Leaving a sales voicemail is a B2B appointment setting technique that sales development representatives (SDRs) aren’t fond of but that is necessary to contact prospects in the sales pipeline. Many sales reps don’t think they’re effective because their callback rates are low. However, there are right and wrong ways to approach leaving sales voicemails, and some sales voicemail strategies are more successful than others.
In this blog, we’ll focus on the following:
Why Leave a Cold Call Voicemail Message?
When you leave a cold call voicemail, you increase the chances of a prospect calling you back because they have your name and phone number readily available. Unfortunately, many cold callers don’t leave a voicemail message because they believe it’s a waste of time. However, many sales reps don’t understand that the more often you leave a voicemail, the more likely a key decision-maker (KDM) is to call you back and hear you out.
Leaving a cold call voicemail shows the potential buyer that you care about hearing from them. Cold calling is a lot of hard work, and more often than not, you’re sent to voicemail—that’s the cold, hard truth. When you leave a voicemail, you’re showing KDMs that you care about potentially doing business with them. And even if they’re not interested now, at least you’ve made them aware of your brand and you can start building a relationship until they’re ready to make a purchase.
How To Leave an Effective Voicemail for Key Decision-Makers
If you think you have the perfect sales voicemail script, think again. Some sales voicemail tips that worked in the past may not be as effective in today’s cold calling climate. Here are some sales voicemail tips you should consider for your cold call voicemail strategy:
First Thing’s First—Don’t Sell in a Voicemail
While you may want to pitch a prospect, a voicemail isn’t the way to do that. When you leave a sales voicemail, keep it brief and don’t sell before you get the chance to talk to them one-on-one. If you leave a “salesy” voicemail, you’ll probably never hear from them, and they’ll more than likely be dodging your phone calls from that point on. When leaving a sales voicemail, keep it brief and leave them on the edge of their seat so they feel like they have to call you back.
Keep It Under 20 Seconds
When was the last time you actually listened to a voicemail? With smartphones, you have the opportunity to read voicemail transcripts so you can decide if it’s worth the listen. The thing is that no one likes long voicemails—especially not sales voicemails. When leaving a sales voicemail, it’s crucial to keep it under 20 seconds max. Better yet, shoot for about a 10-second time limit. In these 10 seconds, you can get your point across, provide value, and increase response rates.
User Their Name
When leaving a cold call voicemail, it’s crucial you refer to the KDM by their first—and maybe even last—name. This shows the listener that the voicemail is specifically left for them and it’s not a generic recording sent to everyone you call. Referring to a KDM by name adds a more personable touch and insinuates that they may even know you directly. Even if you don’t have the right phone number, maybe the receiver can call you back and direct you to the right KDM.
Present Urgency (Somewhat)
As you leave a sales call voicemail, it’s essential that you don’t play the “cool” salesperson card by saying things like “nothing urgent” or “give me a call back whenever you have time.” Phrasing like this discredits your call—if it’s not urgent, why are you calling in the first place? Everyone texts or sends emails these days anyway.
A sales call voicemail should give a prospect a reason to call you back. While you don’t want to overstate the urgency, you don’t want to discredit it either. Mention information that is valuable to them and their company’s overall success.
Additionally, if you leave every sales voicemail with “call me back ASAP,” at some point, a KDM is going to know this call isn’t an emergency. While presenting urgency is important for getting a callback, you don’t have to be the “cold caller who cried wolf.” Presenting too much urgency could negatively impact the reputation of your company.
Don’t Beat Around the Bush—Make Your Point
“Did you hear that St. Louis Native Andy Cohen recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Speaking of stars, this is Eric over at Abstrakt Marketing Group calling for Scott. We’re a leading outsourced sales and marketing company that works with businesses in St. Louis to help them grow their business…”
You were probably confused by that intro, right? Imagine leaving that voicemail for a KDM of a high-quality sales opportunity. What a nightmare. Beating around the bush and rambling in a sales voicemail is a surefire way to not get a call back. Oh, you didn’t want a call back? Mission accomplished.
When leaving a sales voicemail, be sure to make your point without adding in unnecessary details. This can leave the listener confused about why you’re calling them in the first place and leave them regretting even listening to the voicemail.
Leave More Than One Voicemail—But Don’t Go Crazy
Leaving voicemails is crucial for increasing response rates. The more voicemails you leave, the more likely a KDM will call you back. However, there is a right and wrong way to do it. Leaving a sales voicemail each time you call can easily turn a prospect off from your business. A best practice our sales teams like to follow is to leave a voicemail for a prospect after three unanswered calls. This ensures that you’re not too professionally persistent with the prospect or letting them slip through your fingers.
Speak Clearly and Slowly
It’s common for cold callers to get excited and a little nervous when speaking on the phones with KDMs, which can cause them to talk quicker than normal. When you’re on the phone with a KDM, you must communicate clearly and slowly so they can easily follow what you’re saying—and the rule is no different for leaving sales voicemails. When you leave a voicemail, be sure to speak slowly and clearly so the listener can catch everything you’re saying.
Before leaving sales voicemails for KDMs, consider practicing leaving yourself a voicemail to see how you sound. This allows you to practice enunciating and setting your speed. Additionally, this could tell you if you need a better headset, quieter background noise, and more.
Be Aware of Your Tone
Cold calling can be repetitive for many salespeople, especially when there are a lot of prospects in the sales pipeline that deny sales appointments. Make sure you’re paying attention to your tone of voice, because KDMs notice when you’re bored and just going through the motions. While leaving sales voicemails isn’t the most exciting part of your job, it’s vital for getting in contact with KDMs. As you leave a sales voicemail, remember to be aware of your tone and avoid sounding monotone.
