Are Common Voicemail Mistakes Sinking Your Sales?


Do your voicemails inspire others to call back? Or, are you committing common voicemail mistakes that keep your phone from ringing? Sales reps tend to make similar mistakes when leaving voicemails, according to sales professional Jeff Hoffman. In a HubSpot article, he shares three very common mistakes, noting that “these bad voicemails can weaken your relationship with the prospect and derail your deal.”

One mistake is leaving the “just following up” voicemail. These too-​casual calls don’t give the recipient a reason to call back. Closing with phrases like “get back to me when you can” or “just wanted to follow up” doesn’t clearly define a purpose for the call. Instead, Hoffman suggests ending the voicemail with a call to action. “To make my voicemails actionable, I always ask a question — before ending with my phone number.” By asking a question, you are enticing the other person to call back (and in a timely manner).

Another mistake is rambling. You may not even realize you do this but you need to. When leaving a voicemail, be conscious of the time spent doing so. In general, the sweet spot for voicemails is 25 to 40 seconds. As Hoffman explains, “under 25 seconds looks like you dialed and hung up. Over 40 seconds looks too long.”

To learn how to hit that sweet spot, and read about the third common mistake, check out Hoffman’s article. And remember, always leave a voicemail; don’t let concerns over mistakes stop you. As Hoffman writes, “If you don’t leave a voicemail, you’ve set the precedent your messages aren’t important to listen or respond to.” Use his tips to be more conscious of the kind of message you’re leaving, and you’ll likely receive more returned calls.

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel and Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.