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Teleprospecting Debate Continued: To Leave A Voicemail Or Not To Leave A Voicemail


After writing my last blog entry on the introduction debates of cold calling, it got me thinking about other debates in the world of teleprospecting. Something that inside sales teams struggle with is deciding whether or not their call plan should include leaving voicemails for prospects. Some companies believe that they should call through lists and “no contact” prospects until they reach someone live. My question is, what if the people you are “no contacting” are in fact interested, but maybe they left their desks for a moment to get a cup of coffee? If this is the case for some prospects out there, isn’t leaving a voicemail necessary? I think it’s pretty clear what my argument is and I am interested in hearing what others have to say.

The key to leaving an effective voicemail comes down to the content of the voicemail. If you call someone and product dump, that will never catch their attention – at least that is what I have found in my experience. So what does work? Here are some of my tips for leaving an effective voicemail that will get you a call back:

Make it personal. Think about how many calls your prospect receives a day. Do you really think they want to hear you sound scripted when they listen to you? Sounding like a robot will result in your prospect immediately deleting your voicemail before they hear it in its entirety. Be your personable self while clearly stating the purpose of your call at the same time.

Avoid product dumping. This goes back to my robot theory – make your voicemail about your product without telling them every detail. Try another method like mentioning a pain or challenge that many other companies are experiencing within their industry that your product alleviates. Let them know that you don’t want to waste their time, but you would like to help them if this is a challenge they are experiencing as well.

Clearly state your contact information. Have you ever received a voicemail where someone left their phone number once, and you had to keep repeating the message until you were able to jot down the entire number? I know I have, and not only is it frustrating, but it takes time. With this idea in mind, a C-level contact certainly does not have the time or patience for this, and will be that much more inclined to delete the message instead of listening to it. As a result, I always make sure to leave my name and number once at the beginning of my message and then again at the end even if it sounds repetitive.

Call to action. This is the key to make sure you hear back from a prospect. Let the prospect know what you are going to do on your end if they don’t get back to you. For instance, a lot of us here at AG end our messages with, “I will follow up this voicemail with an email. If I should not hear back, I will follow up in two days.” This way the prospect knows that if they don’t want to hear from you again, they really need to reach out and give you a valid reason as to why.

So what is more effective: only reaching prospects live by “no contacting” or leaving voicemails in hopes of sparking some interest if they’ve stepped away from their desks?


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