Don’t Sound Desperate
Relating to the first “don’t sell in a voicemail” point, it’s essential that you also don’t sound desperate for their business. The purpose of a sales voicemail is to get them interested in the products and services your company has to offer. If you use phrases like “please call back,” go ahead and delete them from your sales voicemail script because any hint of desperation can turn off a prospect in a split second.
If you spend the 10- to 20-second voicemail boasting about how great your company is, you’re almost guaranteed not to get a call back. When you leave a voicemail, make sure you keep the prospect at the forefront of your mind. Staying customer-oriented increases the likelihood of them calling you back because they feel like your company has something valuable to offer their business.
Have a Goal for Your Voicemail
Before rambling on and talking nonsense during your voicemail, make sure you have a goal you want to achieve. Setting a clear intention gives you the opportunity to craft your sales voicemail script to accomplish that goal.
Different Types of Sales Call Voicemail Strategies (With Script)
Sales Voicemail Strategy #1: The Lever
The lever is a confident sales voicemail strategy that shows the prospect that you know what you’re talking about and isn’t portrayed as a cold call. Ideally, all cold callers want to achieve this type of voicemail. However, it takes a lot of confidence and understanding of the buyer persona to execute this sales voicemail strategy successfully.
Here’s a sample sales voicemail script using the lever strategy:
“Hey, Scott. Eric with Abstrakt Marketing Group. I’ve been chatting with your team at [insert company name] for the last few months and needed to talk with you briefly. Please reach me at (314) 526-0381. Again, Eric with Abstrakt Marketing Group at (314) 526-0381. Thanks!”
Sales Voicemail Strategy #2: The Value
Providing value in a sales voicemail message could include insight about various things, including limited-time promotions, how to improve their day-to-day operations, and so on. However, the value sales voicemail script can sound pitchy, so it’s essential to save it for leads that are closer to the end of the sales funnel.
Here’s a sample sales voicemail script using the value strategy:
“Hey Scott, this is Eric calling from Abstrakt Marketing Group. My boss wanted me to reach out to you because we’ve been working with commercial HVAC companies like yours, and we’ve seen a 20% increase in their profits in the last three months. We think we could help your company do the same. Give me a call back at (314) 526-0381 so we can talk more in detail about it. Again, this is Eric at Abstrakt Marketing Group. Thanks!”
Sales Voicemail Strategy #3: The Referral
A referral sales voicemail strategy only works when you are referred to a prospect by a third party like a current client, employee, or business in your network. If you’re contacting a prospect you haven’t spoken with yet, you may want to introduce the voicemail by saying you were referred their way by the mutual connection. This sets the intention of the voicemail and encourages them to listen to what you have to tell them.
Here’s an example of a sales voicemail you can leave for a referral:
“Hey, Scott. This is Eric calling with Abstrakt Marketing Group. I was referred your way by Melanie at [insert company name]. We’re working with commercial cleaning companies like yours to advance their website setup, and we want to show you our approach and how it’s been successful. You can reach me at (314) 526-0381 for more details. Again, it’s Eric at Abstrakt Marketing Group. Thanks!”
Sales Voicemail Strategy #4: The Friendly Neighbor
This sales voicemail strategy is great if you thoroughly understand the prospect’s personality. The friendly neighbor sales voicemail strategy is an enthusiastic and upbeat approach to leaving a sales voicemail. If the prospect is as lively of a person as you are, they may be thrilled to hear how excited you are and hurry to give you a call back.
Here’s an example of the friendly neighbor sales voicemail script:
“Hey, Scott! This is Eric with Abstrakt Marketing Group. I’ve developed this new social media strategy that can set your business apart from competitors, and I’m super excited to share it with you. Call me back when you get this message at (314) 526-0381. Again, this is Eric at Abstrakt Marketing Group. Can’t wait to hear from you. Have a great day!”
Sales Voicemail Strategy #5: The Business Professional
In some industries, the more professional you sound, the better. When these prospects get sales calls, all they want is a straightforward solution to their pain points.
Here’s a professional sales voicemail script you can use for your get-it-and-go prospects:
“Hello Scott, this is Eric from Abstrakt Marketing Group. I’m calling to inform you about our B2B appointment setting and digital marketing services. My number is (314) 526-0381. I’ll follow up with an email tomorrow as well. I’ll be waiting for your call. Bye!”
Sales Voicemail Strategy #6: The Expert
The expert sales voicemail strategy enables you to showcase your skills in a short amount of time. This is ideal for getting off on the right foot with prospects and demonstrating your expertise in the subject matter.
Here’s an example of the expert sales voicemail strategy:
“Hi, Scott. This is Eric calling from Abstrakt Marketing Group. I’m calling because you downloaded our guide to choosing the best marketing collateral for each stage of the buyer’s journey. I can help you design the best sales enablement assets for your business growth efforts. Call me back at (314) 526-0381 so we can start creating marketing materials to help guide your prospects through the sales funnel. I look forward to hearing your insight. Talk soon!”
While many sales reps avoid leaving sales voicemails, they’re a vital appointment setting tactic that increases the likelihood of connecting with KDMs. At Abstrakt Marketing Group, our SDRs participate in a sales training program to learn the best practices for pitching KDMs, setting sales appointments, and leaving voicemails that boost callback rates. If you’re ready to start building relationships and attending sales appointments with qualified leads, contact the sales reps at Abstrakt Marketing Group!
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