3 Reasons Your Voicemails Fail and How to Fix Them

“Why do voicemails fail?”

This is the question Michael Pedone recently asked his audience at the Inside Sales Virtual Summit. “Not compelling,” “Too easy to screen out” and “People are too busy” were some of the answers.

But finding the real answer to why people don’t respond to voicemails is the only way to create effective voicemails, and Michael focused on several ways to do that.

Why Voicemails Fail

  • Unprepared Salesperson: It’s amazing how many sales reps fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to leaving voicemails. You’ve got to be prepared prior to picking up the phone. Why not try rehearsing your message or listening to it beforehand? Even better, build perfect customizable voicemail messages with technology like the PowerDialer from XANT. The sales platform can be leaving the message while you are already on to your next call.
  • Unclear Objective: You might think this is obvious, but often a rep does not have a clear objective for calling. Your objectives change based on the type of voicemails you leave and at what point in the process you leave them.
  • Not Compelling: In these cases, the salesperson simply has not created a compelling reason for call back.

Two Types of Voicemails

First-time voicemail: The first time you attempt to make contact with a prospect, the key is to make contact. This means that there can be several attempts at a first-time voicemail with a single prospect. In your CRM, these voicemails would be recorded as “first-time voicemail, first attempt” and “first-time voicemail, second attempt,” etc.

The objective of a first-time voicemail message is to get a call back AND advance the sales call OR to have the prospect be willing to take your call the next time you call them.

Follow-up voicemail: Once you have made contact with a prospect, your next voicemail will be a follow-up voicemail.

Knowing these two simple definitions and how they break down will help you tailor your voicemails. If you know it is a second attempt at a first-time voicemail, your message will be different from a first attempt at a follow-up voicemail.

Additional Tips

  • Don’t listen to those sales gurus who tell you just to leave your name and number in a voicemail and tell the prospect you have a question. The prospect may call you back, thinking you’re a customer or potential prospect. He’ll be pretty unhappy when he realizes he’s stuck in a sales pitch. Your objective is to get a call back AND advance the sale, not just get a call back.
  • When you leave a reason for your call, be specific to the prospect. i.e. “I have an idea on how to possibly help you avoid (now mention specifics of a common pain or a problem that your prospect is going to have to have in order for them to want to be interested in your solution).” Don’t talk about your offers, talk about what you can potentially do for them.
  • Speak slowly when you’re leaving a number. If you can’t write it down as you’re saying it, neither can your prospect.
  • End with “thanks” and your prospect’s name. The sweetest words anybody’s ever heard is their own name.
  • Give them the what’s-in-it-for-them message and do it the right way – short and sweet

For free email templates and more tips on leaving effective voicemails, check out Michael’s full session in the embedded video above.

Any tips of your own on how to improve voicemails? Share them in the comments below.

Inside Sales Virtual Summit

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