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Can You Fix My Voicemail Message?

“I’m struggling with getting callbacks from my voicemail messages. Our software market is in Law Enforcement, Public Safety, Fire/EMS, and Government and I’m not getting any call backs. Can you help? A copy of my voicemail script is below.”

OK… I’ve read your current voicemail script. Let’s see if we can make a few tweaks to help you get a better response rate. Let’s start here:


How many callbacks are you expecting? If I called and left 25 first-time voicemail messages in a day and only received a 10% callback rate, personally, I’m OK with that because that means the 2 to 3 prospects that called me back are the hot prospects. Wouldn’t you like to have a conversation with at least 2 to 3 hot prospects a day?
The problem is, however, most sales people are closer to .00001% than they are a 10% callback percentage. So let’s see if we can help you increase your callback results.

Your Message:

INTRO: “Hi (prospect), this is (name) calling from (company name)”
Looks fine so far. Of course, HOW you say something is as equally important, so without having a recording of you actually leaving your message, I can only go by the words you gave me to analyze. The one adjustment I WOULD make is this: Instead of saying “calling from” I would shorten that to “with” as in: Hi (prospect), this is (name) with (company name). It might not seem like a big deal, but anytime you can get rid of non-essential words in order to shorten your message and get to the point faster, it will help you generate more callbacks.
OPENING: “I’m calling because I have an idea on how to possibly help you…”
This is where things go South real fast. Even though this opening is better than most that I hear, since you are cold calling into a vertical, I would “PERK THEM UP” by mentioning other competitors / colleagues that you’ve already helped. (I GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF THIS BELOW – BUT DON’T JUMP AHEAD YET – KEEP READING)
WIIFT (What’s In It For Them) Statement: Your WIIFT says “reduce liability in your agency through our web-based software solution.” But that isn’t specific (OR INTERESTING) enough. Sure, it’s better than saying “we save you time and money” (which is what most sales people say), but it’s still too generic.
THE CLOSE: “I’d love to ask you just a couple questions to see if…” I understand that YOU would love to have that conversation with them, but we need to do what THEY would love. And right now, they aren’t seeing the benefit of having that call with you.

What a Better Voicemail Script Might Look Like

With that being said, you may have greater success with something like this:
INTRO: Hi (prospect), this is (name) with (company name),
OPENER: Reason for my call,
WIIFT: we recently helped (Law Enforcement agency 1, 2 and 3) cut/reduce (______) liability by _____% through our web-based software solution. (BE SPECIFIC WITH WHAT TYPE OF LIABILITY YOU ARE ABLE TO HELP THEM REDUCE)
CLOSE: There’s a possibility WE MAY be able to help you do the same, but I would need to ask you a few quick questions first to be sure. I’ll send you an email, if it’s easier for you to reply that way great, otherwise, you can reach me XXX-XXX-XXXX. Again, my name is (your name) with (YOUR COMPANY NAME) and I can be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXX.”
Added Bonus: If your company has an online calendar / appointment scheduler tool, include that in your email to the prospect so they can schedule a call with you.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.


Register Now for Our Next 8-Week Phone Skills Improvement Program!

  • Eliminate “No, Thanks”, “Not Interested” & “We’re All Set” Responses
  • Learn a step-by-step process for Cold Calling and Warm Calling
  • Neutralize Gatekeepers & Get Voicemails Returned
  • Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
  • Improve your Qualifying Skills
  • Learn more effective Sales Questions to ask (and ones to avoid)
  • Give Stellar Presentations & Handle Objections
  • Close Follow-up Calls and Get Targeted Referrals
  • How to Set & Achieve Your Toughest Sales Goals
  • Improve Your Time Management Skills

Duration: 1 hour per week for 8 weeks
Where: Online @ your desk, conference room or home
Presenters: Michael Pedone