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Ardath Albee

What a difference between the two! You also do a great job of showing what works well with voicemail in your book - Selling To Big Companies.

I find that practicing voicemail scripts into my cell phone recorder and playing them back allows me to be the "listener" and to keep myself from making those kinds of mistakes.

Great post!

Jacques de Villiers

Hi Jill,

Two questions:

Do you think it is a good idea to leave voice messages? Or is it better to keep on phoning until you get the person on the line?

Which leads into the next question: How many voice messages are returned?

Jill Konrath


You need to leave a message — not because it will be returned — but because you're establishing your credibility with the corporate decision maker. Your messages should be focused on the difference you/your firm can make to their organization.

Does that mean you sit and wait for a return call? Absolutely not. You call again, hoping to get the decision maker on the line. If you've left quality messages, by the time you actually connect you will be further ahead than if you've never talked before.

Mary Schmidt

I agree that's it's about: A. Relevance (ideas, etc.); B. Quality; C. Brevity. As for leaving voice mails - there's a fine line between establishing credibility and looking - well - desperate. My personal rule is three follow-ups (and I try to leave some small (and brief nugget of value - not just "checking on the proposal") Hmmm...that said, I need to go make some phone calls!


As a person in corporate America I can immediately tell you that this type of call gets deleted immediately...


Sahil Adeem

Let me state some reasons/uses of a voice mail that immediately come to my mind when I think about the very words “voice mail”.


We all know that Intergalactic Services can help ;)

Following up a prior call ..Cold Sales Pitch etc. etc.

And then I got into a job my self and got to learn a little bit more on a more advanced level like credibility, customer service, greetings, sales tool etc. etc.

Tom Smith's voice mail I thought did the trick for me because he has fulfilled a lot of reasons/uses of the voice mail. yeah I agree with Jill as it could have been better in a lot of ways but the message in it self aroused my attention with the Ideas about seminars line.

Secondly that line is so early in the message that after that I didn’t really read most of it and I am sure Jill never listened to most of it as well. And lets not forget the fact that all of us listen to 40 messages of 10 lines each a day in the office. Sometimes consecutively, so if a line out of 40*10 lines/day is catching our eye, then I am thinking Tom intentionally bored the listener before and after to make that sales pitch look good.

Brian Ingle

Leaving an intentionally boring message on voice mail will get us salespeople begging to sell for a different company before OUR phone ever rings.

I've been in sales for over twenty years. I've tried a lot of techniques and sharing "idea's or concepts" piques intrerst and gives you credibility as a person or company that's been there, done that.

If the message isn't of use, I truly believe it's deleted and forgotten within thirty seconds.

I agree with Jill 100%

Chris Spencer

So that's why I never heard back from you! Thanks for changing the name to protect the culprit.

No, it wasn't me, but it sure could have been a while back. Packed in as much as I could about me, it, and us, to make sure they got it all at once; you know, to get in there sooner! NOT!

Jill, your tips, newsletters and articles (and soon a book or two to hit my desk) have made me revamp my approach quite a bit over the last few months and what a difference it makes. Thank you! I've managed to open bigger doors which in turn bring us nicer returns. I was starting to bury my career by chasing almost everything in our market with the words "company" or "limited" attached to their name. No more! I approach selected targets based on my research and once things progress with one or two big guys, the smaller ones now come knocking on the door themselves in reaction to keeping up with the Joneses.

We all know getting our good foot in the door isn't getting any easier what with our voice messages getting ignored, emails getting filtered as SPAM because we aren't on the "friendly" list, and more effective frontline people blocking us at the door. I think every ounce of useful info we can sink our teeth into is worth the effort of absorbing and putting to use; even if it is just to try out once or twice.

Thanks Mom! Oops, I mean Jill!

George Kittredge, Author of "There's A Fine Line Between A Groove And A Rut

Jill, right on. In my selling skills workshops I teach one thing in regard to opening a telephone conversation and/or leaving a voicemail. Your first sentence(after you give your name- note: company name is not important) must include something the listener perceives as being of value. The most effective method is the mention of a referral.

sahil adeem

"Hi this is Tom Smith with Intergalactic services. I had some ideas to share about your teleseminars. Please give me a call at ----- to give me your available time that I can reach and discuss"

In my opinion this is more enticing than the speaches up there..

This leaves more probability to tickle the human element in the listener to assume that there is something worth while.

Sahil Adeem
New School Training

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