Voicemail: A Valuable Waste of Time

By Bill Farquharson, Sales Vault

When only a very, very small percentage of prospects answer the phone, how can there be any value whatsoever to voicemail? Well, Bill Farquharson gives you a few reasons why you want to leave a message in this week’s Short Attention Span Sales Tip.  Read Bill’s tip below or listen to Bill here.

What are your chances of getting a prospect to answer his or her phone? 10%? 5%? 1?

Whatever number you agree with, the odds aren’t very good. So, then why even bother? What’s the purpose of voicemail if it has similar characteristics to a black hole in space?

First, voicemail is an audition. It gives you the chance to demonstrate your personality, your message, and your attitude. So, leave a message with an assumption it will be heard and it will make a difference.

Second, voicemail is proof of your diligence. With each subsequent call, you are pounding home the message, “I am not going away.”

Third, voicemail is a differentiator. 90% of all first-time calls go without a follow up. Call twice and you’ve done something only one rep in ten will do. Call three times and you are one in a hundred.

Some other tips:

  • With each subsequent voicemail, get more “familiar” and upbeat. Make your message worthy of a listen;
  • Don’t be afraid to fumble over your words. Roll with it;
  • Slow down when you leave your phone number;
  • Make sure you can finish the sentence that starts, “The purpose of my call is…” with something of value. If you can’t, don’t call;
  • Don’t make the assumption no one is listening. Do the opposite. Assume they are checking their messages, they are listening, and they will remember you the next time you call;
  • Speak slowly and clearly. Phones turn messages into texts and many (most?) people get the info reading them. Make it easy to understand.

See voicemail as the asset it is and make the most of this opportunity to audition for the prospect. Just like in the theater, a call back can put you center stage for greatness.


It’s ideas like these that make up The Sales Vault. PGCA members receive a discount on this monthly subscription.  Visit or contact Bill Farquharson at 781-934-7036 or


Leave a Reply