13 Best Voicemail Scripts to Increase Sales and Get a Prospect Call Back

13 Best Voicemail Scripts to Increase Sales and Get a Prospect Call Back

“Oh, uh… This is, um, Joe from… uh… ABC Inc., and I was calling about, uh…”

We all know the feeling of leaving a cringe-worthy voicemail, whether it’s on the answering machine at your grandparents’ house or the business phone of a potential customer.

Something about the phrase “Leave a brief message at the beep” puts us on edge. Then we completely forget what our message is supposed to be about in the first place.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's probably why most voicemails suck.

The truth is, a sales voicemail can do one of two things: make potential customers more likely to remember you and your company name, or increase the likelihood that they ignore you.

Obviously, you want to achieve the former outcome—but how? Is there a trick to leaving sales voicemails that get callbacks? Actually, yeah. If you call during normal business hours and leave messages using proven sales voicemail scripts your response rates will improve.

Luckily for you, I share 13 top-level voicemail scripts in this article—plus a bunch of other handy information.

What is a Voicemail Script?

A voicemail script is exactly what it sounds like: a series of sentences that, when repeated by callers, helps them leave an effective voicemail on their prospect's answering machine.

In a perfect world, you wouldn't need voicemail scripts. You'd reach your prospects 100% of the time, make an amazing first impression, and then book a future appointment before you hang up the phone. Every. Single. Time. But we all know that doesn't happen…

According to recent research, it takes an average of eight cold call attempts to connect with a prospect. Know what that means? To succeed in sales, you must leave voicemails.

The way I see it, if you're going to leave voicemails anyway, you might as well do it right. So, let's talk about the essential elements that each of your voicemails should have.

Essential Elements of a Business Voicemail Greeting

A sales voicemail should not be something that you make up on the fly. Instead, make sure that every voicemail you leave has a specific goal and includes a clear next step.

Think of your voicemail as a teaser for the actual conversation you were hoping to have when you dialed the prospect's phone number. As such it should include:

  • Your Name: Your prospects receive a lot of phone calls. If you don't tell them who's calling, they won't remember you and your voicemail will be a waste of time.
  • Your Company: Your name is great. Your name and your company is way better. A professional voicemail greeting will include both.
  • Why You're Calling: You didn't call to shoot the breeze, did you? Spare a sentence to tell prospects why you called and, just as important, why they should care.
  • Your Contact Information: Want to receive a callback? A good voicemail greeting will include callback details so that prospects can, you know, actually call you back.
  • A Specific Next Step: Finally, end your voicemail with a next step. This could be a call-to-action: "Call me back so we can discuss this further." Or details about your plans: "If I don't hear back, I'll reach out again [Insert Timeframe]. Have a great day!"
sales voicemail essentials

It doesn't matter what company you work for, who you're calling, or the VoIP phone system you use—the best sales voicemails include each of the five essential elements above.

Should You Leave a Voicemail When Cold Calling?

I won't beat around the bush: yes, you should leave a voicemail when cold calling.

As mentioned above, you probably won't connect with prospects the first time you call them. People are busy. They don't have time to answer the phone—especially on a business day.

If you don't leave a short message, your prospects won't know that you tried to reach out to them. And if they don't know that you tried to reach out, they won't call you back.

No bueno.

If you want to help your sales team achieve more success, leave a detailed message (as described in the previous section) after every cold call. Doing so will help you connect with more potential customers, increase brand recognition for your company, and boost sales.

Why Sales Voicemails Are Worth the Effort

I know what you're thinking: "If I master the strategies you’re about to share with me, or copy the best sales voicemail scripts I can find, I'll always get callbacks, right?

Frankly, no. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't leave them...

First, a voicemail places a higher value on whatever you’re offering. Why? Because it's 2022 and people only leave voicemails if it’s important. Your voicemail recording will subtly suggest to prospects that what you have to say is worth their time.

