Leaving B2B Sales Prospecting Voicemails - 5 Easily-Digested Tips
I’ve read sales research that suggests that 75% of business calls end in voicemail. There’s widespread debate on whether it’s even beneficial to leave voicemail at all in B2B sales. We’ll save that debate for another day and focus on tips that might help you if you DO decide to leave voicemails in the course of B2B sales prospecting.
Of course, the objective is to get the recipient to pick up the phone and dial you back. So how can you increase the likelihood that that will happen?
So much of a voicemail message is variable – tone, diction, syntax, context, content, talking speed, voice inflection, tonal emphasis, etc. There’s a subtle psychology that plays out when leaving voicemails; you’re essentially an infomercial pitchman for all of thirty seconds.
Keep in mind that some of these suggestions are situational. They might be better in some circumstances rather than others. Use your judgment.
- Use the e-mail/voicemail one-two punch. Using these two contact methods together increases the chance of getting a return response. You give the recipient two ways to contact you back. In fact, you can use the e-mail/voicemail in either order. Perhaps, you leave a voicemail first and then send an email with the subject "Follow-up on Wednesday's voicemail." Or maybe you send an email first and follow through with a voicemail, “Hello, Jim. I just sent you an email and wanted to make sure it made it to your inbox. I’d like to reinforce that…"
- Don’t convolute your core message with too many topics. If you have a lot to cover and need to be thorough, use email. Otherwise, utilize one hot button when leaving voicemail.
- Gain credibility immediately. You have but a few seconds on stage. Replace mundane, esoteric sales-speak like, "We’re a first-class provider of __________." Instead use, "We're the people helping _________ with their _______ needs."
- Keep voicemails brief and straightforward. I’ve read research that states that for voicemail messages, the sweet spot is about 15-25 seconds. The average person speaks approximately 150 words per minute; so naturally, if you're scripting a voicemail, make it between 40-75 words.
- Use their name in the first three words and the last three words. When people hear their name, it’s a subconscious hint to pay attention. Try starting with, “Hello, Jim…” and end with, “Thanks and I look forward to speaking with you, Jim.”
There are lots of examples of creative voicemail messages. Take a look at Trish Bertuzzi’s post 4 Ways to Get Your Prospects to Call You Back for a few of my favs. For other interesting reading on the topic, I suggest you check out the LinkedIn topic: What's the #1 Voice Mail Mistake Average Sales People Make?