Marketing Mondays | 7 Tips for Leaving Great Sales Voicemails

The SAMBA blog offers the following in regards to leaving excellent voicemails:

One of the biggest hurdles (and most frustrating) to making a sale is getting the right person to call you back. As ancient as voicemail seems to be these days, it’s often the primary tool you have to persuade someone to talk to you. Here are 7 great tips for leaving good voicemails.

  1. Explain the benefit of the call, not the service - Don’t try to sell your service in a voicemail message (you won’t have enough time), just sell the conversation. Tell them what will they get by calling you back? A free assessment, advice, peace of mind…what will motivate them to want to talk to you?
  2. Understand unconscious language triggers #1 - Don’t start out your message with “Hi, (customer’s name) my name is (your name)…” because most telemarketers and strangers start that way, it often evokes a negatively conditioned Pavlovian response. Try using “Hi (their name) it’s (your name)” this is the language a friend or acquaintance might use, and usually accesses a positive unconscious trigger.
  3. Understand unconscious language triggers #2 - Robert Cialdini describes how the word “because” is an unconscious trigger that increased the likelihood someone will comply with your request. If you use the word “because” when you describe why someone should call you back, you might be surprised at your increased response rate. Click hereif you’d like to understand why.
  4. Create curiosity - If all the information you want to convey is already in the voicemail, why would they call you back? Create curiosity. Tell them you have information that is really valuable to them, but they have to call you back to get it.
  5. Express urgency - Why do they need to call you back right now? How can you create an emergency? What will happen if they don’t call you back right away? But don’t just focus on content. The urgency you create will be largely based on the tone of voice you use. If your family was being held hostage and their life depended on this person calling you back…what tone of voice might you use?
  6. Use good VM etiquette - No one likes a really long VM, keep it as short as possible. And say your number in the beginning of the message and at the end – not everyone has an iPhone.  If the person misses your number the first time they hear the message, and they have to playback the entire message to retrieve it, it’s less likely they’ll call you back. Just use common sense.
  7. Sell your message second by second - Just like any written sales copy, realize that if the first part of your message sucks, they’re likely to press delete right way. Make your first 5 seconds compelling so they’ll listen to the second 5 seconds, and make those 5 seconds make them want to listen to the next 5 seconds and so on.

Great advice for anyone looking to increase their call-back rate!  Julianna posted the following caveat in comments, which is well worth considering:

My husband who receives tons of sales calls gives everyone 10 seconds to make him want to listen to the rest of the message. If someone starts out pretending to be his friend, and he doesn’t know them, not only does he hit ‘delete’, he’s annoyed, feels lied to and is not likely to communicate with the rep in any way. So be careful about advice in #2. When I write sales scripts, I try to stick with being professional (Mr., Ms.) and honest (reps first and last name). Big fan of the rest of the list.

What advice would you add to this list?