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The Top 5 Voicemail Mistakes for Inside Sales Reps to Avoid


Voicemail can be a tricky thing – it’s very hit and miss. While at one time it was the tool that everyone loved to use, today there are other, must easier options, like email. What most sales reps don’t realize is that voicemail results in 3 to 22 percent in contact ratios with email being 10 percent of that.

One of the largest problems with email is that the channel is flooded; many prospects will not even bother to look at, let around respond to, emails. Do you see the problem? Sales reps aren’t utilizing voicemail in the best way that they could, instead they are making mistakes that are fatal to the sales pitch they are trying to make.

Below is a compilation of the Top 5 voicemail mistakes sales reps make when the leave voicemails and what to do to rectify these painful mistakes.

What NOT to do when leaving a voicemail:

1. Mislead the caller: Acting like you have called before or talking in a friendly way that makes the person believe they know you is a grievance a lot of people will hold against you when they do call back and find out the truth. Make sure to always be truthful with the prospect about how you know them and why you’re calling.

2. Tell them everything: Leaving a voicemail that is extremely detailed and informing the prospect of everything you have to offer isn’t the way to go. Why would a prospect call back when you’ve already given them everything you’re going to tell them? It’s like dating, you have to hold back some of what you have to offer to keep them interested until the relationship progresses enough to lay it all down on the table.

3. Speak too quickly: While it’s important to fit everything you need to say into a less than 30 second voicemail (18 seconds in optimal), talking as fast as you can to get in all the information you want to leave is a bad idea. When you talk too quickly into the phone, it often comes across as forced and untrustworthy. Slow down, speak naturally, and allow time for the decision maker to pick up a pen and paper as they listen to your message. You want to make sure they know how you can help them, but you don’t want to sound like you’re desperate to beat the beep.

4. Stop with one message: Not calling your lead again is a terrible idea. One message is rarely enough. Our research studies have shown that it often takes up to nine calls on an outbound calling strategy before they will respond. With as busy as decision makers are, it’s very possible they have forgotten to call you back or don’t have the time, so keep trying every couple days and be pleasantly persistent!

5. Not mention referrals or why your calling: When reaching out for the first time to a lead, it’s important to establish an immediate rapport. If you worked so hard to find a way to move up the trust ladder only to not mention the person you and the prospect both know, then you’re self-sabotaging! Make sure to mention if you are calling because someone referred the lead to you, let them know that there is a reason to trust you and listen to what you have to say.

Getting in contact with busy decision makers can sometimes be very difficult, so reaching them through some medium is vital. Voicemail is a great way to introduce the product and you, if you do it right and not fumble on the delivery. What voicemail do’s and don’ts have you found most helpful or hurtful? Let us know in the comment box below.

Check out these other voicemail best practices to help increase your contact ratios by 4.8%.

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2 thoughts on “The Top 5 Voicemail Mistakes for Inside Sales Reps to Avoid

  1. These are very helpful reminders when leaving a voice mail. They say first impressions last and the first 12 seconds is the most critical, because that’s the segment wherein the prospect will decide to just simply delete your message or would think that you got them at “hello.” All the tips are very helpful and for me, no.5 should really be taken seriously. Trust is one of the most important ingredient for prospects specially if it’s the first time they heard the sales reps voice. Great Post Jessica! http://bit.ly/ayeen8

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