19 Tips for How to Leave a Professional Voicemail When Cold Calling

The average voicemail response rate is only 4.8% according to statistics. So what makes those few voicemails stand out from the crowd to get a response while others go totally bust?

It isn’t all luck. The reality is that 42% of sales reps feel unprepared for sales calls.

If you don’t feel confident and prepared, how are you supposed to leave a voicemail that gets a reply? When it comes to how to leave a professional voicemail that’ll get a response, we’ve got you covered.

There are several key tactics you can use that are proven to increase your chances of getting a prospective client to respond.

Don’t be an unprepared statistic. Use these nineteen ways to leave a voicemail that gets callbacks.

19 Solid Tips for How to Leave A Professional Voicemail

1. Short and To-the-Point

A key tactic when it comes to how to leave the best sales voicemail is length.

We’re all busy and have short attention spans, especially when it comes to listening to a pitch. Your prospects are no different — and you can use this knowledge as a tool to cut through the noise in their inbox.

Magic numbers for timing your voicemail in the industry average around 20 seconds per message.

This means you have limited time, under twenty seconds, to:

  • State benefits
  • Leave follow up information
  • Peak interest

And you can’t talk so fast they don’t understand you! Read on to learn more about how to make these twenty seconds count.

2. Make it About Them

The best way to get a call back is to make the prospect feel like it’s all about them. Focus on what they want and how you can provide the solution.

Here’s an example. Instead of:

“Hey, Henry! I am an insurance broker for ‘XYZ Company'”

You could say:

“Hey Henry, I’m reaching out because I recently helped someone in a similar position to you save X amount of dollars…”

Create a clear focus on how what you do can fill a need for the prospective client. And make sure you word any sentence this way that refers to your products or services — with the benefit as the central focus.

3. Pose a Specific Question at the End

Make it obvious why you’re leaving the message by asking a specific question at the end related to why they should call you back.

For example, you could say something like “Would you like to know how we could do this for your company, too?” in order to incentivize them returning the call.

This is also a great way to show you care about what they have to say and you’re inviting them to tell you.

Many sales reps make the mistake of creating a one-sided conversation talking at the prospect rather than with the prospect.

Make sure you facilitate a two-way conversation by asking questions.

4. Practice Before Hand

Knowing what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it before hopping on the phone is key to getting calls back.

In fact, scripted voicemails receive an increased conversion rate of anywhere from 3% to 22% over unscripted voicemails.

So before you hop on the phone to leave the best sales voicemail:

  • Write down the key points you want to cover
  • Write a quick intro
  • Practice your script
  • Record yourself and listen to it so you can improve

Saying the pitch out loud before you hop on the phone can make sure you don’t stumble or miss important information when it’s time to record.

This is also a great way to ensure you’re following the next step.

5. Use Your Normal Tone of Voice

A large part of leaving a voicemail and communicating with a prospect goes beyond the script — it includes your tone of voice.

Are you coming across as confident? Or worried and desperate?

This is a lot like body language… the person on the other end can infer a lot from more than just the words you use.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to mastering confidence in your voice, so practice on a friend, colleague, or family member to make sure when it’s time do it in real life it feels like second nature.

You may even want to take voice lessons or watch some YouTube videos on how to create authority in your voice.

Yes, that’s a thing!

6. Time The Call Properly

Certain times of day are better than others to connect with prospects. For example, statistics show sales reps connect the most with prospects between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm at a 17% connection rate.

Another common tactic is to leave voicemails at the end of the day so prospects will listen to them first thing in the morning.

The reality is you’ll never know when the perfect time for your prospect, but you can be smart about when not to call.

Think about:

  • When your prospect’s day starts and ends
  • If they have a secretary screening their calls
  • What times are likely for them to be in meetings

Use your judgment to choose times that will be best for them based on what you know to be true about their industry and work environment.

7. Don’t Rush

Ever had someone leave you a voicemail and you can barely understand a word they’re saying?

It can be high pressure when you’re trying to leave a quick and snappy voicemail to talk fast, but even more important is to be clear and articulate so your prospect can get the point of your message.

Make sure to slow down, breath, and speak clearly in order to leave the best sales voicemail possible.

8. End With Your Phone Number

This is ‘How to Leave a Professional Voicemail Etiquette 101’: Always let the person know how to reach you.

The concept may seem simple, but when the pressure is on and the clock is ticking, it’s sometimes easy to forget this extremely important detail.

No matter how much you intrigue the prospect, if you forget to leave a callback number… well, they can’t call you back.

To be safe, a great tactic is to state your phone number and then repeat it. This eliminates any guesswork if the person on the other end has trouble understanding the number when you first say it.

