Cold Call Voicemails: How to Get More Callbacks

photo of a man using a voicemail script

Is business voicemail dead? While there are statistics that share voicemail’s decline in the business world, we can’t avoid the fact that 80% of all cold calls will reach the decision maker’s voicemail inbox.

As we’ve shared in past blog posts on cold calling, saying that something is ‘dead’ is becoming a catchy headline and a trend. However, 9 times out of 10, these are mere theories supported by lax evidence.

Let’s clear the air.

The truth of the matter is that when a sales tactic is considered ‘dead’, it’s usually something that ‘once worked’ that has died, ie. the buyer’s have either become smart to your tactics, a new generation of buyers and their preferences has displaced an old one, or a hybrid of the two.

Instead of giving up on a sales tactic like cold emailing or leaving voicemails, choose to evolve, choose a creative approach that satisfies the buyer rather than repulsing them.

Continue reading this blog post to learn how you can get more callbacks when leaving today’s B2B decision makers a voicemail.

Should You Leave a Voicemail When Cold Calling?

Yes, but let’s strategically dive deeper into ‘The Why’.

Sales productivity. Most salespeople struggle to maximize their selling activity. In fact, most spend over 1,300 hours every year not selling.

So, when you’re sent to a buyer’s voicemail, you can either improve your chance of getting a response, or you can improve your competition’s chance of getting a response.

It’s up to you to choose—to choose whether or not you’re going to add voicemail as your next cold calling competitive advantage.

illustration of a phone voicemail

Leaving Voicemails When Cold Calling

Before you leave a voicemail during a cold call, make sure you have a clear, consistent, and successful strategy and approach. Winging it never with improv rarely works.

Below you will find three tips for constructing a repeatable and successful voicemail message:

1. Limit the voicemail to 15 – 25 seconds

The biggest complaint amongst decision makers when it comes to voicemails is when salespeople go on and on for 45 seconds to a minute. Some sales reps even max out the voice message at 2 minutes! Don’t do that.

If you start with a quick introduction and a simple and concise value proposition, followed by your contact details, you’ll be well on your way to improving your response rates. Furthermore, this makes your voicemail more predictable, and limits the amount of information your prospect has to write down.

2. Start your message with relevant sales intelligence

While leading with a value proposition is considered best practice, pivot once you receive an alert from Lead411 or ZoomInfo. Now more than ever, prospects expect you to far exceed their expectations, especially when it comes to personalizing your salesmanship.

Did your prospect recently receive a promotion?

Did the account just post a job opening that could be improved or resolved with the application of your solution?

Has the company posted a RFP that would fit your solution?

Leading with this knowledge is a perfect way to demonstrate to the decision maker that you’re invested in helping them and their company.

3. Don’t use cold emails as voicemail scripts

Yes, most salespeople will doubletap their prospects with a cold email before or after leaving a voicemail. This indeed is best practice, however, some salespeople will read the cold email verbatim into the prospect’s voicemail inbox. Don’t do this.

Instead, demonstrate your expertise and credibility by posing a thought-provoking question that plays off the consent of the cold email.

For example, say I were to send an email to a prospect on how most salespeople spend over 60% of their day not selling. I could pivot in the voicemail by sharing that most salespeople only spend 15% of their day meeting customers in person. “[Firstname], would you like to know how to reverse these numbers so that your sales team spends 60%, scrap that, how about 80% of their day meeting customers in person?”

That’s a much more powerful approach to peaking the buyer’s curiosity and inspiring a response.

Let’s now take a look at some proven cold call voicemail scripts.

cartoon of a voicemail alert

Get More Callbacks with Cold Call Voicemail Scripts

As I mentioned earlier, having a good voicemail script to work from greatly improves your response rates. Over a short period of time, your message will sound more authentic and natural on your buyer’s voicemail.

But what makes a good cold call voicemail script?

Most solid voicemail scripts will include the following:

  • Simple and concise message
  • Area to add personalization [eg. job promotion title]
  • Call to action

Cold Call Voicemail Script #1 - The Insider

Imagine if you placed a call to a coworker you’ve never met before. You introduce yourself and share on the voicemail that you work with two of her 1st degree connections on LinkedIn. How likely do you think that you’d get a response? You’re right, it’d be very high.

We call this voicemail script “The Insider”. You captivate the buyer’s attention by sharing information that only someone that is super familiar with their company would know.

“Hey [Firstname],

[Your Firstname] with [Your Company].

Calling you back to discuss the need to resolve [insert problem(s)].

You can still reach me at [office number], but you can also reach me at my cell [cell number].

Again [ pause ], you can reach me at [ your preferred number ].

Thanks [Firstname].”

Now, some may say we’re slightly using “trickery” by implying that there was a previous conversation or exchange of contact information. However, we’d say that you’ve shared your contact information before, whether via your signature in a cold email or a previous voicemail.

Nevertheless, you’re doing what it takes to get them to call you back so you can deliver value, and that’s what matters the most.

Cold Call Voicemail Script #2 - Would you like to know more?

I thought you’d be interested to know that this voicemail script has helped our sales team triple their response rates. Would you like access to this script?

Your response is, “Of course, please!”

Leading with an eye-opening fact that the buyer is unaware of, or leading with a credibility share such as how you helped a similar client, is at the forefront of the ‘Would you like to know more’ voicemail script.

While this script is also a popular cold email template, it has a greater impact on voicemail response rates than cold email.

“Hey [Firstname],

I thought you’d be interested to know that [Company in same industry] recently chose to automate their non-selling activity.

Now they’re exceeding quota and more than doubling commissions.

Would you like to know how?
It’s [Your Firstname] at [Your Company]. [Phone Number].

I’ll look forward to your call.”

You’ve touched a nerve by addressing one or two of their greatest pain points, and you’ve proven that you’ve helped companies just like theirs.

In addition to curiosity driving them to call you back, saying that you’re awaiting their call only further heightens your personalized touch.

Cold Call Voicemail Script #3 - Do I know you?

“Hey [Firstname], it’s [Your Firstname] at [Your Company]. Can you give me a call back before 5? I’m at [Your Phonenumber]. Thanks [Firstname].”

…Why are they calling me?

…Do I know [Your Firstname]?

…It’s 2pm, I only have three hours left to call them back?!

…What was their number again?

Can you tell why this cold voicemail script is a recipe for cold calling success?

It’s so short—less than 10 seconds to be exact—that it forces them to not overthink your ask.

photo of a voicemail light

Best Cold Calling Voicemails

I get it. It’s voicemail. Many companies are now pivoting to audio text messages. And that’s great, but…

Once competition pivots from a traditional prospecting method, you should see this as a hot opportunity to pick the low-hanging fruit from the tree.

I still leave voicemails today for people who have trialed Veloxy. And you want to know what I hear 9 times out of 10?

“Thanks for leaving me a voicemail. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve gotten one of those!”

See—when competing salespeople pull away from traditional methods in favor of more progressive methods, consider the traditional one, just add some creative best-practice flair for more positive results!

Did you find this content helpful?

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Samir Majumdar

Samir Majumdar

Samir is the CEO and Co-founder of Veloxy. After spending 20+ years creating corporate systems, boosting revenue, and eliminating inefficiencies, Samir started Veloxy to help sales professionals shorten sales cycles, accelerate pipelines, and close more deals.

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