Do Voicemails Really Work?

Easy-way-to-Set-up-Voicemail-on-iPhone-5SThis week’s edition of “Ask the Sales Manager” is about the ongoing question, “do voicemails really work?” The answer is a definite maybe.

Why maybe? Well, it’s all about WHAT you leave on the voicemail. If your voicemail is too vague, chances are you’re not going to get a call back. If it’s too long, it’s probably not going to get listened to. But if it’s just right (does this sound like an old children’s fable?), you have a really good chance of getting a call back. So what is “just right?” That is a great question, and the best answer is: it has to capture the prospects attention immediately and it has to have value. I don’t mean that you should offer them a $100 gift card for returning your call (although that would probably work), I mean the message you leave has to be compelling enough to cause the prospect to dial your number and take time out of their busy day to find out more about what you are offering.

Chances are you can’t give all of your product’s value in a 20 second voicemail, and that is perfectly OK. You only want to give one piece of value and save the rest for future voicemails, or better yet, conversations. If you unload all your value propositions on the first voicemail, there are two problems: the prospect most likely won’t listen to the whole message and you won’t have anything else to say on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th voicemails you leave.

It takes an average of 3-6 calls to get a hold of someone, so chances are you are going to be calling back more than once. The key is to make a couple of calls, then leave your first voicemail with your #1 value proposition, then wait a couple of days to see if they call back. If not, make another couple of calls and then leave your 2nd voicemail with your 2nd best value proposition, and again, wait a couple of days for a call back. Repeat this process until the 5th call, and on that one, respectfully leave a last voicemail letting the prospect know that obviously they are too busy to return your call and this will be the last time that you will be reaching out to them. In the event they were just too busy, let them know that they should feel free to reach out to you and then leave your contact info. Put them back into your call list for 6-9 months down the road and start it all over again.