Carnegie Coach

Tips to Avoid Phone Tag in Sales Calls

by robertr

April 2nd, 2013

Dear Carnegie Coach:

As a sales person making phone calls is obviously a very important part of my day.  As the day goes on and I leave more and more voicemails I am worried that the messages I am leaving are being ignored too easily.  I really want to maximize the level of responses I am receiving from my voicemails.  Do you have any advice on how I can leave a more effective voicemail that will motivate the person on the other end of the phone to call me back?


Dear Brian:

What to leave on voice mails is always something callers get flustered with.  Sometimes we feel that we may leave too much information or too little.  A balance of each is usually the best way to generate a response from the person on the other end of your message. To avoid phone tag, here are some tips to keep in mind as you leave your voice messages:

  1. State your main point.  At the beginning of a sales call you should always give your name, slowly so that it can be understood, then give your reason for calling.  If it is for an urgent reason be sure that you highlight that in your message. 
  2. Provide your telephone number.  Always give your telephone number slowly and clearly.  This ensures the receiver will be able to call you back if necessary.  I would sometimes recommend leaving your number twice so that if the person jotting down your message misses one number you give them a second chance to hear the information.
  3. Leave a clear message.  If you are answering a question, make sure you answer it completely so you don’t get a call back asking for clarification.  Anticipate the receiver not being able to answer the call, so, brainstorm an answer in a logical and understandable sequence.  It always helps to have a clear plan before making your call.  Always expect you will need to leave a message and you will always be prepared to do so
  4. Email.  Sometimes it is easier for an individual to get back to you via email.  Make note of the individuals who take a long time to respond via phone and ask them if it would be better to exchange communication through emails. 

Do you have a business related question?  Would you like advice on a workplace issue?  Leave us a comment to receive some advice from a Carnegie Coach.

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