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In Print The Essentials

How to Avoid a Prospect Deleting a Voicemail


According to Meg Prater of HubSpot, “If you’re not comfortable on the phone, sales probably isn’t the career for you. Learning how to capture and keep someone’s attention without physically being in their presence is a skill all salespeople need.”

However, how often do you call someone only to get their voicemail? The truth is we rarely answer our phones (unless it’s Mom), but rather wait to screen it through voicemail. 

Therefore, as salespeople, we need to be ready before every phone call to “leave a message at the beep.” Here are three ways to ensure a callback when leaving a message on a prospect’s phone.

Message Duration: 

If the recipient sees the message is from an unknown number and only a few seconds long, they’ll assume it’s not important and hit delete. At Newtown Athletic Club, we find that leaving a 20 to 30-second message is the perfect length to spark curiosity, without seeming burdensome.

Voice Inflection: 

Buying a gym membership is very personal for most customers, and if you want a return call, it’s vital that you sound trustworthy as a salesperson. 

We start voicemails by using a normal tone of voice, which puts the recipient more at ease and not feeling like a victim of a scripted sales call. By gradually lowering your voice it draws them closer to listening and closer to pushing the “return dial” button. 

Meaningful information: 

We ask for specific information from our website inquiries, including an area for personal notes. For example, “I want a gym for my family, kids ages are 5 and 2, and we just moved to the area.” 

An effective reply message might sound like, “Hi Mary, it’s Denise from the Newtown Athletic Club — welcome to Newtown. I would love to show you and your family around our club.” 

Then I would casually lower my voice and leave contact information for a follow-up call. The message was personal and meaningful to her request. 

Making a personal connection with a lead through voicemail can be tricky, but we believe that message duration, voice inflection and meaningful messaging can play an integral role in assuring a return call. 

Denise Watkins is the membership director at Newtown Athletic Club.


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