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The Case for Voicemail

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A lot of salespeople tell me that they don’t leave voicemail messages when they call their dream clients. I understand completely not leaving a message if you plan to call back later that same day or week. But otherwise I don’t understand leaving no voicemail message at all. It’s a mistake and here’s why:

Is this your first call? A lot of salespeople have called your dream client in the past only to later disappear. Many have called and continue to call every quarter like clockwork, usually just to “check in” and see if anything has changed. Your dream client might even know some of these salespeople by name.

If you never leave a message, you are ensuring that you are unknown. You’re not a secret agent, for heaven’s sake! You need to be known, and you need to be known as a value creator. You aren’t accomplishing either of those things when you neglect to leave a message.

Instead, when you finally do reach your dream clients on the phone, they are hearing your voice for the very first time. They have no idea of the effort you have made to contact them, how much you want to work with them or that you can be of value to them. You have no record of making an effort to reach them.

Be known and double down. If you are serious about pursuing your dream clients, you’ll leave a detailed message describing who you are, how you believe you can make a difference and how you can be reached. Then, double down and follow up your voicemail message with an email reiterating the message you left and telling them when you are going to try to reach them again.

Your commitment to call back establishes a couple of things. First, it says that you are not going to go away, that you intend to keep calling. Second, it acknowledges that you believe it is your responsibility to call them again.

I know a few salespeople who are so good at leaving voicemail that they can get a call back by the sheer force of their personality alone. Your dream client is under no obligation to call you back simply because you left a message, but that’s not why you are leaving the message in the first place. You are leaving it because you want to be known, and you want to start establishing yourself as someone seriously interested in making a difference.

Leave a powerful voicemail message. Make yourself known. Make it apparent that you are in hot pursuit of your dream clients’ business, that you can and will make a difference in their lives and that you are not going to go away easily.

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Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go


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