10 Common Voice Mail Mistakes to Avoid

In virtually every industry salesmen ask themselves the age old question: “To leave a voice mail or not to leave a voice mail?” In a lot of industries it’s just not beneficial to leave a voice mail until after 4-5 attempts to speak to that person live. If you must leave a voice mail, you might want to consider these 10 tips first:

1. Don’t pretend you’ve called before if you haven’t, but prepare to offer value on your first contact.

2. Don’t leave a message that you haven’t rehearsed and run the risk of sounding foolish and unprofessional.

3. Don’t talk about your products, but instead provoke thought, challenge and change beneficial to them.

4. Don’t just leave your contact information at the end, leave it at the beginning as well when they’re ready to take notes like we all do when listening to messages.

5. Don’t give up after 2-3 attempts as most prospects won’t return your calls until after 6-7 attempts.

6. Don’t leave a message so short that you’ve given the prospect no reason to call you back or pick up the next time that you call.

7. Don’t talk about several products or business topics. Choose one and save the rest for future contact.

8. Don’t just wait for a call back; have a system and schedule for callbacks and stick to it.

9. Don’t forget to mention a mutual colleague or referral if you have one. It’s hard to come by referrals and this is a sure foot in the door.

10. Don’t speak too quickly, mumble, or ramble on and on. Slow down, drop the “ums,” and speak naturally with confidence; be yourself.

There are some people of the school of thought that it’s best to be there first and leave a message, and others that feel you should wait until after 4-5 attempts to reach a live person. Ultimately you should try both and you should document which people you are leaving messages and which you are not. And if you have several scripts you should note which script you are using for your voice mail.

Documenting your efforts is not fun and you may consider it a waste of time. However, remember that the goal is to produce, hone and replicate a successful callback and script system that can be used over and over to generate more sales for you! Happy selling!

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