Voicemails…You’re Doing It Wrong

Don’t leave a lackluster voicemail again. In sales we often overlook this part of the job, but it’s important to scrutinize our voicemail scripts and make them as effective as possible. Do your best to perfect every message with these tips from Luke Acree.


Video Transcription

Guys were going through the series of cold calling and today I want to talk about this topic of voicemails. Now voicemails have been one of the most frustrating things for me in my sales career because I feel like a lot of times I show up and, I start dialing I just get voicemail, after voicemail, after voicemail, I call voicemail land. And then all of a sudden I get a live human being on the phone and I’m off my rocker and I end up losing the deal. But when I look at these voicemails, I think what we struggle with as sales reps, is we spend so much time and energy refining our pitch, and the tonality, the words, the steps in the process, and we don’t apply that same effort and discipline to refining our voicemails. A lot of times we don’t even have scripts for our voicemails and I think of my reps here we make about a hundred fifty calls a day you know a hundred of those on average will be voicemails and if you don’t have a script so often you’ll call Mr. Johnson and then you’ll ramble for a minute, two minutes, and if you think about the numbers. If I’m leaving a hundred voicemails a day and I’m leaving a minute voicemail that’s literally eight and a half hours a week, it’s 433 hours a year, 10 and a half weeks of my year is spent in voicemails. And that’s why it’s so critical that you make sure you have a great voicemail script and it’s conveying the message that you want to get across.

When you look at your voicemail what are the goals you’re trying to achieve what’s the outcome? Stephen Covey says, “begin with the end in mind.” What are you trying to accomplish? We all know the ultimate voicemail will cause someone to take action, hopefully it’s picking up the phone and calling you back, sometimes it’s maybe opening up an e-mail, but what you want to do with your voicemail is make sure you give some level of entry to that prospect. Spark their curiosity, so the next time at the very least you call them and your number comes across their phone they’re not just thinking “ugh this is a sales rep calling me.” They’re reminded of that intriguing statement, that value statement you left on their phone and hopefully it intrigues them enough to pick up.

So what I want to do is give you guys a couple tips that I’ve used to refine my voicemails over the years that will help you out.

Keep it short.

The first tip is, keep your voicemail short. I’m telling you guys if your voicemail is over 20 seconds, refine it. If you can get it down to 10 seconds, even better. No one wants to spend the amount of time on a voicemail that takes them forever to get through. And one of the most frustrating things for me is when I get to a voicemail that is maybe two minutes long and I find out there’s no value here and it has wasted my time. Not only am I frustrated in that moment the next time you call me back all I’m thinking of is that you wasted my time for two minutes on a long voicemail that meant nothing. So keep your voicemail short and succinct.

Don’t tell all.

Second tip is, withhold your contact information. Don’t state your name and your company name at the beginning of your voicemail. A lot of times when I say this people are kind of shocked they’re not sure what I mean. This was a tip I was given years ago, it’s proven to be really successful for me because when you think about it logically there’s literally hundreds of thousands of sales reps across the globe and quite frankly we’re all leaving the same voicemail. “Hey Luke, this is John with ReminderMedia I help businesses in the area of increasing XYZ.” “Hey Luke this is John with IBM I help businesses in the area of XYZ,” you get the picture. We’re all leaving the same voicemail so what happened as humans were conditioned now when we hear your name and your company name guess what we know is coming next we know you’re going to give us a sales pitch and so we delete it, we tune out, we hang up, and you’ve lost me. So hold your contact information, specifically your company name until the end of your voicemail.

Be real.

Third tip, authenticity. Be different and be authentic on your voicemail. If you have the luxury of personalizing your voicemail maybe you’re a Real Estate Agent, you’re calling For Sale by Owner, when you leave that voicemail state something in your voicemail specifically about that person’s home maybe the granite countertops, whatever it may be, show them that you actually you know care about what you’re calling about you have intention in your call, personalize that voicemail.

And the second is be authentic. You know a lot of people will coach you to be enthusiastic on your voicemails I think that’s great you should be enthusiastic but even greater than being enthusiastic you should be authentic because humans we can just smell a fake from a mile away and what happens is if they feel like you’re faking they’re going to feel like you’re salesmen just trying to sell them something you’re going to lose them how you leave your voicemail for your best friend your mom your dad apply that same logic to your communication with your prospec because that’s going to be the most natural for you and it’s going to hel you in your communication and they’ll actually listen to it. So be authentic.

Speak clearly.

Fourth and final tip. Speak clearly. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is in 2017 I still get messages from sales reps who rushed through their name and number they don’t repeat their name and number and I find myself scrambling for a pen repeating the voicemail and it’s so frustrating to go through that process. So what you want to do is make sure you’re repeating your name and number, speak clearly, speak concisely so you don’t hinder your prospect in calling you back.

The takeaway.

So there you go guys just some simple tips to apply to your voicemails today. Take action on these.

Written by Jennafer Benvenuto

A writer with a knack for creating meaningful content and becoming best friends with every dog she meets.