Leaving Those Voicemail Messages

Sales greatest secret, a great salesperson’s greatest challenge.

Whenever I am working with salespeople, especially new salespeople, helping them with their cold calling to generate leads, one of the things that always comes up is the question, “What is the best voicemail message I can leave to make sure the customer calls me back?”

Honestly, that is not an easy question to answer. There are all kinds of ways to approach the dreaded voicemail message. Some of them are funny, others are creative while others are sincere, some are just plain begging, all depending on the state of mind of the caller.

I have heard of one person pleading on the voicemail that his son was accepted to college, and he needs the sale to pay for the expensive tuition. While another confidently tells the caller that he is ready to offer the person he is calling the best deal, opportunity, goldmine, or life-changer that he will ever experience. Others sound desperate (the Willie Loman voicemail), the “used to love me in Boston” approach). 

I have been asked about leaving the right voicemails so many times over the years that I have collected an admittedly tongue-in-cheek library of some of the weirdest voicemails I could find. Some of these come from people I know. Some I stole. And some I researched online and picked up from Google.

So, for your education and entertainment pleasure, here are a whole bunch of voicemails that I have collected through the years. Please, please, please send me some of your favorites so I can steal those as well.

Let’s start with the weirdest approach. I have a friend who will not leave one. He claims that this works. He claims that this leaves the person he is calling so curious that he gets callbacks. Okay…I don’t know about that but if he says so.

Then there is the woman who cuts herself off in the middle of the message. She starts with something like, “You will not believe what I have to talk to you about today. Did you ever have a product that was almost too good to be true? Well, let me tell…” And she leaves it at that and claims that it works.

It reminds me of one guy who was so frustrated that a buyer he knew was not returning his calls that when he saw him in a restaurant one day he stormed up to him and demanded to know why the buyer did not return his calls. The buyer calmly looked at him and said, “Because I have caller ID.”

Here are a few of the crazier voicemails I found while building my library:

The Foodie Approach: “Hey there, just like a perfectly cooked steak, I’m here to make sure this connection is well done. Give me a call and let’s sizzle together.”

The Mystery Solver: “Congratulations! You’ve stumbled upon the enigma of the missing call. Call me back to unveil the secrets and unlock this epic tale.”

The DIY Disaster: “Tried fixing my phone’s voicemail and ended up on yours. Let’s fix this communication mishap, give me a call.”

The Secret Agent: “I am looking forward to continuing our top-secret conversations. Give me a call back and I’ll fill you in on what is going on in the world as we speak.”

The Life-Changer: “I promise you that you have never received a call like this one. I promise you that once you call me back your life will change forever. Ask yourself: Do you even dare take the risk of not calling me back?”

The Special Exclusive Deal: “Look I have to tell you that we have an offer so special today that you are one of only three people we are calling. You are not going to believe what we have to offer today as long as you call me back before the end of the day in California. That’s 5 p.m. Pacific time. Do not miss this opportunity.”

Those are fun and all but let’s get more serious. When you are planning to make a call and you know you are probably going to go to voicemail be prepared. Have some information about the company and yes, some G2 about what they are looking for. Do your homework! Demonstrate in your message that you know what you are talking about.

Try something like this. “Hi this is Dick Rollins from the “always on time” manufacturing company.  And I know that you folks have been having a terrible time getting your part #13567 parts in on time to the point where it is starting to affect your monthly revenues. We can help with that. We have some of those parts in stock and have successfully fabricated them in the past with 100% on-time delivery and quality. If you want to look good to your boss and your company, give me a call within the hour. Here is my number.”

That will get the buyer’s attention and you’re a returned phone call and chances are good…the order. It’s only common sense.