8 Voicemail Techniques That Lead to Closed Deals, According to SalesScripter's CEO

Welcome to “The Pipeline” — a weekly column from HubSpot, featuring actionable advice and insight from real sales leaders.

A significant portion of the B2B prospecting calls you make will end up going to voicemail — making the sales voicemail techniques you leverage and how well you can execute them absolutely crucial to your sales efforts.

But getting there isn’t always straightforward — being able to routinely leave well-constructed, effective sales voicemails can elude even the sharpest reps.

So to help ensure your voicemails are airtight and adept, I’ve put together a list of eight tips that will transform your strategy and consistently generate productive responses from prospects.

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8 Voicemail Techniques That Lead to Closed Deals

1. Go in with the right expectations.

I often hear salespeople complain that prospects never return their calls after they’ve left a voicemail. That means the salesperson expects the prospect to call them back if they‘re interested. So when no one calls back, they tend to believe one of two things — either their product isn’t in demand or they’re not a good salesperson.

In most cases, neither one is true — arriving at those conclusions generally means the rep in question’s expectations were off.

Prospects — especially decision-makers — are usually extremely busy. They also get a large volume of calls and, in turn, voicemails from people trying to sell them something. Taking the time to return calls from sales reps they don’t know takes time out of their schedule and eats away at their productivity.

If a prospect doesn‘t call you back, don’t take that as a personal affront to your sales skills or personality. A lack of response doesn’t mean they can’t be interested. 

2. Use a mix of voicemail messages and calls with no messages.

Don’t leave a message every time you call — instead, work out a cadence that includes calls where you don’t leave a voicemail. For example, if you’re calling a prospect multiple times in one week, you might leave a message on every fifth attempt. If you’re spreading out your calls, try leaving a voicemail every one to two weeks.

Varying your touches makes you seem less pushy. This technique also makes it easier to leave a unique voicemail each time.

3. Educate the prospect.

The goal of virtually every voicemail is getting the prospect to return your call, and prospects generally don’t call back purely for the sake of calling back. You need to give them a reason to reach back out — and it’s hard to get there if you sound like every other salesperson who leaves a message on their machine. 

Avoid generic, unhelpful messaging, like:

“Hello [prospect], this is [name] from [company] and we provide [services]. I would like to schedule a meeting with you to see if you need what we provide. Please give me a call back at your earliest convenience at [phone number].”

Try changing that goal to educating the prospect on why they should talk with you.

“Hello [prospect], this is [name] from [company].

I’m calling because we find many [prospect’s job title] have challenges with:

  • Common pain point #1
  • Common pain point #2
  • Common pain point #3

I will try you again next week. If you would like to reach me in the meantime, my number is [number].

Again, this is [name] calling from [company]. Thank you, and I look forward to talking with you soon.”

4. Don’t use sales-y messaging.

Your prospect receives a lot of calls, emails, and voicemails from salespeople. Make your message stand out by decreasing its “salesiness”. Take strides like:

  • Avoiding jargon or buzzwords
  • Avoiding clichés, such as, “Are you interested in saving X?”
  • Not directly stating your goal of wanting to schedule a meeting where you intend to try to sell to them, such as “I’d like to schedule a brief meeting with you to discuss your needs in [business area].”
  • Mentioning a unique fact about your prospect’s company or objectives.

5. Don’t talk about your products and company in your message.

Minimize how much you talk about your product, services, and company in your voicemail. Remember, this isn’t the time to convince them to buy: You’re attempting to inspire interest in a conversation.

Instead of talking about what you sell, talk about the improvements you make, the problems you fix, examples of how you helped, the ways you differ, the ROI you deliver, and so on.

6. Leave different messages every time.

You have many powerful details and anecdotes to share with the prospect — far too many to share in one message. Highlight a new fact or theme every time.

Here is a sample sequence of talking points:

  • Message #1: Share pain points that your customers often have.
  • Message #2: Share improvements you’re frequently responsible for.
  • Message #3: Share an example of how you helped a person or business.
  • Message #4: Share details about the ROI that you usually deliver.
  • Message #5: Share ways that you differ from your competitors.

7. Follow every voicemail with an email.

Always send your prospect an email after you’ve left a voicemail. This allows prospects to visually see your name and company and click a link to go to your website for more information. It’s also easier for prospects to reply to emails than voicemails — and they can save emails for future reference.

8. Don’t hand over the responsibility of calling back.

To stay in control of the sales process, don’t ask the prospect to call you back. I say something like:

“I will try you again next week. If you want to reach me before then, my number is [phone number].”

This maintains forward momentum and provides a higher level of service, since you’re not asking the prospect to do anything.

Those are a few of my tips for improving your B2B prospecting voicemails. I hope this helps you connect with prospects, get your foot in the door of new accounts, and improve your results.

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