Second, voicemails increase brand recognition. You may not receive a callback. But your prospect will undoubtedly listen to your message. Once they do, your name will get logged away in their brain and they'll remember who you are the next time you reach out.

Third, a voicemail can help you get in touch with the right person. Maybe you called Sally when you should have called Sue. Your voicemail will explain to Sally what you're trying to accomplish. She may call you back after listening and give you Sue's contact information.

If that happens, you can call Sue during normal office hours and tell her that you were referred by Sally, which will automatically make your call seem more important. Win!

At the end of the day, a good voicemail message is part of your sales process. It’s a foot in the door that humanizes you and may get you a conversation down the road.

8 Strategies to Leave Voicemails That Get Callbacks

...or at least get the attention of your prospects.

1. Avoid Making Your Voicemail a Commercial

Remember this fact: You CANNOT sell in a voicemail message.

Your sales pitch has its own time and place, separate from your voicemails. This is why you should give essential information, then tease the interesting bits for a future conversation.

The goal is for prospects to know who you are and why you're calling, but be left wanting more. If you can achieve this, you'll get way more callbacks. Guaranteed.

2. Correct Your Pacing and Cadence

The sound of your voicemail message can have a huge impact on how you are perceived. Because of this, I suggest working to improve your voice quality. Basically:

  • Speak at a volume that makes you sound confident and engaged
  • Don’t rush through your message, but speak at a normal pace to ensure clarity
  • Eliminate "ums" and "uhs" to appear more intelligent and create attractive urgency

While the tone of your voice and cadence of your sentences may seem like trivial things, they aren't. You need to pay attention to these details to leave professional voicemails.

3. Speak with the Same Energy You Would if They'd Answered the Phone

Energy is important when speaking on the phone—even if there isn't anyone on the other end of the line. So, make sure you sound active and engaged while leaving voicemails.

This isn't hard to do. Most sales reps take time to get amped up before doing cold calls or getting on the phone with potential customers. Just make sure that the excitement you build carries over to your messages, too. Don't let it die if no one answers the phone.

Usually, this means speaking with a bit more enthusiasm than feels comfortable in the moment. Trust me—when you listen back to the voicemail, it’ll sound just right.

4. Include Only the Essentials in Your Message

Every article about sales voicemails will tell you to limit your messages to 30-second or less. But many of those articles will then list five minutes worth of content that you just "have" include.

That’s not going to happen.

Instead, pare your voicemail script down to the bare essentials, or use talk tracks. Think: What do my prospects actually need to hear in this voicemail? Are there any points that would be better to speak about in our next conversation, or in an email?

Let the situation dictate what your contact really needs to hear. Make a list of points you want to cover in your voicemail and see if you can remove any that aren’t absolutely necessary.

5. Listen Back to Your Recorded Voicemails to Improve Your Technique

Yes, we all hate listening to our own voices.

But by listening back to the voicemails you leave, you can spot specific areas where you need to improve. It's one of the fastest ways to become a cold calling pro!

You can even ask for outside feedback from your sales manager or a colleague. Do they have any advice you can use to improve your sales voicemails? If so, implement it to see if it works.

We'll share a few of the best voicemail greeting examples in the next section. But you'll still need to customize them to fit your company and target audience. Listening to your recorded voicemails will help you customize them the right way and connect with more leads.

6. A/B Test Your Voicemails (Especially the Ones You Leave a Lot)

A/B testing allows you to see which version of your sales voicemail script works best for your prospects. After a few tests, you should be able to pinpoint a perfect voicemail blueprint.

Does your target market respond better to social proof or a specific benefit in your voicemails? Should you tease said benefit before introducing yourself, or is it better to state your name and company first? Will funny voicemail greetings get you more callbacks?

If you often leave a certain type of voicemail (e.g. a cold calling voicemail), it makes sense to A/B test your results. Track metrics such as callbacks or responses to your next follow-up email to judge which voicemail works best. Then double down on it.

