Home > Approach > To leave or not to leave...voicemail

To leave or not to leave...voicemail

I am a greenie. I was wondering if I should leave a voicemail when trying to reach someone, or not. Do you ever get a call back? Is it a waste of time? Does it make you seem pesky?

What is your experience with it? - by Boxurian
Great question!

In my company we have discussed this time and time again, and all I can say is that it depends on the situation.

I would say, start by trying to get a hold of the customer first. If that fails for, say a week or two, than you might consider leaving a message.

Once in a while you can get a callback and if nothing else it shows the customer that you really are doing your best to get a hold of them because your message is, THAT important.

//Daniel - by LookingDaniel
Boxurian,

It depends on the premise of the call.

If it is a cold call or a follow up call.

In the case of a cold call, I would leave a short message and nail down a great value prop for the prospect to hear. If they don't return the call, put them on the list to call a month or so later.

In the case of a follow up call, it depends on the nature of the call, but I would say that I would leave a message on the first call, but not every subsequent call (depending on the timing, say every couple of days) as you don't want to come across as a stalker.

I have had success in both cases. What I find is either the client wasn't there or they were call screening. As for the ones that didn't return the calls, I can't say since they didn't return the call.;sm

Bottom line, leave at least one message so that the ball will be in the prospect or clients court to return the message.

Hope this helps. - by salestipaday
I would leave a short message.

Personally, if I keep seeing a number that is calling me without a message that is left... I am more inclined to ignore the call.

I would like to know who it is that keeps calling me. - by salesfist
The purpose of the voice mail message, if you leave one, is to create enough curiosity that the person WANTS to call you back....nothing more.

Therefore short messages, with limited information work best for me and my clients. - by Paulette Halpern
Therefore short messages, with limited information work best for me and my clients.
I agree with this... if you do leave a voice mail, be very limited in the information that you leave. - by MrCharisma
Good question...i personally always leave something but i NEVER want it to sound fake, rehearsed, desperate or too salesman like...if you can do that then you don't sound like a lot of other sales people...you stand out in the prospects mind for the right reasons. - by Tony Dunne
Paulette is right on the money, short, generate curiosity and say your phone number slow enough so they can write it down. There is an exception to this and that is when you have more prospects than you can ever finish calling (wouldn't that be nice), then I always leave a message. However, if the prospect pool is very small, I might try calling in AM then PM and the next PM leave the short message. I call prospects three times and do something that creates what I call value curiosity after the first call to get them to call back. When cold calling I have a 25% callback rate using my 3 call approach. Across all industries, you can expect between 5 and 10% callbacks regardless of the message you leave. - by triadtraining
Cold Call? Never.
If you have ever had the opportunity to watch a CEO go through VM you would know the messages that that start "Hi _______ This is _____ from _____" get deleted right about there.

If I have spoken with them before then it depends on the situation, as others have pointed out.
I do know some salespeople who DO get call backs from cold call voice mail.
I just don't like to if I have the opportunity to hit zero, and talk to someone who might provide more information so I know the best way and time to reach the person I am looking for. - by tw5270
Cold Call? Never.
If you have ever had the opportunity to watch a CEO go through VM you would know the messages that that start "Hi _______ This is _____ from _____" get deleted right about there.

If I have spoken with them before then it depends on the situation, as others have pointed out.
I do know some salespeople who DO get call backs from cold call voice mail.
I just don't like to if I have the opportunity to hit zero, and talk to someone who might provide more information so I know the best way and time to reach the person I am looking for.

You're right -- those do get deleted....because they sound like a sales call.....would a 60% return of voice mail messages, be good for you if you were cold calling. That is what many of my clients get.

Even gathering all the information you can (which is advisable) to call back at the most likely time that the person you are trying to reach will be available.....often times still leaves you with the problem of 'to leave a message or not' -- because they aren't there. - by Paulette Halpern
Again, I agree with Paulette. If you walk like, talk like, act like a sales person, most decision makers regardless of title are going to
hit delete as soon as they hear "This is _____with ________.

In my particular niche, we have a large prospect pool for cold calling (lucky us..LOL) and would be overwhelmed with anything higher than a 20-25% return rate. With that in mind, we have a high expectancy of closing with a certian subgroup in that pool, then we are less likely to leave a VM. The lower the expectancy the more we are inclined to leave messages.

I would be curious to know what kind of message Paulette leaves that generates 60% return calls when leaving messages on cold calls. - by triadtraining
Very interesting topic, but since this was my first week at making cold calls, all the topics in this forum are interesting.
My company is strictly B2B so my objective is to get directly to the person who has the authority to budget our service or product.

My stumbling block so far has been 'voicemail' from the gatekeeper!
I see this as a double-whammy because normally, the gatekeeper gets less information than the administrator... not to mention that even once past the 'human' gatekeeper, there's the admins. voicemail. - by Ima Caller
Ima Caller,

So long as you think of other human beings as "gatekeepers", and label them as such, you won't enlist their support.

You mention your "objective." That objective does not preclude engaging in a mutually supportive way the person who might be the second most powerful individual in the organization. They often are.

There's a karma in selling as there is in most things in life. You see that person as an obstructive ogre, and that person will see you as an intruder.

You're new. You have the opportunity to start right. Don't buy into the gatekeeper nonsense. Did you ever stop to think that the people who decided to coin the word did it because they were obstructed? Do you think the label would have existed if they weren't struggling with it?

Learn from winners. Sales at its highest level of practice is a people business.

So let's redefine your initial objective. Think of it as engaging a person who can facilitate you getting to talk with a buying decision maker.

You might think of sales as a series of "minor sales." - by Gary A Boye
Great advice Gary. Engaging the person answering the phone may be the most critical step in the sales process. If you don't make friends with that person, you may never get a chance with the decision maker or at best unlimited access to voicemail. In lots of small businesses the person answering the phone is the decision maker or that person's spouse, close relative or key person.

Dealing with the person answering the phone, might make a good new thread. - by triadtraining
Hi all,
Newbie to the forum, so let me know what you think of my approach. Most of the time I am targeting key people that can use my service. So I try to call a couple of times (am, pm, then maybe again on the next day) and eventually leave a VM. However, I explain in the VM that I will send them an EMail with a - and suggest to them that it may be easier to respond to an EM if they are travelling, in a meeting, etc. In the email, I always have a specific and simple request that they can act on.

I find that this one-two punch gets more traction than just leaving a VM.

Thanks - this is a very helpful forum! - by dlytle1
Hi all,
Newbie to the forum, so let me know what you think of my approach. Most of the time I am targeting key people that can use my service. So I try to call a couple of times (am, pm, then maybe again on the next day) and eventually leave a VM. However, I explain in the VM that I will send them an EMail with a - and suggest to them that it may be easier to respond to an EM if they are travelling, in a meeting, etc. In the email, I always have a specific and simple request that they can act on.

I find that this one-two punch gets more traction than just leaving a VM.

Thanks - this is a very helpful forum!
dlytle1, could you clarify what you mean by "traction?" Thanks. - by Gary A Boye
Gary,
"Traction" is simply a response - typically an email response from my email/vm - but could be a returned phone call or acknowedgement at a industry conference, etc. Since my sales cycle is 6-9 months (sometimes longer for new clients) for large dollar pharmaceutical services, just an email acknowledgement that I exist from a new client can be encouraging.

Thanks for all of your contributions to the forum - I take special note of the posts when I see your sailboat.

--Doug - by dlytle1
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