Voicemail: Where deals go to die.
Or is it? It’s true, those “Just following up” or “Haven’t heard from you in a while” messages won’t do much to move your deals forward. But a thoughtful, targeted voicemail can be just what you need to reinvigorate conversations and get deals moving again.
Here are seven voicemails that go beyond “touching base” to inspire meaningful action. The result will be more callbacks, better rapport, and fewer stalled deals.
1) “Next time we talk, you’ll have to tell me more about X.”
End your voicemail by asking your prospect to tell you more, whether about their recent vacation to Thailand or their unique business pain points. It’s a simple request -- and easier than, say, “Give me a call back, I’d love to find out when we can write up our contract.”
Generally, voicemail is not the medium to discuss deal logistics. Keep messages short and to the point, and steer clear of deal specifics. Ask relevant questions and you’re likelier to get a response.
2) “Next time we talk, I’d love to tell you more about X.”
This scenario piques your prospect’s interest by teasing information. But it’s only effective when your prospect actually cares about the info. If you say, “Next time we talk, I’d love to tell you more about our latest award for customer satisfaction,” they probably (read: definitely) won’t care.
First, they’re not a client yet, so they won’t find your ambiguous award that interesting. Second, news like this takes the focus off the prospect and onto you -- not where you want it to be.
Instead, lead with, “Next time we talk, I want to share two goals on our new product roadmap that speak directly to several pain points you’ve raised. I’ll tell you more in our next meeting. How about next Tuesday?”
You prove you’ve been paying attention by referring to pain points they’ve previously mentioned and kept the conversation centered around benefiting the prospect. You’ve also slipped in a specific timeline for when you’d like to connect.
3) “What should we cover in our next conversation?”
You probably touched on this at the end of your last conversation, but if you haven’t heard from your prospect in a while, this can be a useful strategy for getting back on their radar.
Say, “I know we identified implementation, onboarding, and QA as topics to cover in our next call, but I wondered if there were any other areas we missed -- specifically whether you could use Feature A, which was an area of concern for you.”
Again, you’ve referred to a previous pain point, and reminded them of what you both agreed to discuss in your next meeting -- and you’ve done it all without the dreaded, “I haven’t heard from you in a while, I really want to schedule this meeting we talked about.”
4) “I know we ran out of time, but I’d love to continue this conversation [insert date].”
This is another helpful outreach strategy for prospects you haven’t heard from in a while.
Remind them of your last conversation and give them a timeline for when you’d like to talk again, saying, “I know we ran out of time in our last meeting, but I’d love to continue our conversation about why other suppliers have disappointed you in the past. Do you have time to chat more on Thursday or Friday?”
This is a direct and persuasive way of asking for a follow-up meeting. Your prospect is more likely to agree to discussing their pain points further than if you were to say, “I’d love to talk more about how I can help. Let me know when we can get a call scheduled.” The latter is vague and feels like more of a burden than the first request.
5) “You said something earlier that I’d love to ask you a question about.”
If you wrapped up a meeting earlier in the day but weren’t able to schedule a follow-up appointment, leave this voicemail a few hours later.
Refer to your previous conversation to jog their memory, saying, “In our meeting earlier, you said something about your shipping needs that really stuck out to me. I’d love to ask you a question about that.”
In addition to showing active listening, you’ve also awoken their curiosity about what question you want to ask. Once they’re back on the phone, you can confirm a date and time for your next meeting.
6) “I just sent you an article and I’d love to hear what you think about it.”
Only leave this voicemail for interested prospects. If you’re talking with someone who isn’t really invested in fixing a problem or implementing your product/service, they probably won’t want to read an article you sent on the subject either.
If you’re working with an actively engaged prospect, however, this voicemail can be perfect for building rapport. Say, “I just sent you an article about the new trends in AI we were discussing on our last call. I can’t wait to hear what you think.”
If you already have a call scheduled, it will serve as incentive for your prospect to show up. If you don’t have a call on the books, use their response to this voicemail to ask for a follow-up meeting.
7) “My phone number is …”
Sales expert Jeff Hoffman always ends voicemails with his phone number. The reasoning? First, it’s his cue to wrap up. It keeps him from rambling and gives the prospect a clear call to action: Call him back.
It also ensures that, in the age of voicemail transcripts, your number stands out at the end of your message. And because most phones link to numbers automatically, all your prospect has to do is press the number provided at the end of the transcript to easily call you back.
Voicemails don’t have to be a last resort or a dead end. Use these tips for messages that actually move the conversation forward. You’ll enjoy richer prospect relationships and fewer opportunities gone cold.