The Four Best Messages to Leave in Voice Mail

“No one returns my call.”

I hear that statement daily as sales people try to explain why their sales are down. Yes, in a perfect world all voice-mail messages are returned. But we don’t live in a perfect world—and until Brett Favre stays retired, Jon Stewart becomes president, and the bleacher seats at Fenway return to a buck apiece, we won’t.

That means we need to improve the quality of our calls. To me, that means leaving one of four voice-mail messages:

“I have researched your business and have an idea for helping you to…”

People, Al Gore gave us the Internet for a reason. There is absolutely no excuse for not checking out a prospect prior to picking up the phone. Finding something on the company’s website—ANYTHING—and use that in your message. At bare minimum, this says to the client, “You are not just the next name on some list that I bought.”

“I will either reduce the usage cost of your documents or increase their value.”

This one is a bit more challenging and requires the recipient to ponder what is meant by “usage cost” and “value of the document.” Will you get a call back? Ummmmm, perhaps. But it sure is a memorable message, so maybe the next time you call and the customer looks at his Caller ID, he will remember you and pick up.

“I’m sure you get calls from printers all day long. My differentiators are my ideas and resources.”

Wow. Now that’s putting it out there. At this point in the pursuit, a printer is a printer is a printer. All the client needs to know about your equipment is that it is beige and uses electricity. What makes you different and better is what you make it do to solve customer problems.

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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  • Rich Heller

    Pretty good article for sales people.

  • snowboardbetty

    We are always looking for great ideas for voice mail. I like the last 2 a lot.

  • Dar

    I’m a Sales Representative for Kirkpatrick Advertising and we sell ad space for our guide called The Travelers Friend and I have found that it is getting more difficult to sell ad space, I have changed my way of marketing them all the time what do you suggest for increasing my sales. Yours Truly Darlene

  • marc zazeela

    Thanks Bill. All great ideas. Especially valuable is the repetition. Don’t give up after you have left one message that is not returned. Call again and leave a different, compelling message. Repetition is how brands are built.