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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales personnel'>Sales personnel</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Tips and techniques'>Tips and techniques</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Voicemail'>Voicemail</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Telephone selling'>Telephone selling</a>
Sales Strategy
Dec 2, 2009 | Jim Domanski lock

Leaving a voicemail for a prospect does not typically garner a high rate of response in terms of getting your calls returned. A big part of the reason is that most tele-sales reps leave messages that are dull, uninspired, cluttered and undifferentiated from the dozens other sales reps that left a message with the same prospect.

Here are three voicemail templates that get the attention of the listener because they rely on the power of a 'trigger phrase.' A trigger phrase is a mix of words that seem to 'trigger' a positive response in those who hear it. These phrases are rich in human psychology and appeal at both an emotional and rational point of view.

I thought of you...

This phrase can be a real winner if it is developed correctly. Here is an example:

'Hi Mark, this is Jim Domanski for Teleconcepts Consulting. I thought of you when I saw an article on how to increase the average value of sale from your tele-sales reps. Please give me a call at..."

First off, the message is oddly flattering. While it is a prospect call, the implication is that for some reason Jim 'thought of' Mark. (What prompted that???) It suggests some special connection that's hard to ignore. But the message also goes on to provide a clear benefit statement: increasing the average value of a sale.

And that's it. It's not enough for Mark to know everything but enough to be relatively enticing. The idea is to pique their curiosity to learn more.

I have an idea

Here's another handy trigger phrase for your voice mail messages:

"Hi Amanda, This is Kerry Collins from ABC Packaging and Distribution. Amanda, I have an idea I'd like to bounce off you regarding the spice containers you are currently using and how you might be able to reduce the per unit cost. Please give me a call at..."

You see: ideas are not products or services. Ideas are free. Ideas can easily be tossed aside. Ideas are not risky; they're not a threaten; there's no 'fear' of being sold. These are the implications when you use this trigger phrase.

Of course, all this is subtle but people buy based on emotions and then rationalize the purchase with facts. By making the process less like a "buying experience" and more like a "casual look" experience, you may increase the odds of a return call.

I would like your opinion

Not unlike the "I thought of you" the "I would like your opinion" trigger phrase is flattering. Presented correctly, it appeals to your listener's self esteem which is precisely why it is so powerful:

"Hi Mercedes, this is Javier Falcone from LosAltos Scientific. Mercedes, I know you are one of the top biotechs at Alamo Chemicals and if you have a moment, I would very much like your opinion and expertise on our Cybergreen re-agent. My number is..."

Notice the voicemail does not suggest that the call is sales related. It's all about how you position your request. Asking a 'top biotech' questions about what she requires as a re-agent solicits her opinion more significantly it stroke her ego. If Javier's Cybergreen product meets her high standards, well then there is room for a sale. But it the meantime, Mercedes is beaming from ear to ear as she dials your number.


These trigger phrases don't guarantee a return call but they do improve the odds of a response because they are a somewhat different from the typical voicemail message buyers get from tele-sales reps. These trigger phrases also go a level or two deeper when it comes to piquing curiosity. The appeal to human nature. And above all they have been proven to work. Give them a try.

About the Author:

Jim Domanski is president of Teleconcepts Consulting and works with B to B companies and individuals who struggle to use the telephone more effectively. Author of four highly regarded books on tele-selling, Jim has provided training and consulting to audiences, universities, and clients through the US, Canada and Europe.

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