9 Sales Voicemail Tactics That Will Get People Calling Back

Voicemails. No one really enjoys listening to them, do they? To most of us, it’s a bit of a chore. Even when they’re from our friends and family. So when it comes to listening to sales voicemails? Most people’s tolerance level is lower than a limboing snake’s belly.

“Hi, it’s Peter from Generico Software Solutions and I’m calling to speak to you about blah, blah, blah…”


It takes some real thought, style, finesse and tactical thinking to come up with a sales voicemail that will get the potential customer listening, intrigued and then call back. It’s possible, though. It may feel like sales voicemails are left more in blind hope than anything else, but if you employ the correct tactics with them, you can significantly increase your call back rate.

Here are nine golden ways to up your sales voicemail game:

1.) Avoid Repetition in your voicemail messages

Calling and leaving several extremely similar messages for a person is counterproductive. It won’t serve as a reminder or tempter for the person, it’ll just sound desperate, like you’ve run out of ideas. And worse? It’s borderline harassment. Imagine receiving three sales voicemails in three days from the same salesperson with the same spiel. It’s dull, it’s annoying and it doesn’t paint the company in a great light.

2.) Treat the sales voicemails like a dialogue

It may seem odd, but assume the person is listening to each voicemail intently. They may not be talking, but they’re more than likely listening. Imagine it’s a conversation. Then evolve the conversation. Each follow-up voicemail can build on the previous. Involve the person by making it seem like a two-way process. Eventually, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll entice them with the progression and they may just call you back.

3.) Don’t kick off a voicemail with your name

Everyone’s instinct is to start leaving a message with their name and company like Peter does up there. But imagine how it’s received… “Oh, it’s a sales call.” Or, “Oh, it’s that salesperson again.” Try starting off with the purpose of your call and end with your name, company and contact details. Kick off with the good stuff. Get them hooked early.

4.) Keep your voicemail message short and sweet…

Aim to keep your messages under 30 seconds. No one wants to listen to a droning three minute ramble. Most of those messages are getting deleted pretty quickly, let’s be honest. The focus isn’t the delivery of detail, it’s getting them to call you back or take your call. You need to get them interested, not bombard them with information.

5.) … But don’t rush!

Okay, so we just told you to speed things up. But that doesn’t mean you should rush. Rushing sounds hurried, it sounds like you’re not confident. Research has shown that the slower people talk, the more people listen to them. It implies confidence and ease. Try it.

6.) Forget trying to sell

No one ever closed a deal with a voicemail. So don’t waste your time trying. You can sell to them when you’re talking to them. You’re just prospecting here. You’re fishing.

7.) Try to be a little unique

Sales voicemails are common. You’re not the only person employing them. So you may need to compete a little and standing out from the crowd is a great way of doing that. We’re not telling you to go crazy and start playing bagpipes down the phone or reeling off a series of mother-in-law jokes. But you should look to do something a little unusual. Again, it’s about intriguing the person and giving them a reason to call you back.

8.) Do NOT mention previous failed attempts

“Hi, it’s Peter from Generico Software Solutions again. I’ve not managed to get hold you before…” Avoid that. Not only does that sound a little negative to the potential customer, it sets you up for a fall and puts you in a negative mindset. Forget the past – go in all guns blazing and hopeful. Referencing failed calls from the past will just remind the person why they ignore you before.

9.) Be natural

Some salespeople are taught to smile when they’re talking. Or speak with a certain ‘telephone voice’. Some are even specifically coached to intentionally sound ‘enthusiastic’. All of those things just sound fake. People aren’t stupid. They hear it, they’re put off by it, they delete your voicemail. We’re not saying mumble down the phone, of course. We’re just saying that whatever you do it has to sound organic, natural and normal.

Most importantly… Don’t waste your chance!

In order to get the telephone number of a hot lead, Marketing departments spend a lot of time and thought and money. Content needs to be created, webinars written and made, social media accounts managed, leads identified and processed… And the potential clients do their bit too by reading the blogs, the tweets, the eBooks. By watching the webinars and listening to the podcasts. A lot of work goes into creating relevant and primed prospects. Don’t ruin it in a few seconds with a poor voicemail.

Follow some of the tips above and you should, in time, see an improvement in your call back rate. Now get out there and start calling!

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