Episode Thirty-Nine

The Right Way to Leave a Sales Voicemail

Guest: Lauren Bailey, President of Factor8 and Founder of The Sales Bar

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Lauren Bailey Factor8 Sales Voicemail

About This Episode

Sales is a confidence sport. You’re beaten up all day long with rejections, and it can discouraging until you get that one successful sale that gets you hooked.

That feeling of success is what gets Lauren Bailey out of bed every morning. Not so much feeling it herself, but helping other sales professionals feel successful more often in their work. Lauren is the President of Factor8 and Founder of the new e-learning platform, The Sales Bar.

She found her sweet spot in helping sales professionals love the job more by training them to be successful selling over the phone. Email is a comfortable barrier for a lot of sales professionals, but when you skip the sales calls, you miss out opportunities for personal connection and engagement.

But before we move into building confidence over the phone, let’s address the one thing that, according to Lauren, kills confidence the most.


A well-meaning sales leader will experience many successful phone calls that lead them to create a script they think will help others do the same. But that does not instill confidence in someone. It simply says do it my way.

People will never feel or sound confident saying your words. Instead, teach people the why or the goal of a specific section of a sales call. Discuss best practices in your training and maybe give them some messaging ideas but encourage them to make it their own. Afterward, practice it, let them do it, and then learn from it. It’s a coaching opportunity.

The Most Common Sales Voicemail Mistakes

Before you train someone on the call intro or anything else, train them on leaving a really good sales voicemail. Why? Because the majority of their prospects will not pick up the phone, so you want them to be prepared to leave a sales voicemail that results in a callback. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when leaving a sales voicemail:

1. They sell

The purpose of the voicemail is to get a callback, not sell your product. That could be done by a robot. Trying to sell on a sales voicemail does not allow for a conversation, which is crucial to making a sale.

2. It’s too long

Keep sales voicemails short at around 15-20 seconds or less. You don’t want to provide too much information, just enough to spark interest.

3. They don’t leave one

So many sales professionals don’t even leave sales voicemails. The number one goal of the voicemail is to get the callback in order to have a conversation, but the second goal can be branding. It takes 7 touches for someone to take an action, voicemail can be one of those.

Lauren Bailey Factor8 Sales Voicemail

How to Be Memorable on a Sales Voicemail

As we mentioned, the key is the callback, and to get that you have to let your prospects know what you want to talk about. But don’t give it all away. Here are five ways to do it right:

1. Use a lever

A lever can be someone you have in common or a piece of relevant information that says I’m not a cold call. Something like, “Hey, Joe thought it’d be great if we connected…

2. Tease or mystery

Again, don’t give it all away. Give them a reason to call you back by leaving a mysterious message. For example, “Hey, this is Lauren, I’m calling with The Sales Bar, was just talking to Joe about you. Call me back at…” It’s a message that isn’t deceptive but also not obvious.

3. Urgency

Urgency is everything in sales. It touches human psychology because, naturally, we don’t like to miss out. So you might say something like, “It’s important we talk today…” or “we need to talk by Friday…” Make them feel the urgency and your chances of getting a callback will increase.

4. Value

All too often you’re talking about what you want to do, not what’s in it for them. Lauren’s team calls that SWIFT, which stands for: So What’s In it For Them? That might sound like, “I’m calling because I want to help you… I’m calling because I know how to solve… I think I can provide some value in BLANK so call me back by Friday…”

5. Don’t forget the basics

Before you hang up, make sure your name was said clearly and that you repeat the call back number twice.

What to Do When They Call Back

So you leave a sales voicemail you’re proud of and it actually works. You get a callback, but how do you maximize that phone conversation?

1. Don’t pitch prematurely

Remember, people don’t like to be sold, so you need to add value right away. Instead of leading with a pitch, get them to engage in a conversation with you as soon as possible. Your intro is not your value prop.  

2. SWIFT intro and follow-up questions

Let them know what’s in it for them in the intro. Whatever you’re solving, you have to tie it into a benefit for them. At the end of that SWIFT intro, ask them 2-3 SWIFT questions because your goal is to get them talking. Ask them questions they can’t help but answer.

What usually happens after 1-1.5 minutes is they ask who you are and what company you’re from. How do you know if you have someone engaged? They ask you a question. Then you can move into the exploration phase.

Lauren Bailey confidence sales voicemail

3. Exploring

Don’t get this phase confused — you still might not be pitching here. But what you might pitch is an appointment. Poke around to see if there’s a need you can solve and explore to entice.

If you’re doing sales calls right, the calls will likely last 2-3 minutes longer than what you’re currently doing, but you’re probably going to see 50% improvement or more. You might schedule “enough” meetings with your current method, but are they actually showing up? Spending 2-3 more minutes to get them interested is worth the effort.

What are the majority of us doing right now? We’re leaving long sales voicemails or no voicemails, reading off a script, asking for an appointment within one minute, or pitching as fast as we can. What we’re doing is catching the fruit that’s falling off the tree.  But you can do better!

Implement some of these techniques into your methodology this week and look for the small wins. How many sales voicemails resulted in a callback this week? How many more people showed up for an appointment? Experiencing more success just might help you love your job again, what have you got to lose?

Find this content engaging? Check our Factor8 and The Sales Bar. Also, Subscribe to The Sales Engagement PodcastIf you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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