Sean McPheat on voicemail messages

October 2021

You’ve got the best product and you just know it’s going to be right for this new prospect.

You’ve practiced your presentation in order to get in front of the prospect and you pick up the phone with great confidence.

You call and ….yes, it goes to answerphone!

Do you leave a message?

Have you practiced leaving a message so it sounds professional?

If not, you’re going to sound like a jerk, and no better than all the other salespeople who have left messages before you.
What if you dislike leaving voicemails?

Are there ways that you can get round the voicemail, and sometimes the gatekeeper?

Try these and see if some of them work for you:

  • Call the reception of their company and ask if the person has another number
  • Ask if there’s a better way (other than email) to get in touch with the prospect
  • Ask the gatekeeper to take a message for you
  • Get their secretary to book a tentative appointment for you
  • Call before the gatekeeper arrives
  • Call after the gatekeeper leaves
  • Find someone on LinkedIn who is in the same department. Call them to discuss how to get hold of the person you want or maybe talk with them about your product
  • Send an email with some real value-add message and write that you would like to phone them at a particular time on a specific day. That way, when the call comes in, they will be expecting it and they won’t pass it off as spam

It isn’t always necessary to leave a voicemail for someone.

If it’s an exploratory call or you’re simply calling for information, it may not be the right time to leave the voicemail anyway. But, if you really need to speak to the person, and the normal ways of getting hold of them don’t work, try one or two of these ideas and see if you have some success.  Happy selling!

Sean McPheat is Managing Director of MTD Training.  
For information call 0800 849 6732 or visit

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