7. Use Pre-Recorded Voicemails to Scale Your Outreach Process

Dropping recorded voicemails can save you tons of time every week.

Think about it: you've spent hours leaving messages manually. You could win these hours back by simply leaving pre-recorded voicemails with each prospect's answering service.

In Close, you can drop a pre-recorded voicemail as you call new leads, saving yourself the hassle of leaving manual voicemail after manual voicemail. Here’s how:

  • Go to Settings > Phone & Voicemail > Pre-Recorded Voicemail Drop
  • Click ‘New Voicemail Drop’
  • Record your voicemail, or upload a recording file
voicemail scripts guide example of recording voicemail drop

Now, you’ll have the option to leave a voicemail message from the calling page when someone doesn’t answer.

Voicemail Scripts

After you leave your voicemail, a call note will automatically be added to your lead’s profile, specifying that you left a voicemail. Hooray for automation!

The only downside of leaving a pre-recorded voicemail is that you won't be able to mention the prospect's name or company. This means that your messages won't feel as personal.

But for those doing a high volume of calls, and who already have a perfect sales voicemail that they've A/B tested, voicemail drops can be a huge timesaver. (This is especially true for those who sell in the small business space and don't have extra time to waste.)

Discover more of the intuitive calling features in Close and sign up for a 14-day free trial.

8. Keep Following Up

Dropping your voicemail isn’t the end. It’s up to you to keep this conversation moving forward.

We all know that most cold call voicemails won’t get a callback. And that’s okay. If you’ve done your job right, you'll get your prospect's attention, at the very least.

So, keep following up. With the right technique, you'll eventually get the result you want.

Just remember, you can follow up in multiple ways. Yes, you can keep cold calling your prospects—and you should. But you can also send them emails and text messages. Or make use of social media platforms like LinkedIn. A multi-channel approach to follow-up is ideal.

(Psst… want to get all my best tips on following up? Download The Follow Up Formula below.)

13 Sales Voicemail Scripts To Use in Any Sales Situation

Just like a cold call script, leaving a scripted voicemail message will help you stay on track and hit all the essential points (without rambling).

Below are 13 of the best sales voicemail scripts we’ve encountered, separated into seven distinct categories to help you know when each should be used.

Basic Customizable Sales Voicemail Script

Back to basics. Let’s start with a simple voicemail script that uses all of the essential pieces of a voicemail that we mentioned at the beginning of this article.

1. Basic Voicemail Script

Introduction: Hey, this is Steli with Close CRM.

One-sentence reason why you’re calling (and why they should care): Our customers have tripled their outreach rates with Close’s Power Dialer, and I wanted to see if we could do the same for your sales team.

Contact information: If you want more information, call me back at this number.

A specific next step: I’ll shoot you an email in a couple of days to check in as well.

You can use this voicemail script as a backup in a pinch, or customize it to fit your needs.

Cold Calling Voicemail Scripts That Pique Interest

How many times do you get sent to voicemail when cold calling? It’s inevitable. So, if you do a lot of cold calling, you’ll really need to hone that voicemail message.

Use one of these 3 scripts to generate curiosity and interest in your prospects.

2. Will Barron’s Sales Voicemail to Build Trust and Authority

Hi Jerry, the reason for my call is that one of your competitors is using our sales training platform and they’ve closed 18% more sales this quarter.

Their sales team love the platform and their management love that they can see their teams progress too.

I’d love to share with you how they did it, to see if we can get the same results for you.

My name is Will Barron and I’ll drop you an email now and I look forward to connecting this week.

Will says that he’s not expecting a callback from this message.

Instead, he wants his prospects to listen to his voice, start to build trust in him as an authority, and see that he’s going to be relentless in his follow-up.

3. John Barrows’ Cold Call Voicemail Script to Generate Responses

Hi Bill.

