Dear Sales Doctor, when cold calling, would you recommend leaving voicemails?

That’s a great question and I would definitely recommend you leave a voicemail, as long as it’s the right message. Many sales people I train leave the following type of voicemail:

Good Afternoon Mr Morris, this is John Smith calling from ABC systems and I am calling to see if you’d be interested in our new IT software that is used for creating your own email campaigns. If so, please call me back on 0800 121212.

Now the chances of getting a reply to that is 1 in a million and is based 100% on pure luck. You may have called the right person at the right time who is looking for the type of product or service you are offering and will return your call. However we know in sales you never rely on luck, you create your own luck!

When leaving a voicemail, like any cold call, you need to think about your objective of the call. Quite simply it’s to get the prospect to return your call. So I suggest the following 2 messages:

The first I call the ambiguous voicemail, as you do not mention the reason for the call, your company name, and you use informal language to give the impression the prospect should know who you are, creating curiosity. Here is an example:

Hi John, Tony here. Give me a bell when you get this on 0207 212 3344. Cheers.

I always leave this type of message to Directors of companies and get approx. 60% return rate. When they call me back and ask what’s it regarding, I thank them for returning my call and go into my well prepared opening benefit statement discussing how I have helped companies like theirs and want to discuss how I may be able to help them also.

The second type of voicemail I call the urgency voicemail. This is where you need to sound serious and ask to be called back immediately. However, it’s important to note you must have an angle for this call when you get a call back. For example if you sell advertising space you could say you had a last minute cancellation and have 1 space available at a hugely discounted rate. The voicemail sounds like this:

Hi John, It’s Tony here, can you call me back as a matter of urgency on 0207 212 2344. Thanks.