How to Avoid Voicemail Hell

6 Tips That Will Keep You In The Game

voice mail hellDecision makers are busy people. Not only do they rely on “gatekeepers” to screen you out, increasingly they also use voicemail. So how do we as sales people deal with it? We better develop some solid skills in leaving a compelling voicemail message. It is important to remember that never in the history of sales has leaving a voice mail closed a sale. Unfortunately, poor voicemails have lost more sales than we will ever know. Of course, there is no magic bullet anywhere in sales. Getting a prospect to call you through leaving a voicemail is no different. Having said that, I am amazed at how often the following tips and scripts do actually work.

Six Tips That Will Keep You In The Game

  1.  Be polite! Never sound frustrated or upset you got their voicemail, even if this is the 10th voicemail you have left this person. (Don’t blow the sale before you even meet.)
  2. Give your phone number and name clearly and slowly at least twice. (I’m glad you have your own phone number memorized. There is no need to show off in front of the client.)
  3. Remember, you are doing them a favor by contacting them, sound enthused! (You do believe that, right?)
  4. Call multiple times during the day/week but only leave one voicemail per week. (Don’t come across as a creepy stalker.)
  5. Leave a time that you will be calling back. Often I have found that even if they don’t call me back, by calling at a set time it shows that I am dependable and serious about earning their business. (Seriously!)
  6. Once done with your message, try pushing the # sign. Usually this will allow you to replay and/or delete your message. If you need to, re-record. (Don’t rely on this however. A few years ago I was leaving a prospect a voice mail and flubbed up what I wanted to say. My frustration led to a swear word escaping as I pushed the # sign to start over. Instead of hearing the reassuring sound of, “If you are satisfied with your message, please press one.” I heard a dial tone. That really led to a swear word or two…..)

 Three Scripts That Are Devastatingly Effective.

Competitor Short

This one works because it plays on the fact that most small business owners are very competitive and can’t stand their competition having an advantage over them.

Hi (Frank)! My name is (Tim Martin). I can be reached at _________. I’m calling you regarding (name of their biggest competitor). If for some reason you are unable to reach me, I will try you again tomorrow at 2:15 pm. Again, my name is (Tim Martin, phone #). I hope you have a great day and I look forward to hearing from you!

The Hang Up

This one works due to the old adage, “Curiosity killed the cat.” The business owner can’t NOT call you back! By the way, you can only use this one time per prospect!

Hi (Frank)! My name is (Tim Martin). I can be reached at _____________.  Again my name is (Tim Martin, phone #). Frank, I am so excited about how……….Click (you hang up).

Competitor Long

I use this the week after using the Competitor Short script and it works for the exact same reasons. Don’t use this one first or you will have no reason to call back next week!

Hi (Frank)! My name is (Tim Martin). I can be reached at ___________. (Frank) I’m excited to talk you, even if it is over voice mail. My company, (insert carrier here), has just implemented a program that has helped (name of a competitor) attract and retain better employees, lower their payroll tax liability, drive money to their bottom line while looking like the hero to their employees. Best of all they didn’t have to invest a single dollar of their hard-earned profits into the program. Listen, I’ll be in my office accepting calls between (3:00 – 5:00 pm. on Tuesday and Thursday this week) and I look forward to hearing from you! If for some reason you are unable to reach me, I will try you again (Friday at 2:15 pm). Again my name is (Tim Martin, phone #). I hope you are having a great day and I look forward to hearing from you!

Conclusion: Voicemail isn’t going away anytime soon. The best way to get a business owner to call you back is to give them a reason to. I know that sounds simplistic, but I’m amazed at how many horrible voicemails I receive from salespeople every week.

Question: When was the last time you called a salesperson back based on their voicemail? What did they say that made you call them back? Please share your answers in the comments section below!

Final Thought: If you like these scripts, you should see what I teach during my coaching sessions!  I have a script that has an almost 80% return rate with small business owners.


Tim Martin

    Tim has spent the last 22 years in the VB sales world. During that time he has recruited and trained over 2,000 agents to get people to do what they should, but wouldn't do if we didn't come along. In addition to his leadership rolls at the two largest VB carriers on the planet, Tim has worked with outside organizations through consulting and sales coaching. His energetic and humorous key note addresses have also inspired and electrified audiences throughout the United States. Currently Tim is also working on his first book "Success Is Voluntary."

    Tim and the lovely Dizzy D reside in Peoria, Arizona. They have been married for 29 years and are the proud parent of two gorgeous grown young women, Brittny 27 and Victoria 25.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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    4 thoughts on “How to Avoid Voicemail Hell

    1. I was called by my car insurance carrier and the message was like this: “Mr Nall, this is (agent) calling about your car insurance. Please call me back at (number).” I don’t think it was a legal VM solicitation but I did call her back to find out I was already insured by that carrier.