In this sales training webinar, we look at the subject of what to do (and not do) with voicemail boxes when sales prospecting.


Getting a prospect’s voicemail box is the most likely outcome.
It is difficult to get a hold of prospects. You can call a prospect dozens of times and it would not be crazy for you to get his or her voicemail box the majority of those call attempts.

The reality is that prospects are just busy. If you are calling at a decision maker level, they might not even be at their desk the majority of the day. So when you are calling and calling, you may think they are avoiding you but they are just rarely at their desk and that is where the phone is ringing with your persistent pursuit to try to get a hold of them.

The prospect is not likely to return your voicemail message.
When thinking about what to do with the prospect’s voicemail box, it is important to be aware that it is not very likely for a prospect to return a call from a voicemail message left from a cold calling salesperson.

This might sound negative but this is a safe assumption for a few reasons:

  • Prospects are extremely busy
  • Prospects get a lot of calls from salespeople
  • Prospects receive a lot of voicemail messages from salespeople
  • A voicemail message is a difficult place to build interest
  • A prospect may feel like it is the salesperson’s job to call back

Use a voicemail message to leave a commercial.
If you agree that the prospect is not likely to return your call from a voicemail message, this can play a big role in what we say in our voicemail script. If you think that a prospect might call you back, you may build a voicemail script around trying to motivate and direct the prospect in the activity of calling back.

But if we concede that they probably won’t call back, we can then be freed up to use that airtime in a different way. If you have 20 to 30 seconds to work with, focus your effort during that window on educating who you are and why the prospect should talk with you when you call him or her back.

Use some sort of logic for when to hang up and when to leave a message.
If we are using the voicemail box as a way to deliver our commercial message, then we do not need to leave a voicemail message every time that we call. In addition, when we do leave a voicemail message, there is a need to pause for a period of time before calling again.

As a result, it is optimum to have some sort of call cadence that is a mix of calls without a voicemail message and then sporadically leaving voicemail messages at strategic times.