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