The reason for my call is, one of my clients similar to you used my sales training to drive 25 meetings into their pipeline in a 1-hour call blitz, and I’d love to share with you how they did it to see if we can produce the same results for you.

Could you call me back at [phone number]? This is John Barrows with JBarrows Consulting, [phone number].

The goal of John’s voicemail script is to get a callback.

He piques interest and reverses the normal format by introducing himself at the end, asking for a callback, and repeating his phone number—not once, but twice.

4. Cold Calling Voicemail Script to Create Urgency

Hey, this is Steli with Close.

We recently helped a remote sales team increase their productivity by 25% with Close CRM. I noticed your sales team is remote—what would a 25% increase in productivity do for you?

Again, this is Steli at Close. Call me back at [phone number] this week and let’s see what we can do to light your Q4 on fire.

By mentioning specific results and a clear timeframe, this voicemail script builds curiosity as well as a real level of urgency. As such, it increases the likelihood of a return call.

We should mention that this voicemail script can easily be turned into one of the best holiday voicemail greetings, too. You could, for example, change the last line to:

"Call me back at [phone number] this week and let’s see what we can do to help you take full advantage of the holiday buying season this year?"

Pretty enticing, right?

Prospecting Voicemail Script That Builds Trust with Transparency

During the prospecting and discovery phase, you do research to decide if your current lead is a good fit for what you have to sell. So, a prospecting voicemail script should absolutely avoid a pitch and focus on matching your product to this specific lead’s needs.

5. Transparent Prospecting Script

Hey, this is Steli with Close.

We help inside sales teams increase their outreach with a CRM that reps actually like to use. We recently helped [company in their industry] to double their outreach rates, and from my research, it looks like we could get the same results for you.

That said, I wanted to chat it out with you to see if this is really a good match. Give me a call back at [phone number]. I’ll try you again in a couple of days.

This script makes it clear who the product is for, and does its best to match their needs.

Follow-Up Voicemail Scripts That Prove You’re Worth Their Time

Following up after a cold email can be tough. Here are a couple of scripts that will help bring your message to the forefront of your prospect’s mind.

6. Florin Tatulea’s 10-Second Follow-Up Voicemail

Hi Scott, this is Florin calling from Loopio.

I sent you an email yesterday regarding improving your RFP response process. But I have not heard back from you. Can you give it a quick glance and reply back? Again it's Florin calling from Loopio.

Once again, the purpose of this voicemail script isn’t to get a callback. It’s to direct the prospect’s attention back to your original email.

This email + call combo is a great way to capture attention and narrow it back down to a single, specific next step. (In this case, the step is replying to your email).

7. The Yes or No Follow-Up Voicemail

One of the best ways to increase your chances of getting a response is to make it as easy as possible for the person on the other end of the line.

Here’s a follow-up voicemail script that does just that:

Hey Jane, Steli from Close here.

I sent you an email last week about boosting your sales team’s productivity.

I’m sure you’re busy right now, so tell you what: If you want to know more about Close and see if it’s a match for your team, just text me ‘Yes’ back to this number, [phone number], or reply ‘Yes’ to my email from last week, and I’ll send over my calendar link so you can book a time to meet.

If this isn’t on your radar right now, just send me back a quick ‘No’, and I’ll stop bothering you. Looking forward to hearing from you.

8. The Final Follow-Up Voicemail

Cold outreach should only go so far. At some point, you'll need to break up with the lead.

While the breakup email is the most common way to do this, you can follow the same formula and leave a breakup voicemail instead. Here's how it's done:

Hey Joe, this is Steli from Close.

You’ve probably seen my emails over the last couple of weeks about how Close increases visibility and revenue for remote sales teams like yours. I also tried to call you a couple of times but haven’t been able to reach you.

I’m guessing this isn’t a priority for you right now, so this is the last time you’ll be hearing from me.

