Calls going straight to voicemail? 7 tips to improve your call return rate on sales voicemails

Posted by:
the Attention team

Voicemails are a great way to message prospects, especially when used as part of a broader outreach plan. Quality messaging is key for encouraging response rates. When teaching your sales reps to leave voicemails for potential clients, make sure that what's being said is pertinent and valuable. Attention can help you train your reps to sound more personable, professional, and confident on the phone.

Want to improve your voicemail game and get those return calls rolling in? Here are 7 tactics you can use to leave a great first impression on your next voicemail.

1. Keep it short

Try and keep your voicemail around 25 seconds long. Save some seconds by condensing your script to include only the essentials. Start off with a brisk pace and slow down toward the end. Don’t rush through to squeeze in as much information as possible or you’ll risk sounding like an auctioneer! The following tips on this list will help you create a voicemail consistent with the 20 to 30 second rule, so read on to find out more.

2. Don’t start in a generic way

Long, commonly-used introductions take up valuable time and may lose the attention of the client early on. Skip the usual eight second greeting and use a non-standard opening that gets to the heart of the reason for calling. For example, start off by mentioning their name (instead of your name or your company’s), and explain the purpose of reaching out in value-add terms. Another tip: Don’t mention past unsuccessful attempts to contact them, because you don’t want to come off as desperate. Also, being reminded of the fact that they ignored your message in the past will just reinforce their impulse to erase the message as soon as possible, and ignore you again. In short, design an introduction that will pique their interest and make it seem worthwhile to listen to the rest of the voicemail.

3. It’s not a sales pitch

The voicemail’s purpose is to get the customer interested enough to continue the conversation. Voicemails are definitely not supposed to be a platform to sell a product right away. To secure the client’s attention, don’t bring a sales pitch mentality with you to the call. Instead, focus on instilling enthusiasm in the customer so they feel motivated to find out more about your organisation’s offerings. Remember, focus on getting the gears in their mind moving by mentioning the ways your solution could benefit them. Even if they’re unconvinced, curiosity may get you a call back!

4. Focus on a clear message

In order to properly plan your sales call, think about what a realistic positive outcome of the call would look like if it leads to voicemail. Determine a clear goal for the voicemail scenario, which will likely be different to the outcome you had in mind for the call had the client responded. Make sure your message stays focused throughout in order to meet this goal. What do you want your client to take away from the voicemail? Link all stylistic decisions to this focal point. Be careful to avoid long-winded explanations or tangential digressions. To hit the right note, be sure to practice delivering voicemails prior to calling. Practicing with Attention helps you gain the self-assurance and level-headedness you need to succeed during voicemails and calls.

5. Prepare a great sales voicemail script 

Of course, you’re going to need a solid voicemail script to get ahead. Write a couple ready-to-go scripts and test them over time to see which script works best. Include phrases that build trust and persuade the client that it’s worthwhile calling you back. It might be useful to include a specific question or two that the client feels comfortable answering. Including a question is a smart way to get them more invested in the process and raises the chances of a callback.

6. Be memorable

Your customers are probably getting swamped with voicemails on a regular basis. After a while, all messages start to blend together and it’s hard to differentiate between callers and their offers. To avoid getting lost in the flood, make sure your voicemail stands out from the rest. Let your energetic disposition shine through on the voicemail by pretending you are on a live call with someone. People can easily tell when a message is really meant for them versus 100 strangers, so stick to a natural and earnest tone. Mention an interesting piece of research that led you to contact them, or share some compelling data that will have them listening in for the next steps.

7. How to end a voicemail: relaxed but urgent

The very last bit of your voicemail should be saved for giving your phone number to make it easy for the client to return your call. If you are using other means of communication to follow-up with the client in question, briefly mention how else you will be in touch in your voicemail. This will give them a chance to respond via other means and shows you are committed to starting a conversation with them. Don’t close with an order like “call me back as soon as possible” or else you might come across as overly-aggressive. Instead, express that you look forward to speaking with them soon and would like to schedule a call.

Striking the right balance between sounding relaxed and urgent will help you secure the most return calls. While leaving effective messages comes more naturally to some than to others, Attention can help bridge the gap between your top and average performers via tailored coaching. Learn more about how to train your sales reps with Attention today.

You Might Also Like

How to modernize your sales team’s product training practices
How to modernize your sales team’s product training practices

Is it hard for your team to keep up with ever-changing product offerings? Gaps in traditional sales training methods could be preventing your sales team from maximizing its selling potential.

Top 15 Sales Discovery Questions
Top 15 Sales Discovery Questions

Question-based sales discovery is an effective way to quickly identify opportunities, objections (link), and areas of interest. Here are the top 15 questions every salesperson should ask their prospects.

6 Ways to Make Sales Training Fun
6 Ways to Make Sales Training Fun

Learn how to make sales training fun for reps and managers. Try these 6 tips to supercharge your next session!