If recruiting is Super Mario Bros., recruiting over the phone is a lava level in one of the castles. And when you’re going straight to voicemail, it becomes a level with those pesky turtles throwing hammers at you. What we’re saying is it’s hard.
And yet, this difficulty comes with the territory. 97% of calls go to voicemail, so there’s no way around leaving messages for your prospective clients.
Fortunately, leaving a voicemail doesn’t have to mean losing a potential recruiting client. If you use it smartly, voicemail can be a powerful tool in your recruiting tool belt. With the right voicemail script, you can generate interest and start the process of converting a prospect into a sale.
We’ve scoured for the best tips on how to leave a voicemail effectively, from the obvious to the hidden. Find out below how you can craft a voicemail script that helps you achieve success.
Keep in Mind Your Bottom Line
Before we wade into the weeds of what to include and what to leave out of your voicemails, it’s important to focus your eyes on the prize.
And here’s something that may sound counterintuitive: the prize is not the sale. The prize is a call back. Even more immediately, your goal is for the person you called to listen to your entire voice message.
It can be helpful to think of your voicemails in terms of seconds. Just like a good book needs to be a page-turner, you need your prospect gripped to what they’re hearing in every moment of your voicemail. Break your script down into the smallest units of measurement, and make each piece of information you offer compelling on its own while leading into the next thing you have to say.
Another Counterintuitive Tip
One of the best ways to keep your prospect gripped to what they’re hearing is something you won’t find when you Google “best voicemail scripts.” In fact, you’ll find the opposite.
Most scripts offered by so-called phone sales experts recommend beginning with a greeting to the effect of, “Hello, my name is [your name]. I’m with [company XYZ], and I’d like to talk to you about [your product or service].”
Does that sound like a message you’d continue to listen to? No! Because you can tell right away that the person calling is a salesperson you don’t know from Adam.
You’ll delete that message immediately.
The best tip we have for you before we even begin our top-down overview of your ideal cold call voicemail script, is simple. Identify yourself at the end of the message.
There’s an art to this, as it can easily come off as too familiar and distasteful to your prospect. You’ll have to practice your tone. But done right, this is an effective tool for generating interest and creating a rapport between you and the client before you ever talk live.
The Ultimate Sales Voicemail Script: Step By Step
Now let’s break down how to craft the script itself. Follow these steps, and by the end, you’ll have your own bulletproof personalized voicemail script.
1. Do Your Research
This should be obvious. You want to know something about the person you’re calling before you call them.
First, make sure you’re calling the right person. Know the purpose of your call, and find the contact at the company you’re calling who best fits that purpose.
Next, you want to tailor your message to your contact and their company. There are many ways to find out a company’s priorities, goals, and messaging so you can address what they see as their actual needs.
Take a look at the company latest earnings call or 10-K report. Use LinkedIn and other social media to find out the messages that are coming directly from the company. Read the news for mentions of the company or contact you’re calling and even for general information about their industry.
Finally, one of the most effective ways of doing research is to contact someone directly at the company in a lower level role. They can provide insider insights into how the company works, which can help you tailor your pitch.
2. Give Context
This is where you use your research. Based on what you know about your prospect, give them a background for why you’re making your call.
Follow up on the last time you spoke to them. Let them know what makes them a good fit for what you’re offering.
At the same time, you don’t have to give away your entire pitch. Give your prospect just enough information to make them curious to find out more.
3. Don’t Forget the Basics
Never leave a voicemail without including the following:
- An alternate phone number where your prospect can reach you
- The best way to respond, whether via email, phone call, text, or social media message
- A backup contact person they can reach if you’re not available
If you include these pieces of information, you greatly increase your likelihood of getting a call back.
4. Be Clear
If your prospect can’t hear you, you’ve lost before you began.
Make sure you leave your name and number clearly and leave your number twice.
Use your lead’s name several times during your voicemail. You want them to perk up and remember you, and it’s human nature to respond to hearing our own names. Make it natural, but definitely use it more often than you might in normal conversation with a friend.
Be aware of the weaknesses in your accent and where you’ll need to accentuate or enunciate certain words, names, or numbers. Ensure you have the proper tone and volume.
There are also essential logistics that can make or break your clarity. Drink water. And make sure your voice is clear by ensuring you have the proper technology, including a stable phone and phone line as well as a high-quality headset if you’re using one.
5. Be Compelling
Billions of Americans receive spam calls in each month, so to have your pitch heard and get a call back, you need to stand out.
We referenced earlier one of the ways to do this: forget about the sale for now. A good pitch should be 99% information and 1% promotion.
