How To Get A Direct Response From Voicemails

To get started, here’s how NOT to get a direct response from a voicemail:

“Hi, this is John Smith with ABC Company.  Please call me back at 800-555-5555.  I have a really great offer to make you on our daily newpaper.  Thank you and have a nice day.”  NO, NO, and NOOOO!!!  You might as well not leave a message at all if you’re going to leave a lame-ass message like that.

Whether your an Inside Sales Rep or the CEO of the company, every call is a sales call.  When you dial and hit a voicemail, don’t hang up.  Don’t try calling from a different number in hopes of catching the prospect “screening your call.”  Time is money.   Leave a message that will get you a direct response!

Here’s a few ways to get a response from voicemails.  You should apply the methods below where appropriate:

1.   Urgency:  Speak with a sense of urgency, creating a pang of angst in your prospect if they don’t IMMEDIATELY call you back.   i.e.  “John, call me back ASAP, it’s very important.  We need to discuss the Romero Britto Art Piece you picked out and have on hold.  We have another buyer that has made an offer, and my manager is going to release it.  This is Rich Gorman.  Call me right back at 800-555-5555.”

2.   Call Out Their Full Name:  Start by calling out the full name of the prospect “John Smith….”  This is a great way to wake your prospect up.  When people are called out by their full name they are more apt to pay attention.  Why’s that?  Simple.  In stern places such as the classroom, a courthouse, or the army, people are called out by their full names.  Flash them back to get their full attention!

3.  Never Start With Your Name:   Almost all phone solicitations start out the same way: “This is Mike Smith with Acme Widgets, I was just calling you to…”  Human beings are the ultimate spam blockers.  Since the majority of solicitations start off this way, we are quick to delete them.

4.  Create Excitement, Tailor To Their Benefits, and Leave A Hook:  As a general rule of thumb, you have less than 5 seconds to get the attention of the prospect.  Therefore, lead off with their name followed by “great news,” “fantastic update,” or something else that is very positive to them.   People love receiving great news.  Then quickly move into a a positive benefit…but don’t go into too much detail.  Leave a hook for them to call you back.

i.e.  “John, great news!  I just discovered a way to get you approved for a mortgage.  Let’s get the ball rolling.   This is Rich Gorman.  Call me on my direct line ASAP.  800-555-5555.  You’re going to love this!”

i.e.  “Mike, have an awesome update for you.  We were able to sharpen our pencils on the proposal to get it within your budget.  This solution is EXACTLY what you were looking for.  This is Rich Gorman at Direct Response.  Call me 800-555-5555.  It’s game time!”

5.  Don’t Sell In Voicemails:  You can’t sell your service in a voicemail, so don’t even try.  The purpose of the voicemail is to get a direct response call back.  On the call back do all the selling.

NOTE:  If you’ve put a contract out, i.e. a Docusign, don’t expect it to do the selling for you.  You’ll need to diligently follow up.  Also, the MOMENT the client views the Docusign and you receive notice, call the prospect back.  Your conversions will go way up if you call back while they are viewing the Docusign (electronic contracts are the way to go these days).

6. Don’t Lose Face By Referencing Failed Attempts:  Save face!  If you’re leaving voicemails and not getting a response, there’s a good reason for it.  Don’t try calling from a blocked number, a different phone, or have someone else from your organization call.  Above all, NEVER leave a message that references the missed calls.

7.  Always Have A Different Reason For Your Call:   If you tried calling your prospect several times, leaving the SAME message, expect the same response…no response.

Switch things up on every voicemail.  The better the “new” reason for you calling, the higher the probability of a call back.  Announce a new promotion.  Create a real sense of urgency.  Point something out important that you hadn’t pointed out before.

Bait the hook to suit the fish.  If you don’t have the right hook to start, keep trying different hooks until you get a bite  🙂

P.S.  If you have rapport with the person you are trying to reach, a simple text message after multiple failed attempts often works best.  I’ll usually text “call me” and leave it at that.  That was they don’t know if you’re mad at them and they make time to call you.  Works just about everything time!

P.S.S.  Every now and then you will offend someone with these tactics.   Just make sure you don’t offend the wrong person (such as your boss).  Otherwise, who cares!  It’s better to ask for forgiveness than to get totally ignored….