Is Your Voicemail Greeting Frustrating Callers?

BY Jessica Helinski
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Unless you just started a new job or changed phone numbers, it is unlikely that you have given your voicemail greeting any thought lately. It's time to change it to one of the voicemail greetings for sales professionals. Nancy Friedman recently wrote an article for the Selling Power blog that addressed the importance of voicemail greetings. This may be the first time a prospective customer is connecting with you. Or, the caller may be a C‑level executive at a client business. You should be conscious of how you present yourself professionally at all times — even if it is just a recording of your voice.

Voicemail Greetings for Sales Professionals: What Not to Use

In her article Friedman lists the most frustrating voicemail greetings for sales professionals (and note, all of them are pretty common). The first offender? The following overused phrase:

"Hi, I'm not at my desk right now."

At the very least, Friedman points out, this greeting is completely useless. "If your voicemail answered, they already know you're not there," she explains. "Let your callers know where you are — not where you're not." Rather than stating the obvious, use your voicemail greeting to let callers know how to reach you using an alternate method. Give your mobile number or your email address as part of your message. By providing another way to reach you (even if you are truly unreachable at the moment), your voicemail greeting is actually valuable to the caller rather than redundant.

Another frustrating greeting, according to the article, is:

"Go ahead and leave your name and number, and I'll return your call as soon as possible."

Friedman believes that this voicemail greeting is often nothing more than an empty promise. Often, sales reps are not returning calls in a timely manner, so likely, this greeting will not mean much to the caller. Instead of saying that you will return the call, actually do it — and save the greeting for a more valuable message to your callers.

Make sure to read Friedman's entire post to make sure you are not frustrating callers with your own voicemail greeting. Often, it's the first connection with someone, so make sure you are making the most of the opportunity!