Did your last cold calling voicemail receive a callback? If not, it’s time to implement a new strategy.

You’ve called twenty leads today, and only a few picked up. The rest? Voicemails. A scripted message that rarely gets any call backs. Most salespeople see voicemails as dead ends; a mindset that keeps them in the same rut week after week.

If you want to master cold calling, voicemail skills are essential. Think about it: what’s a better scenario for moving a sale forward than the prospect calling YOU? You’ve peaked their interest. The rest of the journey is smooth sailing.

Put the tactics in this post into action, and cold calling voicemails will become a part of your strategy.

cold calling voicemail

6 Tips to turn any cold calling voicemail into success

1. Hook your listeners with a benefit or desired outcome

Walk into every voicemail as if the prospect were looking for a reason to hang up or delete the message. That leaves very little room for fluff. So your must deliver a compelling opening.

Start by stating a benefit the customer wants. Not a feature of your product or service. Not what your service does. But how the listener benefits.

“Hi Jane, how are you? I’m calling today to talk about your sales goals for the upcoming year. I understand you manage telecom sales for X company and I’d like to help your team double their daily outbound calls with less work.”

2. Ask a question that hits three crucial triggers

Since we’re working in such a small window, it’s important to ask good questions. Ones that quietly work for you under the surface.

The one or two questions you ask should have a strategy behind them. They should influence the listener’s behavior or build trust. Your questions should:

  • Get them to look into the problem. Give the prospect a job to do.
  • Assume they’re interested in talking further. Convey trust through your tone, language, and approach. Your question should move things forward without apologies. You’re trying to solve their problem, not close a sale.
  • Gives a reason to follow up without pressure. Good questions give prospects a compelling reason to call you back. That happens when you open their eyes to a problem and promise a solution.

3. Think outside of the script and act naturally

Following a script word-for-word makes you sound generic. It’s a red flag that automatically signals deletion. Does that mean using a script is never a good idea? No. But it should only be used as a guide.


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What’s more important is that you act naturally. A relaxed, confident tone opens the prospect to listen further. It says, “I’m here to help you, not sell you.” Moreover, every cold calling voicemail is different because every prospect is different. You have to be flexible.

Instead of a script, use a template/script hybrid. For each call, ask yourself:

  • What is this prospect’s number one pain point we can solve?
  • What is her current situation? How can we help?
  • What would be the best motivation for a call-back?
  • How can I convey the most value in the least amount of words?

4. Leave cold calling voicemails at the “sweet spot” hour

We all know that the best times for cold calling are in the morning and just after the work day ends. Sometimes lunch break works. If you get into the nitty gritty, it’s ten minutes before each hour as people leave meetings and go to other tasks.

But cold calling voicemails have even less wiggle room. You can’t leave them in the morning because your prospect has an entire day of tasks in front of her. And the afternoon doesn’t give much more opportunity.

So the best bet is to leave voicemails at the last hour of the day. It’s wind-down time: prospects check emails, schedule tomorrow and return calls. That’s when you want to catch them.

5. Not too short, not too long, but just right

When you receive a voicemail from an unknown number what’s the first thing you check? The length of the message.

Five seconds? Must not be important.

Ten seconds? Probably a recorded message.

Twenty seconds? Hmm. Let me check this real quick.

Sixty seconds? Don’t have time for that right now.

If you’re cold calling, voicemails should be no longer than thirty seconds and no shorter than twenty. Practice so you can hit that mark smoothly, without seeming rushed.

6. Present yourself as a problem solver, not a sales rep

Out of all the tips we’ve included, the last one is arguably the most important. It’s a subtle challenge of presenting yourself as a problem solver and trusted advisor. Not a salesperson.

Remember: people don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.

If you read between the lines, it means that people want your help to choose the right solutions. Try to push your product, they back away. Try to help them find a solution, and they come forward.

Focus on the prospect. Keep the voicemail geared towards his pain points, anxieties, desired outcomes, and priorities.


If you’re serious about phone sales and want to triple the number of sales calls you make in an hour, give Call Logic a try. Sign up for our free trial now!


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