The 20 Worst Prospecting Voicemail Mistakes Salespeople Make

20 Worst Prospecting Voicemail Mistakes Salespeople Make

Among salespeople who make sales prospecting calls, there’s a hot debate about whether or not you should leave a voicemail message.

I’m of the opinion that you definitely should – but only once every three days.

For a voicemail to have any impact, however, you have to avoid the common blunders… and many of them are easy to make.

During one of these hot debates, I asked our followers which are the worst voicemail mistakes you can make in prospecting.

Here are their top 20.

  1. Not leaving one so your prospect doesn’t have the chance to return your call.
  2. Pretending you have called when you haven’t.
  3. Not having planned what you want to talk about in advance.
  4. Talking about your products, instead of things that matter to your prospect.
  5. Don’t talk for 20 – 30 seconds without saying something of value.  You must be calling with a business issue to discuss.
  6. Leaving a message that’s too short and doesn’t give your prospect a compelling reason to call you back.
  7. Not showing that you have researched your prospect, and his or her situation, in your voicemail message.
  8. Speaking so quickly that you can’t be heard. Or worse, mumbling.
  9. Leaving a voicemail with lots of verbal pauses (like “ums” and “ahs”) that make you sound less confident, and less credible.
  10. Leaving a message and then passively waiting for a call back, instead of continuing to try to reach the prospect.
  11. Not leaving your name and contact information at the end of the message. Better yet, leave it at the beginning when the prospect is poised to take notes.
  12. Sounding too “canned” or “salesy” to catch your prospect’s attention.
  13. Not mentioning your company’s website, if it’s your strongest sales tool.
  14. Using a tone of voice that suggests you don’t expect a call back.
  15. Not following up via other means, like email or handwritten note.
  16. Giving up too soon, when most prospects won’t return your call until you have tried them more than nine times.
  17. Not mentioning another company you have helped with a similar problem that the prospect is likely to have.
  18. Failing to stick to one topic per voicemail message.
  19. Not verifying that you have the right contact before leaving multiple messages.
  20. Forgetting to mention a common colleague or someone who has referred you.
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