Top Voicemail Mistakes Inside Sales Reps Make

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Reps often tell us they feel like they could be replaced by an outgoing voicemail message. Sound familiar? Pretty much nobody returns a call, right? Wrong.

In training, we’ve seen the percentage of returned calls increase 2-4X. In fact, we like to run contests to see who can get the most returned calls DURING training (because we put reps live on the phones during training – doesn’t your training vendor?) 😉

So why aren’t they calling you back? You’re probably making one of these three fatal voicemail mistakes:

  1. Selling in voicemail: Really, what are the odds they call you back with a PO? The voicemail is like the resume: it’s there to get you the interview, not the job. Quit the pitch and instead sell why they should call you back.

  2. Chatty Cathy: Too much is NOT a good thing. In other words, “Shut up already!” Voicemails should be about 20 seconds or less or I won’t even make it to your name and number.

  3. The obvious sales call: In intros, we call this the setup: you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Unless you strike it lucky (1:1Million) your contact isn’t waiting for you to call and sell them something, so get creative and think of what value you can add now that WILL get their attention.

Now, two confessions.

Confession #1: I collect unexceptional voicemails… we have found they are a great training tool! Last week I got one that was seven minutes long – and I’m pretty sure he was drunk (“Sheriously LV, we gotta get doo in here and help these peeelew…”) Actually, that might have been a lead. Still didn’t call back.

Do you have an unexceptional voicemail that you’d love to share?  Feel free to send them my way! What’s the worst you’ve received (or left)? I’ll start:

Confession #2: Nine years ago I hung up the phone and said, “Oh no. (Actually, I said something else but I’ll keep it PG.) Did I seriously just tell Steve Sharr that I am single in a voicemail? How did that even happen? How do I get it back!?”

Dear readers, we’re married now with two amazing little boys. So all’s well that ends well, right? Actually, yeah. Some of the best voicemails are less robotic and more human. Be authentic, be real. You’ll be more memorable (and apparently desirable! Haha).

Share your story on LinkedIn and tag me @Lauren Bailey so we can all learn from each other’s mistakes. (You can send the story over via message too if you wish to remain anonymous!)

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