February 6th, 2014 | by

In sales, leaving a voice mail for the IT decision maker isn’t ideal, but generally the situation.  This is why if you end up reaching the voice mail box for a CIO or the IT decision maker you need to be prepared.  Leaving anything other than a well-polished voice mail for your contact is just negligent.

To that end, here are three common mistakes to avoid when leaving a sales voice mail for that very important IT decision maker.

IT Decision Makers Are Busy – Don’t Wing It, Have a Script Ready

You finally got the number to that bigwig CIO you’ve been tracking down.  You’re pumped, you’ve rehearsed your opening lines with that personal touch you know will impress him – only to get his voice mail?  Now what?  You’re not sure what to say so you hang up or worse; you leave an unprepared incoherent message that is sure to be played during their next staff meeting for comic relief.

That’s where a script will keep you focused and on point.  As an IT sales rep, you know how easy it is to suddenly find yourself sharing the latest information technology about your company or pitching your product or service with no real conclusion in sight; only to end stumbling into an, “Ok…thanks…have a nice day.”

Don’t let that happen to you.  Have a script prepared and ready to go.  Include key information about how you can solve a problem that they’re could be experiencing.  Read it out loud to make sure it flows off your tongue naturally and doesn’t make you sound like – well, like you’re reading a script.

Don’t Leave a 5 Minute Monologue

Who hasn’t played back a voice mail and 10-seconds into it felt yourself getting anxious and thinking get to the point already?  This is another great reason to have a script handy.  You get to the point quickly.

It seems like one-second in voice mail time is 30-seconds in real-life time.   When you’re dealing with the IT decision maker of a company, you have to respect their real-life time.  They don’t want to sit and listen to your ramblings – they will simply delete your message, without wondering what your point is and without listening to your sales pitch.

Make your message short and to the point. If you keep your message under 15-seconds you’ll keep their attention.

You Can Say That Again – and Should

Maybe you’ve got a script and it’s short and succinct and you’re feeling pretty good about it because it’s less than 15 seconds.

Did you leave your phone number?  Did you speak slow enough and clear enough for them to write it down

It’s so important to repeat yourself and make sure that the decision maker has time to write your number down.

Think about it.  How often do you replay a voice mail to get the number of somebody you’re not sure you want, or need, to talk to anyway – let alone have the time to sit through the message again?   So don’t forget to repeat your name and number.

With all the time and effort that goes into getting the right names and numbers don’t let a  voice mail left for an IT decision maker be the difference between landing that next client and getting the ‘Delete Message’ treatment.

In fact, to learn more about leaving the perfect voice mail in sales and to hear examples of good and bad voice mail messages, join us for our upcoming webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 11th.


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Henry Schuck
About the author

Henry Schuck

Henry Schuck is the CEO of DiscoverOrg, an 8-time Fortune 5000 company, which he co-founded at the age of 23. He has extensive experience managing the sales and marketing activities of fast-growing information technology data companies.