Many professionals within the inside sales industry say that voicemails have little or no effect in increasing contact ratios. Well, I beg to differ. From the experience of our sales reps, we’ve found a well-crafted voicemail can improve response rates by 3 to 22%. (The average is 4.8%.) With automated practices set in place that allow sales reps to leave voicemails without taking up their valuable time, learning the best practices in voicemail are well worth the time and effort.
To begin the discussion of voicemail, it’s important to have an understanding of the first call sequence or script. When preparing for a first call, you should be able to fill in the following 6 points:
- Opening Statement: Introduce yourself, what company you work for and why you’re calling.
- Trust Ladder: To build rapport, start as high up the trust ladder as possible. (For a more in-depth discussion on the trust ladder, you can read this blog.)
- Positioning Statement: How is what your company offers different from competitors in your industry?
- Cool Feature and Key Benefit: What can you do for the prospect that shows quantitative benefit?
- Proof Story: Why should your prospect believe you?
- Commit to Continue (C2C): Secure an appointment as soon as possible to further them along in the sales process.
Additionally, knowing the optimal length of a voicemail can dramatically influence the type of response you will get. The optimal voicemail length is 18 to 30 seconds. Every additional second after 30 causes a decrease in results by 2%. When deciding which aspects of the first call sequence to include in your voicemail, make sure they fit within the optimal time frame.
Obviously, with only 18 to 30 seconds to work with, a voicemail may not include all six points, but it is important to understand what makes up a good voicemail. An example of a good voicemail is the following: In your opening statement remind your prospect how you heard about them. Follow that with a quick positioning statement, and then perhaps a proof story, if time allows. It’s also important that you leave your contact number at the beginning and end of your voicemail. Why? Because almost half of those who receive your voicemail won’t listen to the whole thing!
When beginning to design your voicemail, ask yourself what your purpose is for leaving it. The most common reasons are:
- To get your contact to respond; and
- To leave a good impression with your contact with a bit of information that you can refer to when you call them again.
The important thing is to not give so much info in your message that your prospect doesn’t need to call you back. That defeats the purpose. A good voicemail should be like a cliffhanger in a movie – it gets your prospect to call you back.
By following these best practices, your contact ratios will begin to climb as you find your prospects reaching out to you! For a more in-depth discussion on voicemail best practices, view this short video:
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