“Oh great,” someone says. “They left another voicemail. Where’s that delete button again?” It’s not exactly what you want to hear someone say if they receive a voicemail from you. They may regret giving you their phone number. They certainly aren’t going to provide you with a callback, either. So what’s the secret? How do you place phone calls that do get a callback? What do you say when you hear that familiar beep, and it feels like a red light has just turned on?
If you’ve ever been in a business that requires placing a cold call, you know how important it is to use the contact information at your disposal without wasting a single phone number. That’s why we’ve put together a guide for leaving voicemails that go straight to the inbox—but still, generate interest once they’re there. Here’s how to do it.
Tip #1: Leave Your Contact Information Quickly
Since every voicemail message comes with a time limit, your first goal should be to get the basics down. Your full name, including your first name, company name, and phone number at which people can reach you. Your voice message should ideally lead with these or include them somewhere in the middle—because if you wait too long, you may find yourself scrambling to fit it all in.
It’s tempting to use the first few seconds of the voicemail as an attention-grabber. But “Hi there! Do you like free money?” isn’t necessarily a proper fit for a cell phone voicemail inbox. Instead, it sounds too advertise-y—and people can smell that coming a mile away. It’s far better to take a conversational, straightforward approach. This way, your message will sound like a legitimate business inquiry or even someone who’s reached out to them. And if they suspect they know you, it’s far more difficult to stop listening to what you have to say.
Tip #2: Don’t Ramble
Leaving a message on a mobile phone can sound like a fun opportunity to leave a professional voicemail. It is. But resist the temptation to take advantage of this fact by leaving a long-winded, rambling message that doesn’t get to the point. Salespeople who drone on often forget that voicemail messages are about the customer and what they need. Rather than going on and on about your company, use a tone of voice that suggests you’re ready for a casual, quick conversation. This lighter, more casual voicemail greeting suggests: “I won’t take up too much of your time if you call me back.”
Tip #3: Don’t Talk Too Quickly
Of course, you may read the above and do the opposite: talk too quickly and try to hang up as soon as possible. This isn’t ideal, either. Your tone should suggest relaxed confidence. Take your time in getting your message out—but without going overboard to the point of rambling.
This serves two purposes, both psychological and practical. Psychologically, the listener might assume that if you’re speaking with a relaxed, confident tone of voice, then you must believe in what it is you’re selling in this sales voicemail. It may not even sound like a sales voicemail to them. And practically speaking slowly helps ensure that they hear your message.
Tip #4: Talk About Them, Not You
One of the oldest aphorisms in advertising is to discuss benefits, not features. In other words, if you were advertising a personal music player, saying “10GB of storage space” isn’t as fun as saying “hold thousands of songs wherever you go.” The latter is a benefit—it allows the listener to picture why they would want to own one.
It should be the same with the voicemails you leave. Rather than talk about you or your qualifications in this phone message, you should instead try to focus on what you can do for the listener. This is a sales call, after all—so make the sale. This isn’t an invitation to be overly salesy, but rather to frame your voicemail so someone can see the benefit of calling you back. A good voicemail will get its point across clearly, but a great voicemail will make someone picture themselves calling you back.
Tip #5: When in Doubt, Use a Voicemail Script
Some people think a voicemail script means you’ll sound inorganic, leaving a ringless voicemail that says forced rather than organic. But there’s no reason you can’t lean on a script to at least ensure the nuts and bolts required in every voicemail you leave are present.
You don’t have to go word-for-word here. But you can build voicemail templates to help yourself leave the best first impression possible. Leaning on these templates might give you more confidence rather than completely spit balling each voicemail message.
You’ll notice that above, we referred to the fact that you can drop into a listener’s voicemail inbox without necessarily getting your call screened. You can do this with Slybroadcast, using a ringless voicemail system to drop your message directly into someone’s cell phone. This is a non-distracting, non-intrusive way to get your voice message heard by your potential customers.
This is also a low-pressure way to conduct phone sales. Rather than potentially ending up on the line with anyone who’s already wary of phone reps, you don’t have to apply any sales pressure. You can call them, leave a ringless voicemail, stick to your voicemail template, and leave it at that.
But also think about it from your audience’s perspective. Rather than getting an intrusive phone call at an inopportune time, they can drop into their voicemail inbox and listen to your message at a convenient time. This makes them potentially more amenable to what you have to say—and they still hear your voice. Ultimately, it’s the smoother way to reach out to someone in the modern age and still make the sale.