As a salesperson or sales manager, you and your team make outbound calls for one reason – to close deals.
But with sales call answer rates hovering around 13%, you’re going to hear a voicemail greeting during most of your calls. It may be frustrating, but it’s a reality that every cold calling sales rep has to deal with.
Rather than getting upset, you should realize how important it is to leave an effective voicemail message.
Unfortunately, sales representatives often leave unstructured voice messages that bore or confuse their prospects. And sadly, some reps hang up their phone calls without leaving any message at all.
Don’t do this. Leaving a detailed message can earn you a reply and it doesn’t prevent you from calling again.
Unlike social media and email messages which often go unseen, voicemail messages are almost always heard. But you may only have 3-5 seconds to keep their attention before your message gets deleted.
This is why it’s so important to have a script. You need to ensure that you captivate your prospect’s attention so they listen to your entire voice message and follow through on your call-to-action.
Before we show you how to create a winning voicemail script, remember that the goal of your voicemail message is to advance the sale. Although you’d love to receive a callback, it’s not necessary. If your voice message makes them more likely to answer your next call or piques their interest enough to check out an email you send, then you’re getting closer to making the sale.
Alright, now let’s walk through a template for the perfect voicemail script:
1. Who Are You?
Your prospect needs to know that there is a real person on the other end of the line. Immediately identify yourself and your company so they know that someone is taking responsibility for this voicemail, unlike a typical, automated voice message.
“Hi, this is Sally Jones from XYZ Company…”
2. Why Are You Calling?
It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to sell. You’re calling because your prospect has a problem or a burning desire – and you have the solution. If your script doesn’t address this right off the bat, your voicemail will likely be deleted.
To quickly provide a reason that will interest future or current customers, you need to include three things:
- A specific, meaningful benefit – If you want your prospect to continue listening, you need to tell them how you make their life better.
- Actual results – Telling your prospect that you’ve done this before will add credibility to your claim.
- Social proof – If you can mention a company or person you’ve helped that the prospect knows (or has at least heard of), it will make your claim more believable.
These basic elements will help you leave a positive impression with your prospect. For example, let’s say you helped Mark’s Cafe and John’s Pizza bring 50% more diners into their Boston restaurants. This a great way to provide social proof to another Boston restaurant you’d like to help. And since you have a meaningful benefit and actual results you can easily incorporate this into your voice message.
You want to leave a brief message without missing any of these details. Here’s an example using the info above:
“Hi, this is Sally Jones from XYZ Company. We recently worked with Mark’s Cafe and John’s Pizza in Boston on a referral strategy that brought over 50% more diners to their restaurants in the last month. It’s easy to set up and could help you generate similar results with little effort each month.”
3. What is Their Next Step (And Why Should They Take It)?
Do you want your prospect to call you back, open your email, or be available for your next call? Whatever their next step is, you need to make it clear. Provide your telephone number and ask them to call you back, tell them to check the email from your email address, or let them know when to expect your next phone call.
But you also need to give them a reason for taking your desired action. Instead of trying to “sell” them your product or service, ask them to let you see if you can improve their life.
You’re letting them know that there is a way to improve their business, and they have an opportunity to determine whether that makes sense for them. Since you’ve already shown that it likely will, they should be interested in taking the next step.
Continuing with our previous sample voicemail, this is how we would call the prospect to action:
“Hi, this is Sally Jones from XYZ Company. We recently worked with Mark’s Cafe and John’s Pizza in Boston on a referral strategy that brought over 50% more diners to their restaurants in the last month. It’s easy to set up and could help you generate similar results with little effort each month. If you could give me a call back at 555-555-1212, I’d like to ask you a few questions about your restaurant to see if this program would be a good fit.”
4. Repeat Yourself
Your prospect won’t remember everything you just said. And they definitely didn’t record your name and phone number the first time you uttered them.
Don’t expect your prospect to replay the message. Instead, reduce friction by repeating your contact information at a slower tempo.
“Hi, this is Sally Jones from XYZ Company. We recently worked with Mark’s Cafe and John’s Pizza in Boston on a referral strategy that brought over 50% more diners to their restaurants in the last month. It’s easy to set up and could help you generate similar results with little effort each month. If you could give me a call back at 555-555-1212, I’d like to ask you a few questions about your restaurant to see if this program would be a good fit. Again, my name is Sally Jones and you can reach me at 555-555-1212. I look forward to hearing from you!”
More than 8 out of every 10 sales calls go unanswered, so it’s hard to understate the importance of an effective voicemail message. Even modest improvements to your script can dramatically improve your callbacks, responses, and sales.
If you want to have a successful and professional voicemail message, quickly offer a solution that addresses your prospect’s burning pain or desire. Then, make it easy for them to take your well-defined action to make their life better.
Play with the template above and watch your sales numbers grow as you perfect your sales voicemail script.
We’re curious, what’s your best tip for leaving effective voice messages? Let us know in the comments below!