How to Create a Voicemail Script
Leaving a sales voicemail almost doesn’t feel like a “real” sales activity. It’s what happens when you don’t achieve your first objective – speaking directly to your prospect.
Yet it takes up a big chunk of your working day. In fact, the average salesperson spends about 15% of their time on leaving voicemails.
As we all know, leaving a good voice message can be hard. There’s something about hearing the “beep” that causes us to clam up, stumble our words, and struggle to get our point across effectively.
If your salespeople are leaving the wrong types of voicemail, that’s a lot of wasted time and effort. Voicemail scripts could be a great solution.
Why Voicemail Scripts Are Worth Creating
You’ve probably already got a sales script. In fact, you likely have multiple variants.
But it’s not enough to rely on your “regular” sales script for voicemail – with no one at the other end of the line, it’s a totally different ball game.
That’s why you need a dedicated script for your sales voicemails.
You might think that scripting voicemails will hamper your salespeople’s natural creativity, but as Wendy Weiss of ColdCallingResults.com shared: “If you think before you speak, that is a script.”
After all, we each have an opening line, an elevator pitch, or closer that we roll out time and time again. Writing a voicemail script is just about bringing together all the elements you’re already using, elevating them, and formalizing them.
That way, when they hear the dreaded “beep,” your sales team is already armed with the perfect message rather than having to invent one on the fly.
The process of leaving a quality sales voicemail that compels prospects to respond starts before you even pick up the phone. To begin, you’ll want to carry out this essential prep:
1. Define Your Goal
Without a clear objective in mind, it’s impossible to leave a voicemail that actually delivers results.
Most likely, the reason you’re calling that person is to persuade them to book an appointment. But what sort of appointment do you want them to book?
Is it a demo? A preliminary discussion with one of your product experts? A fact-finding mission to learn what they’re trying to achieve, and whether they’re a good fit for you?
Additionally, it’s important to remember what you’re not trying to achieve. You’re not going to convince them to leave their existing provider with a single voicemail, so don’t pitch them too aggressively.
2. Know Your Audience
Ask yourself a bunch of questions about your product and how it specifically relates to the needs of your next prospect:
- What problem do you solve?
- Why do you believe the prospect has this problem?
- Why do you believe they want to solve this problem?
- What level of market knowledge do they have?
- Do they use a competitor’s product?
- Have they heard of you?
Understanding these points will help you craft a compelling voicemail pitch.
Unless all of your prospects have exactly the same pain points, you’ll likely need two or three variant scripts based on your answers to the above questions. Maybe you’ll have one script for a prospect that has heard of you and understands your market, and another for a prospect who’s experiencing a challenge that you can solve, but isn’t aware that products like yours exist.
Writing Your Voicemail Script
You understand the work that’s required upfront to deliver a compelling pitch via voicemail. Now it’s time to write your script. Here’s how to do it:
1. Understand the Optimal Voicemail Length
Voicemails aren’t the right medium for lengthy, nuanced messages. You want to make one point, clearly, in around 20 to 30 seconds.
Your prospects are busy – don’t expect them to fully listen to – and digest – a voicemail that clocks in at significantly longer than the half-minute mark. Most likely, they’ll delete it and forget all about it.
On the other hand, you need to give them some reason to reach out to you. They need to feel that you’ve identified a real problem they’re experiencing and have a solution. Chances are, you won’t be able to persuade them of that in less than 20 seconds.
So how many words do you have to play with? Well, the average person speaks at about 130 words per minute, so you’re looking at no more than 40-70 words in total.
That’s not a lot – so you need to make each word count.
2. Identify Yourself & State Your Purpose
Straight off the bat, you need to clearly explain who you are and the reason you’re calling. And that reason must be compelling enough for your prospect to keep listening.
Hi, this is Sujan at Mailshake. I’m calling to explain how we can save you time on your prospecting outreach.
3. Refer to Common Pain Points & How You Solve Them
Unlike in a cold call, you don’t have the luxury of asking your prospect questions to understand their business challenges and goals.
But you (presumably) have some knowledge of their market. You know what they do. And you know about the pain points that keep people in similar roles at similar organizations awake at night.
Now’s your chance to discuss those pain points and reference how your product solves them.
Personalizing emails at scale is difficult, but we make it super simple with automation, so you can close more deals faster.
4. Ask for Action
It should be completely obvious what you want your prospect to do next.
Do you want them to return your call? Send an email? Respond to an invite or Calendly link you’ve sent them? Spell it out for them – and make it easy for them to take action.
I’d love to explain how we can help [prospect’s company name], so call me back at [insert number]. I’ll follow up with an email tomorrow. Have a great day!
Best Practices for Creating Your Voicemail Script
You’ve got the basics down. Ideally, you’ve written a couple variations on your script to bring a little personalization to your voicemail. Now, here are some pointers to maximize your results:
1. Make Space for Relationship-Building
Clearly, time is tight. But always try to leave yourself time to build bridges with your prospect.
Did you go to the same school as them? Do you have a common connection? Do you come from the same town, or follow the same sports team?
Giving yourself a few seconds at the top of your voicemail to reference your shared experiences can make your message a lot more impactful.
2. Always Keep Improving
Don’t just write two or three scripts and assume your work is done – always strive to keep elevating and optimizing.
In the previous section, we broke the ideal sales voicemail down into three steps:
- Introduction: Giving your name and stating your purpose
- Pitch: Referencing your prospect’s pain points and how you solve them
- Sign-off: Asking them to take action
Test different variations of each step and measure the results to see what works best. Which combinations generate the best response rates? Which lead to the best-quality responses? What’s the optimal call length?
Use the results to hone your script and share the latest, most effective variant across your sales team.
3. Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Sometimes, one voicemail may be all it takes to strike up a conversation. They might call back right away, eager to find out more about your fantastic product.
But it won’t always work. In fact, that’ll probably only happen in a minority of cases. That’s why you need to follow up promptly and effectively.
Call them back, send an email, or reach out to them on LinkedIn three to five days after leaving your original voicemail. Again, test which approach delivers the best results – do you get better engagement when you follow up via LinkedIn? Do you get more responses when you wait for four days rather than three?
If you’re leaving a high volume of voicemails, you’ll have a mountain of data at your disposal, so make the most of it to improve your approach.
What techniques work best for you when leaving sales voicemails? Let me know in the comments below: