10 Reasons Your Cold Call Voicemail Stinks
I’m in sales, and there is nothing worse than getting a “bad” cold call, and those of you in sales know what I am talking about.
This article isn’t about whether or not cold calling is dead, alive, cold, or warm. It isn’t about best prospecting tips or what’s wrong in the world of sales development.
Aside from reaching out to the wrong person, or the person you’re calling has no need for your company’s products or services at the time, it has to do with how you leave a voicemail.
It’s about the simple reasons why your calls aren’t being returned.
So if you’re cold calling prospects, and you’re wondering why they aren’t returning your phone calls, consider revisiting the basics to make sure you aren’t guilty of making these mistakes.
Reasons I won’t return your cold call:
1. I can’t understand your message
Speak clearly, articulate, and slow down. If you’re mumbling, talking too fast, or don’t speak with confidence, it is very unlikely that I will return your call, mostly because I am not sure what you said in your message or why you called.
Practice leaving messages. Record yourself and listen. How do you sound? Would you call yourself back?
2. You don’t say who you are or where you are calling from
This may be one of my biggest pet peeves. It may seem like a no brainer, but trust me it happens. Make sure you say who you are and where you are calling from. Better yet say this twice. Say it at the very beginning of your voicemail and at the very end.
3. Your message is way too short
You follow the basic steps of stating your name, company, and phone number, but that’s it. I have no context of your message and truthfully don’t care to follow-up.
4. Your message is way too long
On the flip side, your message is painfully long. If your voicemail is pushing well over 1 minute and you’re still not convincing me to call you back, it’s time to tighten up your message. More often than not these types of messages are dragged out. Don’t ramble.
5. You said too many “ummms” and “uuuhhs”
I get it, you’re human and not a robot. I make mistakes too. I’d rather listen to a message that is upbeat and sounds like an actual person than an automated message, but watch the “ummms” and “uuuhhs.”
If your message is full of them, you won’t sound confident or convincing. Practice makes perfect. Calm the nerves and articulate your sentences.
6. You don’t say why you’re calling ME
You’re calling ME so make sure it is specific and relevant to ME. If your message is all about you, your company, and product and services, but doesn’t include anything about my challenges then it isn’t relevant.
So let me know why you’re calling ME.
7. You say your phone number way too fast at the VERY end of the message
Please make sure you state your phone number clearly and S-L-O-W-L-Y. Make sure you say it twice. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a message for someone to say their number so fast that I can’t make it out. And what’s worse is now I have to re-listen (if you’re lucky enough) to your message again to try and capture the number.
I don’t have time to re-listen to your message over-and-over again to try and make it out.
8. You leave a vague message and ask me to call you back
If you’re doing this, stop it right now. I mean it. The vague message to try and bait and hook me is a horrible strategy. Let me ask you this, do you return phone calls from strangers that leave a very vague message but ask you to call them back? Didn’t think so…so don’t use this in your cold calling outreach.
9. You lie about being referred by one of my colleagues
No one likes a liar and if lying is part of your strategy, you are not only doing yourself a disservice you are doing the entire sales industry a disservice. Sales is about trust and adding value. I am all for being creative, especially since I understand the importance of cold calling and capturing attention, but I do not support lying.
Don’t lie. If you tell me you were referred by someone, especially someone in my office, and they tell me that they have no idea who you are, I certainly won’t trust you. You also won’t get my business.
10. You call to “learn more” and “only need 15 minutes of my time”
Okay, this one may have to do with cold calling tactics, but if your voicemail starts or ends with wanting 15 minutes of my time, it is very unlikely I will return your call.
I am too busy to give every salesperson out there 15 minutes of my time. Don’t let this be part of your cold calling. I don’t know you and don’t want to give you my time, especially if your voicemail is generic.
If you’re in sales, and you are cold calling then I commend you. It is no easy task, but doesn’t mean you shouldn’t improve your own cold calling skills to optimize your success. My advice is to practice your cold calls and how you leave voicemails. Make sure you avoid the 10 mistakes listed above. Don’t be that sales rep.