Think like your prospect. What do they want out of their work and out of the kind of service you offer? What do you need to know?
Use your authority on the subject to offer a service. You’re starting a relationship, not begging for business. Draw your lead to you by conveying your expertise in your field and your knowledge of theirs.
Show the value of your service. Include concrete examples of your work and how you’ve helped people.
Be specific in what you’re offering, how you can help, and what you know about your prospect.
One of the best ways to ensure you’re leaving a compelling sales voicemail is believing in your product. You may not always be in a position to take a job with a product or service you believe in deeply, but the quicker you can get to that place, the better success you are going to have in your sales.
6. Cut Fluff
You’ll lose your credibility quickly if you sound hesitant or insecure in your voicemail. Practice what you are going to say, and pay attention to any “ums,” “ahs,” or hitches in your speech.
Also, make sure not to ramble. Be direct in asking for what you want.
What is your idea of the next step in this relationship and the sales process? Have that in mind, and ask for it, whether it is a meeting, a phone call, a workshop you’re offering, a demo of your product or service, or a response to an email you’ve sent or will send.
If you’re asking for your prospect’s time, ask for small amounts of time. “I’d love five minutes of your time” is a much more reasonable request than an hour. And don’t lead by asking for the sale right away.
7. Use a Personable Cadence
Don’t sound monotone or like a robot. Inflect interest into your words. Pause when necessary, and deliver your message at a speed that changes to highlight the ideas that are most important.
Basically, be a person. Don’t use buzzwords or marketing speak, and avoid superlatives. They make it obvious you’re selling something.
Just relate to the person you’re calling the way you want other salespeople to talk to you.
Implementing Your Voicemail Script
Now that you know what to say and how to say, you have to practice. That means making your calls over and over again, but it doesn’t just mean that. You need to have a plan for before and after the call as well.
Before Your Call
Before you begin every day, set a goal for the calls you make that day. Even as you make the calls, you’re improving, so set an intention for what you want to improve. Is it tone, relevant information, message length, or some other aspect of your call?
After Your Call
You need feedback. If you can get it from the person you’ve called, ask for it. If the system you’re using gives you the option of listening to your voicemail, do it.
This may seem like a potential waste of time, but the information you gain will be valuable, make you more efficient, and end up saving you time and earning you money in the long run.
You can also create a rating system for yourself, using these criteria. Be rigorously honest with yourself:
- Would you save your voicemail?
- Would you return the call?
- Would you return the call right away? If not, how soon would you?
- Does it include the basics?
- Is it well scripted or overly improvised? You want to sound natural, but you should not forget vital information.
Timing Your Call
Once you have down what you’re going to say, there are a few factors of time that go into saying it.
What Is the Ideal Voicemail Length?
The answer here will vary depending on how well you know your prospect and what you’re selling. A general rule of thumb is that you want to keep your voicemail under 20 seconds.
However, when someone gets multiple calls from the same number and each voicemail they receive is exactly the same length, it points to the fact that the voicemails are automated or on a script. So vary up your recording times to impress upon your prospect the personal nature of your call and that you have something interesting to say. You can use your research to flesh out a short call.
When Should You Call?
The time of day you make your call is another important factor to consider. There are many opinions on when to call. No one wants a call during lunch, but lunch times vary, as do the times when people are most productive at their jobs.
But according to research cited by LinkedIn, the best hours for calling are 8 AM to 9 AM and 4 PM to 5 PM. You’re more likely to reach a live voice then, but even if you don’t, you’ve got your handy voicemail script to bring you closer to that sale.
How Often Should You Call?
This is another area where people disagree. Your mileage with call volume will change depending on the tolerance of the person you’re calling.
Often, calling once a day is fine, but you probably don’t want to leave more than one voicemail per week.
Keep Your Throat Clear and Your Head Up
When you’re leaving a voicemail for a prospective recruit or client, the regular rules of sales apply.
Be persistent but not pushy. Don’t stop until you’ve heard a definitive “no.” Maintain a positive attitude.
You never know when you’ll reap the fruits of a voicemail, but you can ensure the maximum return with a voicemail script that incorporates the elements we’ve highlighted. Just remember, the point of a voicemail is to keep the lines of communication open. Think of yourself not as bothering your prospect but helping them.
The point of your voicemail is to get a sale, but that’s also not the point. This is the Zen philosophy of sales. You need to focus only loosely on the sale to achieve it. And If a voicemail leads to a response months or even a year later, it has been effective.
Now, for help with your email inquiries, take a look at the features we offer, including replies with one click, easy and scheduled follow-ups, handy templates, and emails sent directly from your own accounts.