should you do? If you don’t leave a message and the customer or prospect is interested in what you have to say, then you’ve just missed an opportunity haven’t you? Conversely if you leave a message every time, and they haven’t called you back in response to the last 22 messages you’ve left, they’re hardly likely to call back this time are they?! Also, worse you can look a little desperate. Not keen, or professional, but desperate.

The wise advice

The best advice then is to make your decision on a case by case basis.

Generally, we find that the vast majority, (more than 99% it feels like, do not call back.) This experience is reflected across most business to business market sectors. So whatever you decide to do, the reality is that they probably won’t take action anyway.

The most positive instances are where you are following up a proposal or a meeting, or something you have been specifically talking to them about. Maybe you have some information for them, but you want to talk to them about it. In any of these cases where your call is part of an ongoing dialogue, it is wise to leave a message. It makes it easy for them to respond to you, and your message may just prompt them to take action. All of this is of course, good stuff. Even if they don’t it will at least register and by the time you do get to talk to them, chances are that they will at least know that you’ve been trying to contact them.

Cold calls

In the case of cold calls too, if you’ve not spoken to your targeted contact before, you have little to lose by leaving a message. Let’s consider if they are interested (and even better – in the market) for what you do, you at least want them to know about you. With all new contacts – part of your prospect pot, you want to start building the communication.

If you’ve not spoken to someone for a while and you’re trying to reach them leaving a message now and again will do no harm, but I’d suggest a maximum of 1 per week. Anymore than that and they will feel you’re hassling them. And they will come back to you if they need to won’t they? If you have a particular message for them, make sure you mention this too : a new product or service that would benefit them. Certainly the more you tempt them to want to find out more, the more likely they are to call.

Overall, this selective approach may mean you leave a message once every 2, 3, 4 or more calls. Fine.

In conclusion

Use your own in-built wisdom to decide when to leave voicemail messages. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re met someone and you’re following up, then leave a message. If the prospect knows nothing about you, leave a message. Anything else make a decision. Remember to also use other methods of contact. Drop them an e-mail if you can find out the e-mail address or even try a letter (remember them?!)

To Market trains telemarketing and telesales teams all around the UK covering topics such as how to sell benefits, how to deal with objections, recognising buying signals, questioning and much, much more. We regularly train across the Midlands in Leicester, Northampton, Birmingham, Walsall, Lichfield, Redditch, Walsall, Telford, Halesowen, Coventry, Rugby, Derby, Nottingham, Market Harborough, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Kettering, Wellingborough, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford on Avon, as well as wider parts of the East Midlands, West Midlands, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

originally posted 18th March 2013