August 29th, 2018 | by

My name is Jake Shaffren, Director of Sales here at DiscoverOrg, and today we’ll talk about the do’s and don’ts of cold voicemails.

In this day and age, we have a lot of ways to connect: cold calling, cold emailing, social touches, etc. Voicemail is yet another tool we have at our disposal; and like most tools, it works best when combined with others.

It’s very, very easy today to hide behind a computer screen and actually never pick up the phone. That’s mistake number one. I’m here to tell you that cold calling is alive and well – but you’ll rarely get a call back from a voicemail alone.

Voicemail is most effective when we used it in conjunction with other touch points: The purpose is to humanize yourself. You really want to circle the wagon from all sides, connecting the dots. The goal is to give the prospect a cognitive understanding of who you are: They’re going to connect the voicemail, with the email, with the cold call, with the LinkedIn request…

If you can cluster those touch points – don’t just hide behind a computer screen – but rather be present, you’ll immediately be so far ahead of the pack, doing so much more than the rest of your competition.

Voicemail is a great way to really make yourself stand out from other sales professionals who are competing for attention and in-box space. Far fewer reps actually cold call, so here’s a great way to put yourself ahead of the pack.

So with that, let’s get into the do’s and don’ts.

Get the guide: Cold Calls, Warm Leads: The Ultimate Guide For Turning Cold Calls Into Leads

Cold Voicemail Don’ts

So, what NOT to do in a voicemail: let’s start there.

The point of a voicemail is not to explain your entire value prop from start to finish. It’s not to go into the nitty gritty, the features and functions and what have you. Voicemail is meant to be a touchpoint, where you articulate a pain point that you solve. Or perhaps you’re explaining how you’ve helped similar companies in the space.

Do not say: “Hey this is Jake, with DiscoverOrg, what we do is map out and … ”

That’s too much already.

Likewise, more often than not, your prospect is probably multitasking as they’re listening to your voicemail: They are checking emails, etc. And as soon as you start getting really, really technical, you’re going to lose their interest.

1. DON’T leave a long voicemail

cold voicemail whiteboard wednesdayIf the voicemail is 30 seconds or more, it’s probably too long.

Let’s think about our buyers today: They are getting emails, they’re getting calls, they’re getting text messages.

Now think about yourself: When you get an email that’s miles long, your eyes probably roll, and you say, “Okay, I’ll read that at some point…” But you don’t.

When you start rambling on, you’re going to lose interest really, really quick. Brevity is your best friend.

Read it: How to Write Cold Prospecting Emails That Sell

2. DON’T just leave one voicemail

7-tips-how-to-cold-voicemail-salesOne common mistake we see is leaving one voicemail and then move on. You can’t leave one voicemail, never call again – and expect a call back.

Just like an email or a social touch, it’s really the conglomeration of all of these things. Leave two or three voicemails. Leave five!

The more that you can make yourself stand out from the crowd, the better you can engage with your prospect. When you call – when you have that live connection, or perhaps you float the email back to their in-box – they start to make the connection with your name, your voice, and your company. And your prospect will be more inclined to respond overall.

3. DO talk about the pain points

So what should you say in your voicemail?

Talk about the problem that you solve; that will immediately captivate an audience. They’ll be more willing to listen to your voicemail, and when you have them on the phone, they’ll be more willing to engage with you.

You want to bridge the gap between the buyer and the seller; one good example of a way to do that is talk about a project that’s going on.

So for DiscoverOrg, that might be, “Hey Michelle, we’ve uncovered an information security project that’s right in your wheelhouse. I wanted to get that in front of you …”

Now all of a sudden you’re speaking their language. You’re giving them something relevant. You understand their world, and you can actually help solve some problem that they in fact have.

Read it: Top Pain Points and Spending Priorities for CMOs

4. DO talk about competitors

As soon as you start name dropping competitors, you demonstrate that you’ve done your homework, you understand your market. You understand the other key players in the space, and you’ve worked with them: Therefore you’d be a great fit to solve their similar pain point as well.

“We’d be a great fit for you, too.”

5. DO leave your number – and talk slowly

If you’re going to leave a phone number, literally envision your prospect writing it down.

When you’re face-to-face, you might say something like, “Okay, give me a call. My phone number is 360-718-5555.”

Your prospect cannot go that fast, especially if they’re hearing it for the first time. Talk slowly, and literally envision them writing it down. In doing so, you’ll be speaking at the same speed that they will write it down.

6. DO pair your cold voicemail with other touches

Couple your voicemail with other touches. Send an email. Do social touches. Send more voicemails. Send a handwritten note.

Within the voicemail itself, reference something else that you’ve done. For example, “Hey Susie, I sent you over a LinkedIn connection the other day, hope to have a live conversation. This is Jake with DiscoverOrg.”

Or, “Hey Dave, I sent you an email the other day with a full organizational chart of one of your top prospect accounts. I wanted to see if you had a chance to review.”

I’m not giving a pitch here, and I’m not going into the weeds about our product. What I am doing is connecting two dots, building the story for them. And, again, I’m humanizing myself. I’m making myself whole, and I’m making myself stand out.

Read it: Social Selling is Just … Selling: A Guide for 2018

7. DO Save your company name for the end

One last do here is leave your company name at the end.

Don’t necessarily open the voicemail with, “This is Jake with DiscoverOrg.”

I’d rather say, “Hey John, this is Jake. The reason for my call is to show you this project.” Or: “Hey look, I have a great company I wanted to get you in front of.”

You want to have a level of familiarity. When you’re calling your friends or family, you’re not going to introduce yourself each time: “This who I am, this is my relationship to you, this is why I’m calling.”

I would say something like, “Hey John, I found an information security project right in your wheelhouse, and I want to send it over to you. Give me a call. My number’s 360-718-5555. This is Jake with DiscoverOrg.”

Again, to bring this all together and wrap a nice bow around it, you’ll want to follow the voicemail with an email shortly thereafter (if not before), so you’re clustering touch points – and in doing so, you’re impossible to avoid.

This concludes another Whiteboard Wednesday from DiscoverOrg. As always, there’s a ton of resources on the website, including blogs, webinars, white papers, and a lot more Whiteboard Wednesdays to come.

Now go out there and leave some voicemails!

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Jake Shaffren
About the author

Jake Shaffren

Jake is the Director of Sales Development at DiscoverOrg, responsible for new pipeline generation and SDR team oversight. Prior to joining DiscoverOrg, he helped start an SDR program in Sydney, AU. Jake has a Bachelor's in Economics from Union College, NY.