If boosting outreach rates and improving team visibility becomes a priority for you in the future, I’d be more than happy to chat.

You can call me back at [phone number], or shoot me an email at [email address].

Referral Voicemail Script to Maximize Your Name Drops

Referrals are a great way to increase sales, but what if the referred lead doesn't pick up the phone? Here’s a sales voicemail script to name drop and get away with it:

9. The External Referral

When the referral is from someone outside the company, but within your prospect’s network, use a voicemail script like this:

Hey Joe, this is Steli Efti from Close CRM.

I was chatting with John Smith from ABC Inc. about how Close’s Power Dialer can triple outreach rates for inside sales teams, and he said that’s something you’d probably be interested in.

Give me a call back at [phone number]. Again, this is Steli from Close, [phone number].

10. The Internal Referral

What if your first contact in a company is an end-user, not a decision-maker?

While the end-user may be a great internal champion of your product, they’re not the person with the power to purchase. They can refer you to the right person, though.

Here’s a voicemail script for a referral that comes from within the prospect’s company:

Hi Wendy, this is Steli from Close.

I had the pleasure of chatting with one of your SDRs the other day, John Doe. Nice guy. He mentioned the team has been slowed down recently because their CRM doesn’t offer outreach automation, and we chatted about Close’s Power Dialer and email sequences.

On average, teams can double or even triple their outreach rates by switching to Close.

If that sounds interesting to you, feel free to call me back at [phone number]. I’ll try you again in a couple of days to see if we can chat about this.

Inbound Sales Voicemail Scripts

With inbound sales, your outreach can be a bit more direct. After all, the prospect has already shown interest in you or your product and is expecting to hear from a salesperson.

Here are a few voicemail message examples you can use, depending on how the inbound lead came into your pipeline.

11. Voicemail Template for Leads Who Requested a Demo or Callback

Hey, Jane, Steli from Close here. I saw you asked for more info about Close, and I’m looking forward to chatting with you.

Give me a call back at [phone number]. I’m also sending an email with my calendar link so you can book a time to meet over Zoom and discuss whether Close fits your team’s needs.

12. Voicemail Template for Leads Who Downloaded a Piece of Content

Hey Bob, this is Steli from Close. My team let me know that you downloaded our pricing PDF, and to me that says you’re interested in switching to Close.

I’d love to share how Close is working for other inside sales teams just like yours, and see if it’s a good fit for what you need. I’m going to send you an email with my calendar link so you can book some time to chat, or you can call me back at [phone number].

Message Script for Gatekeepers

Okay, you got me, this one isn’t actually a voicemail message.

However, sometimes when cold calling, you come up to a gatekeeper who won’t let you talk with the decision-maker you want to talk with.

In this situation, it’s ideal to have a short message that will pique the interest of the decision-maker and get them to place a bit more priority on your next call or email.

13. The Gatekeeper Message that Generates Interest

Thanks for taking a message. Just let her know that Steli from Close called to talk about reducing turnover on the sales team. I know she’s been having some issues with this recently and I wanted to see if we could help each other out.

The key is to reduce risk for the gatekeeper. It’s their job to make sure the decision-maker isn’t flooded with sales calls all day. Use proper research to make your message super-relevant to the people involved and you’ll prove that your call is worth their time.

Create Your Own Sales Voicemail Script

Your best voicemail script will depend on the people you sell to, the product or service you have to offer, and the specific goal you want to achieve. Top sellers understand how these three things work together and how to use them to pique a prospect's interest.

But, more than anything else, your success with voicemail scripts will depend on your attitude.

Are effective voicemails guaranteed to get callbacks? Nope. But they can generate interest and build trust for the next time you connect with that person.

With the right attitude and a bit of work, you can craft concise, effective sales voicemails that get people interested in what you’re offering.

Better yet: with Close, you can drop a recorded voicemail automatically as you go through your calling list, allowing you to connect with more prospects in less time.

Try it for free today.