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Your Tone Matters When Leaving Messages With Sales Prospects


Most of us at AG would argue that selling over the phone is more difficult than selling in person. When we don’t have the advantage of meeting face-to-face, then your tone is critical in determining rapport since we're not able to pick up on the non-verbal cues.  If we aren’t projecting a confident tone then most likely we aren’t going to get far with our prospects.

As important as it is to project that confidence live on the phone, it is equally important when leaving them a message. 

We can all agree that it can be frustrating getting voicemail after voicemail when all we want is to speak with a human being. Guess what... 90% of the time you aren't getting anyone on the phone with your first call. We need to be conditioned to expect that, otherwise that frustration will most likely show through when your message is left. Get rid of the filler words, be confident and project yourself as an equal, all the while keeping your message length as brief as possible. 

Having sat through thousands of hours of call sessions with my team, I've heard a wide variety of unique messages. Here are a couple samples of the same exact message delivered with a different tone….otherwise known as the good, the bad and the ugly.

Sample 1:  The "If you can't already tell I'm reading from a script message":

Consider hitting pound after you leave message to get a sense of how you may be unpleasantly surprised. This should provide you some sense as to why people aren't calling you back.

Sample 2: The "I've been getting beat up all day and I'm trying to over-compensate message":

Shoot me!

Sample 3: The "Hey why don't we try to sound a bit like a human being message":

You don't sound like señor cheese sales guys plus you managed to avoid sounding like a robot. There is a chance you could get a response back!

Now there will be a good percentage of folks in the sales world that would recommend that you don’t leave a message at all.  Typically we see between a 1-2% response rate from a message so it is hard to argue with that logic, but if you follow any kind of call plan, leaving that voicemail is critical part of the process because it will greatly increase the chances of response either by email or by a returned call. Keep in mind that we need to use EVERY tool at our disposal in order to make some progress when we cold call.


Craig, this is one area that my company addresses with our salespeople when talking phone skills and it's one that's not addressed enough, IMHO. Tone and pace of speech communicate so much information that we, as trainers, need to address both the what (script) and the how (tone and pace) to really help our callers succeed. It's also insightful in the same exercise to address email (no body language, no tone and pace of speech) for what it is as a communication tool...great for sharing data and details; terrific for archiving threads of written conversations, but LOUSY at getting strangers to understand who we are and what we might be able to help them achieve success. Sharing your three audio files was the perfect way to drive home your point on the importance of tone and pace...thanks for a great post! 
Bill Lauf Jr. 
Sales Trainer-Skyline Exhibits
Posted @ Wednesday, November 24, 2023 7:52 AM by Bill Lauf Jr.
Thanks Bill. It seems we tend to focus much of our effort in the content of message. As you mentioned, your message won't have the impact we hope for if isn't delivered with the appropriate tone and pace. 
Happy Thanksgiving!
Posted @ Wednesday, November 24, 2023 2:24 PM by Craig Ferrara
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