Why most sales voicemail messages suck

by Steli Efti

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Most sales voicemail messages lack purpose. They usually express no clear intention for the prospect.

Too many sales reps speak too fast and ramble, filling the message with lots of “um’s” and “ah’s”. Then, potential clients have to listen to the voicemail three to four times, just to write down the callback number.

That’s why messages are deleted, and prospects never return calls.

A good voicemail sparks interest. It’s well-planned and compels the recipient to phone the caller immediately.

Let’s revamp your sales voicemail messages right now.

The typical (terrible) voicemail

As technology continues to advance, people are beginning to dread certain types of communication tools like voicemail. From October 2013 to April 2014, voicemail deposits dropped by 8 percent.

Moreover, Millennials dislike listening to them. And rightfully so!

For a moment, put yourself in the shoes of your potential client:

You receive a voicemail from a sales rep. He leaves a two-minute message talking about a product you should purchase. The rep rushes to describe all the product details and why you would be the perfect fit for their “Manager’s Special Offer.”

Only at the end do you sorta hear the salesperson’s name and phone number. Then, the rep says, “If I don’t hear from you in a day or two, I DEFINITELY will call you back.”

Ugh. What a waste of two minutes!

You basically volunteered to listen to an advertisement on your phone, and most people don’t want their voicemail to be used as a commercial spot. It’s a nuisance.

In this example, the sales rep failed to leave a short message. He decided to sell, rather than inform the recipient.

And how does he know that you’re a great fit for a specific deal if his company doesn’t know your current needs?

The rep didn’t even say his name or number clearly. In addition, he made an explicit decision to call you back, defeating the purpose of you calling him back.

Don’t let your team leave inexcusable voicemail messages. There’s a better way.

How to structure a voicemail

A sales rep leaves on average 70 voicemails per day, requiring 60 seconds each, which adds up to approximately 25 hours per month. If you had a team of 50 sales reps, they would spend 1,277 hours per month leaving voicemails—unless they're using Close.io. Our platform allows you to leave a pre-recorded voicemail message with just one click.

As a sales leader, recognize that your team is vying for a prospect’s attention. And prospects want value, not a sales pitch.

Therefore, short, purposeful messages will always defeat long, selfish monologues. You want the receiver to take action, which requires a compelling reason.

Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch says, "Think before you voicemail."

Voicemail is a selling tool that can make a good first impression, start an ongoing relationship, or close your next deal.

The way you present yourself matters. The goal is to leave a voicemail that says: I’m worth engaging with right now.

Co-founder of inventRight, Stephen Key, states that a phone call “requires confidence and courage and allows you to find common ground more quickly.”

Instead of selling within 30 seconds, entice the prospect with insightful ideas. Here’s a sales voicemail template your team can use:

  • (Optional) Establish a connection: "I learned about your company from John Doe."
  • Introduce yourself: "My name is Steli with Close.io."
  • State value: "After researching, my team found that we can shrink your costs up to 25%."
  • Share insight: "We’ve accumulated over 100 positive reviews on the same issue."
  • Add contact information: "Let’s talk. Contact me at 123-456-7890."
  • Give urgency: "Reach out by Nov. 1st, before the holiday rush."
  • Repeat your contact information: "My name is Steli. 123-456-7890. Thanks."

5 tips to create a worthwhile voicemail message

Want to give your team some pointers? Here are a few tips to help turn deleted annoyances into callback-friendly messages.

1. Smile

Prospects don’t want to hear a dreary message that will put them to sleep. It won’t grab the person’s attention and it hurts your company’s brand.

To leave an upbeat voicemail, “say your message with a smile on your face.” Show some excitement and engage the individual as if you were talking to him or her in-person.

2. Repeat, please

The purpose of your voicemail is to receive a callback. Make sure the receiver can complete that action. So, repeat your name and phone number at the end.

Pro Tip: To increase your callback chances, leave your message from 6:45 AM to 8:00 AM and from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM local time.

3. Test multiple versions

Similar to other sales techniques, you should test what works. Create a simple A/B test for your voicemail.

What happens when you say your name and company last? Or should you state your reason for calling first? Track your response rate with each variation.

More conversations equal more closed deals.

4. Create a sense of urgency

Life is busy and people who really want to contact you sometimes forget. To speed up your prospect’s response time, create a little urgency by adding a time constraint.

Don’t be pushy though. Establish urgency, not a state of panic.

5. Follow up

It’s easy to get ignored today. Thanks to caller ID, people generally disregard incoming calls from people they don’t know.

To counter any neglected voicemails, send prospects an email that will pique their interest. Give them a reason to actually check your message.

Make sure you include a simple yet compelling subject line.

Leave a purposeful message

Sales voicemails don’t have to be lame. Leaving a long, boring message for a potential client only leads to wasted time and unreturned phone calls.

To improve your team’s voicemail conversions, give them a reason to respond in 30 seconds or less and test multiple variations of the message until it produces results.

Your sales team deserves the best. So, sign up for our sales course below!