And make sure in the queues you leave for yourself as notes you write it down as a reminder to say it out loud.

9. Practice Confidence and Eliminate Desperation

In addition to your tone of voice and gaining confidence in how you speak, you can eliminate certain phrases that imply desperation.

Here are some commonly used phrases to avoid:

  • “I hope to hear back from you”
  • “Please call me back when you get this”
  • “Call me at your earliest convenience”

Instead, try something self-assured such as:

  • “I look forward to talking to you soon”

The phrase should imply they will call you back — not that you desperately hope they’ll call you. And whatever phrase you choose to use, make sure it sounds like something you’d naturally say so you can deliver it with a confident tone.

10. Let Them Know Your Follow Up Plan

Following up with an email? Let them know at the end of the voicemail that’s what you’ll be doing.

This means you’re contacting the prospect in multiple ways and increasing your chances of somehow getting a response — Whether it’s via phone or another way.

And be sure your email is as impactful as your call — You can use these essential email tools to make sure your cold email pitch is as perfect as your first voicemail outreach.

11. Have Queues Ready for Yourself

Prepare yourself using the ultimate voicemail script that’s always successful, then derive short queues for yourself to keep the voicemail on track.

You don’t want it to sound too scripted. So queues are a great way to make sure you stay on point without sounding like a robot!

Bullet point for yourself before the call:

  • The intro: Include their name, your name, and a benefit so they’ll keep listening
  • The results you’re offering
  • A question
  • A statement to peak their interest and give a reason to call back
  • Your final statement and phone number

Use this bullet point script to keep your voicemail on point but also organic feeling.

12. Make it Personalized

Say the persons name in the first four seconds. And say it again at least once in your voicemail.

This lets them know you’re talking to them… not just anyone. It adds a personal touch that can help your voicemail stand out from the other scripts out there.

13. Lead with Incentive

Another point you want to bring up in the first few seconds of your call is why the person should keep on listening.

What benefit are you offering if they decide to listen… and if they decide to call back?

Another tactic here is to add some urgency, such as a limited time, to your incentive.

14. Focus on One Main Point

The best sales voicemails focus on one key point: Getting the callback.

If your prospect has already made up their mind about you or what you’re offering by the end of the voicemail, chances are they won’t respond with a callback.

It’s important to stay semi-ambiguous, create interest and curiosity, and focus on simply getting them to call you back as the topic of your voicemail.

15. Reiterate the Referral

Why are you calling this person?

When it comes to how to leave a professional voicemail, making it sound as ‘warm’ and not ‘cold call’ as possible is important.

Do you have a mutual connection? Did you briefly meet? Did someone refer their name as someone who could use your services?

Be sure to let them know how you got their information when you leave a voicemail.

16. Peak Curiosity

What information do you have access to that they want? Highlight the gap between what they currently know and what they want to know.

This can position you as an expert, make them want to call you back to at least get information, and generate interest in what you do.

For example, you could say something like “I was going over your company’s numbers for last year and I saw something really interesting in the first quarter… I’d love to talk about it when you call.”

17. Avoid Being Generic

Especially when it comes to the close.

Rather than the over-used “I’ll check in again on Monday,” leave the conversation off with a reminder of the benefit of chatting or a specific question that gets their gears turning.

18. Let Them Know It’ll Be Quick

Sometimes people avoid calling back altogether because they’re worried about one thing: Time.

They don’t necessarily not want to talk to you, but they’re worried about getting roped into a conversation that eats away a precious hour or their day.

You can overcome this objection by addressing it directly in your sales voicemail. Something along the lines of “We can discuss this when you call me back for our 10 or so minute chat. I know how busy you are but this information is really important and I promise it won’t take a lot of your time.”

19. Be Yourself

Nothing is a better asset in your sales performance than your own distinct personality. It’s what makes you human and allows prospects to connect with you on a personal level.

Increase your know, like, trust factor by injecting your voicemail with your personality… whatever that means for you.

For example, are you great at telling jokes? Then throw a little humor into your call to lighten the mood and show off your unique personality.

Next Steps to Leave a Professional Voicemail

Now that you’re prepared for how to leave a professional voicemail with nineteen tips and tricks to stand out and get that callback, let’s talk about the follow-up.

It can feel like a lot to keep track of all your prospects when you’re constantly doing prospect outreach. The key is to use a system to manage your email outreach.

While you do the manual footwork, make sure to implement a system that automatically handles your client follow up via email to set yourself up for success.

Want more info on how to make this kind of automation work for you? Check out this tool that seamlessly handles email outreach and prospect follow up for you.