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How to leave a voicemail that gets a call back

January 23, 2018

Leaving a voicemail can still be a good way to grab the attention of a potential new customer. However, when it comes to leaving a voicemail, you only have a few seconds to actually grab the listener's attention. Most salespeople screw this up by leaving too much information and making themselves sound like a salesperson, which is the kiss of death when leaving a voicemail. 

As the odds of receiving a call back from your voicemail message are already low, you need to be very specific about what you say in your voicemail to give you the greatest chance of getting a call back. What you absolutely do NOT want to do is make yourself sound like a salesperson making a cold call. Instead, you want to sound like a very confident business colleague who deserves the respect of getting a call back.

Here are some proven techniques for how to leave a voicemail message that gives you the best chance of getting a call back:


Say the person's first name ONLY

Friends and colleagues speak to each using first names only. So do people of authority. They do not call each other and leave voicemail messages asking for Mister, Miss, or Mrs. Therefore, when you call a person you want to do business with and you leave a voicemail message, refer to them by their first name only. Don't say mister, miss, or misses. Don't say their last name.  Begin your voicemail message by saying only "hi/hello" followed by the person's first name. Or, you can even forget the "hi/hello" and just say the person's first name. That is how you show confidence and authority and separate yourself from weak salespeople.


Say your first name only followed by your company name

When you leave a voicemail do not use your full name because that immediately raises a red flat that you are a salesperson making a cold call. Instead, say your first name only followed by your company name. This will make your customer feel that you are much more familiar with each other than you really are. Saying your last name would defeat the whole purpose of demonstrating familiarity.

Next, tell him the name of the company you work at. Something along the lines of, "John this is Mark at Pinnacle."


Keep your voicemail brief and urgent

Your voicemail should be very specific. It should be short and urgent. Use word's like "need", "should", "must" , or "have to" to create a sense of urgency. For example, say something like, "We need to discuss..." or "We should talk about..." 


Leave a reference name of a person and company you've worked with

To create a greater sense of authority, and that you are somebody important, list the name of a person and company who you've worked with before, especially if that person and company is a direct competitor of the person you are calling. Nothing grabs the interest of the person you are calling faster than hearing the name of their main competitor.


Very S L O W L Y say your complete phone number

The next step is very important and you need to get it right. Say your phone number two times very slowly so the person has enough time to write down your number as they are listening to your message the first time.

What you do not want to do is say your phone number so quickly that the person has to listen to your voicemail multiple times to try and figure out your phone number.  We have all gotten those annoying voicemail messages where the person said their phone number so quickly that we had to listen to their message several times to figure out their phone number. Don't be that jerk who leaves their phone number so fast that the other person has to listen to your message over and over to try and figure out what your phone number is.

The right way to leave your phone number is to start saying your phone number with your area code and then take a 2-3 second pause while the person listening to your voicemail message gets a pen and paper. Then, continue with the next 3 digits, make another 2 second pause, and then say the last 4 digits. Then, slowly repeat your phone number again.

When leaving your voicemail and phone number, do not say, "Please call me back at ..." Nothing sounds more like a salesperson making a cold call then saying, "please call me back at...".


A great voicemail will sound like the following:

"John, this is Mark from Pinnacle. I've been working with Steve at JKY industries and It's urgent that I talk to you. You can reach me at 123 (pause 2 seconds) 456 (pause 1-2 second) 7890. That number again is 123.....456.....7890."  Hangup.

Not everyone is not going to return your voicemail messages. However, by using these techniques you will certainly get a lot more callbacks than if you were to use the normal long winded and weak salesperson voicemail that is left by so many salespeople.  Good luck!

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