Many people ask us whether or not you should even leave voicemails anymore. The answer, generally, is that you should. It’s one more chance to showcase professionalism. Your tone, clarity of message, and cadence all impact their perception of you. And it just might elicit some follow-up. There are good and bad messages though, so we thought we’d offer some tips for proper voicemailing:
- If you’re calling a prospect, leave some intrigue.
The idea is to not give them so much information that they decide not to call you back because they’ve already ruled out the need to talk with you. For example, if you’re calling someone who interacted with your Facebook Ad, don’t leave a message telling them you’d like to have them into your office for a discovery meeting. Leave the messaging brief, mention any commonality you might have (connection in common, group affiliation, etc.), ask for a call-back.
- If you’re calling an accountant, give more detail.
Generally speaking, accountants are more detailed by nature. Don’t leave them messages like, “Hey this is Stephen Boswell, call me back.” Provide them context like, “I was talking with a client today, Susan Anderson, and I think you may be able to help her. She’s been working with XYZ Accounting firm and is looking for a change. I will follow-up with detailed notes on her family’s business and the tax areas she’d like to address.”
- Try and match the style of the person’s prompt.
If their voicemail prompt is detailed, leave them a detailed message. If it starts with, “Leave me a detailed message including your name, phone number, and the reason for your call,” give this person the detail they crave. But if their prompt is something direct like, “You’ve reached Kevin Nichols. Please leave a message,” leave a direct message to match.
- Don’t leave voicemails for people who don’t do voicemails.
If you’ve left a voicemail for someone and they call you right back without listening to the message, don’t leave a message the next time you call. Many people see a missed call alone as the “message” that you’d like to talk. Also, younger generations aren’t that into voicemails. Try texting or emailing instead.
- When prospecting, don’t start with your company name.
It’s smart to state your name, but stop short of leaving your title or company name at the beginning of a message. When someone gets a message from someone they don’t know, they’re quick to dismiss or delete. Give them a hook to start the message. For example, “Hi (prospect), this is John Smith. I wanted to connect with you as I know we have a number of connections in common (list one or two from LinkedIn) and because we do a lot of work with (insert their niche) in our financial planning practice. Could you give me a call at…”
How would you describe your voicemail style? Most of us leave the same type of messages out of habit. Stop for a moment before your next call and think through the ideal messaging. We bet it increases your call-backs.