Leaving Great Voicemails: The Key to Outbound Lead Generation

Regardless if you are great at getting introductions or you are required to make cold calls, it will be a necessary evil to leave a voicemail message.  Many times, I listen to or roleplay with salespeople to practice their voicemail messaging. Yes, you should be practicing your voicemail messaging; it’s probably one of the top “tools” you will use to get someone’s attention, and the key to outbound lead generation.There are a few tips that will help you get your prospects or customers attention.

  • Tone, tonality, and pace
    • Most people sound like Ralphie from “The Christmas Story” telling Santa he wants the Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. Slow down.  If you practice you will feel more at ease.  If you are at ease, your pace will be slower.
    • Do you sound like someone your prospect wants to talk to? You can have energy and still not talk fast.  Stand up when leaving a voicemail (at the very least, sit up straight in your chair.  Smile (yes, smile) while leaving your voicemail.
  • Say your name and then pause
    • If you want to get someone’s attention, use silence. Here is what I typically do…
        • Hey Fred, it’s Jack Kasel . . . (count thousand one, thousand two)
  • Get rid of the fluff, especially if it’s a prospect
    • This is what I hear people say when leaving messages
        • Hey Joe, it’s Susan Smith, I hope you are doing well OR I hope you are having a good day OR anything that isn’t relevant to the reason you are calling.
    • You’ve got seven seconds to get their attention. Don’t waste time
  • Get to the point
    • Joe, it’s Jack Kasel (pause) I’m calling you because OR, I have two questions to ask… OR here are the things I’m seeing in your industry.
        • Make it about them. And guess what, you wanting to schedule an appointment with them isn’t about them, it’s about you.
    • The purpose for the message is to determine if you are someone who understands their industry, business, and challenges, and would be worth speaking to.
  • Brevity is best
    • As Charles Emmerson Winchester III from the TV show MASH said “Be brief and be gone”.
    • Your message should be between 15-20 seconds. Remember the practice thing I mentioned earlier? Ya, this is why it’s important.
  • Guess what… they ain’t calling you back
    • It’s not their job to call you back, it’s your job to be interesting and keep calling them so you can skip the “Please call me back at your earliest convenience”.
    • Here is what I say “Mary, I don’t expect you to call me, on the outside chance you would like, I can be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Pause and then repeat it.  Then schedule a time on your calendar to call the prospect back.
  • Using the # key on the keypad
    • When you are finished leaving your message, press the # key on your keypad. When you do, you have the option of sending the message, listening to the message, or deleting and re-recording the message.
        • Listen to yourself . . . how many “Uh’s” and “Um’s” are in your message?
        • Did you sound rushed or speak too fast?
        • I use my cell phone for my prospect calls. Sometimes the message gets garbled or distorted due to poor cell service.  The # key helps me leave a clear and concise message.

Calling and leaving messages is never easy.  If you follow these steps, your outbound lead generation should at least be easier.

Now, go make a difference in someone’s life.


From Sales Development Expert, Jack Kasel

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