Returning Your Call

free-to-use-sounds-QwqMtGYyH-0-unsplashOn Thursday when I checked my voice mail messages, this was the first message:

“Hi Ann, this is Janet returning your call. You can reach me today until 5 pm Eastern time at [her phone number].”

What was wrong with this message?

I didn’t call anyone named Janet.

Neither the name, the phone number or the area where she placed the call were familiar.

Some may think this is a clever way to reach a busy person who may have forgotten that she placed the call.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time I had received a message like this.  Trust is destroyed with deceptive calls like this. And can never be rebuilt.

I love this quote from Stephen Covey:

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” –  Stephen R. Covey     

Thanks for reading – here’s wishing you a safe and healthy day!


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Effective voice mail message tips:

What happened to voice mail?   and:

Why bother to leave a voicemail message?  and:

3 reasons why it’s important to leave a voicemail message


Why Bother to Leave a Voice Mail Message?

question-mark-block-tnYou probably already know this from experience, but unfortunately . . .

. . . only a small percentage of prospects will return calls.

So, should you just forget about leaving a voice mail message?

Or . . .

. . . can you use voice mail to your benefit?

You may feel that, because prospects often do not call back, leaving a voice mail message is a waste of time.

But . . .

. . . think about this:

Voice mail is a form of communication, like email or text messages.

Don’t let the one-way aspect of voice mail stop you from taking advantage of its benefits.

When the prospect hears benefits – for her/him – s/he WILL listen as long as the benefits are included in the first 6 seconds of the voice mail message.

There are some messages that will not be returned, like this one:

“Hi -This is [name of caller]. I’m the senior account executive with XYZ Consulting Services. We are the world’s largest Web Site designing company, for many different types of businesses all over the world.

”Basically, I wanted to introduce myself. So when you have a chance, call me. Once again, this is [name of caller] from XYZ at (his Web site address) and the number is (his telephone number). Thanks. I hope to hear from you soon.”

What do you think?

Would you have called him?

Did you read any benefits for the listener?

It may be important that he is the “senior account executive” – or it may sound like he was just trying impress.

And to hear that his company is the world’s largest, how does that benefit the listener?

A much more effective voice mail message:

“Hi. This is _________ with XYZ Consulting Service at (telephone number). I noticed you’ve been making some changes to your web site and I have some ideas about how to add a few elements to your site that would greatly increase traffic. We’ve done this for (insert well-known person or firm in the industry) and they’ve achieved (specific positive results). Let’s talk. My number is (repeat number). I’ll try getting back to you as well.”

That message will be returned 90 percent of the time because it is about benefits for the prospect.

Unless a voice mail message is really bad, people do listen to voice mail, and you can use it to your advantage.

One advantage of voice mail is that it lets prospects know that you’re attempting to reach them.

You can also remind them of your company name and business, keeping it fresh in their minds along with solutions you can provide.

It sets the connection in motion; your prospects might forward your message to others in the company, who, in turn, save it for later, or they look up your company on the Internet, etc.

Prospects who don’t return calls are often considering what you have to offer.

It is not unusual for a prospect, once you get them on the phone, to say something like, “I listened to your voice mail and looked at your website.”

It is also not unusual for prospects to be prepared to talk when you call because they’ve researched your company.

Remember that the ball is in your court, so it is to your benefit to leave a compelling voice mail message if you want a call back.

Click Here to see 3 Reasons Why it’s Important to Leave a Voice Mail Message.

You can see effective voice mail tips on this page

Get Voice Mail Tips & Scripts here

6 Simple Tips to Get Your Calls Returned

Telephone-LondonThere is good news and bad news. First, the bad news. Recent marketing research has found that up to 40% of outbound calls made by salespeople end up in voice mail :(

After talking with hundreds of Weekly Sales Tips subscribers, I have learned that number is actually closer to 50% or 60%. And . . . most voice mail messages left by sales reps are not returned. (Very discouraging for salespeople.) This was especially true because of last winter’s fierce snowstorms resulting in traffic problems and empty offices.

Now the good news – yes there is good news!

We may need to dial more numbers, but we CAN get our calls returned. Read what Steve Sheffield in Vancouver, Washington wrote:

“I jotted down a short voice mail message to leave for a customer I have called 4 times in the last 2 weeks with no reply and she called me back the next day!

More about Steve’s voice mail success later.

Think about this: The first goal of a voice mail message is to get the call returned or, ultimately to result in a live conversation, so . .

. . . . Get Rid of Wimpy Words! Forget about leaving those wishy-washy messages like “please call me back if you have any questions.” Wimpy words with no call to action do not get results.

What action do you want them to take?

1.) Know what you want as a result of your voice mail message. 6 Simple Tips To Get Your Calls ReturnedWrite down in one sentence what action you want the listener to take.

2.) Organize your message so that you state the most important and attention-getting information first, since you may be cut off at any time. Include BENEFITS for the listener.

3.) Speak clearly and not too quickly. Pronounce your first and last name clearly, spelling your name if people may not recognize your name. The person you are calling could become annoyed if they have to spend time replaying the message because they could not understand it.

4.) State your telephone number twice: once at the beginning of your message – after your name and company name – and again at the end of the message. This makes it easier for the prospect to return your call.

5.) Be a name dropper. (This great tip is from

If somebody referred you, that person’s name should be one of the first things out of your mouth, even before you fully ID yourself: “Jane, I was referred to you by Barney Rubble. This is Fred …” Starting off this way will ensure your entire message will get listened to. If you don’t have a known person’s name to use, the next best thing is to reference an organization you have in common: “I’m also a member of the Bedrock Chamber of Commerce …”

6.) Prepare and rehearse your voice mail message. Reason: If you leave a bad message, you’re stuck with it, and . . . your voice message is being recorded and can be forwarded to others.

As promised, more about Steve Sheffield’s voice mail success:

“Ann, thank you for what I would consider the best ROI percentage that I have ever experienced in 18 years. I downloaded your books and read just 3 pages in your Voicemail Tips, jotted down a short message to leave for a customer I have called 4 times in the last 2 weeks with no reply and she called me back the next day!” – Steve Sheffield, Southwest Office Systems Vancouver, Washington


Thanks for reading – here’s wishing you a beautiful day!

- Ann