13 proven sales voicemail scripts that get higher callback rates

13 proven sales voicemail scripts that get higher callback rates

“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 voicemail of a potential customer.

Something about “Leave your message at the beep” just puts us all on edge and makes us completely forget what our message was in the first place. Which is probably why most voicemails suck.

When it comes to sales voicemails, your efforts can either make potential customers more likely to remember you or more likely to ignore you.

So, how can you leave sales voicemails that get callbacks? Are there sales voicemail scripts that can improve your response rates?

Keep reading—we’re about to dive into:

  • Essential elements of a sales voicemail
  • 8 strategies to leave sales voicemails that get callbacks
  • 13 sales voicemail scripts you can swipe and use for every sales situation

Essential elements of a sales voicemail

A sales voicemail is a concise message with a specific purpose. It shouldn’t be something you make up on the fly—with a specific goal for each voicemail, you’ll leave messages that make sense and have a clear next step.

Think of your voicemail as a teaser for the actual conversation you were hoping to have.

Whatever the situation is, these are the key elements your sales voicemail should include:

  • Your name
  • The company you work for
  • One-sentence reason why you’re calling (and why they should care)
  • Contact information
  • A specific next step (either a way for them to contact you or a time and method you’ll be reaching out to them again
sales voicemail essentials

How long should a sales voicemail be? While opinions vary, the general consensus is that shorter is better. Try to limit yourself to 20-30 seconds if possible.

Why sales voicemails are worth the effort

If you master the strategies you’re about to learn or copy the best sales voicemail scripts you can find, will you always get callbacks?

Frankly, no. But there’s still value in voicemails.

First, leaving a voicemail places a higher value on what you’re offering. Nowadays, people just don’t leave voicemails unless it’s something important.

Second, even if people don’t call you back, they will at least listen to the message and recognize your name the next time they hear from you.

If your message piques their interest, you’ve already captured their attention for the next prospecting call or email. Then, even when they don’t respond, your message will be in their minds and you’ll be able to pick up the conversation where you left off.

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 sales 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 the voicemail message.

Again, a sales voicemail works best as a teaser to the conversation you wanted to have.

Give essential information, but tease the really interesting parts for a future conversation. Strike the balance between giving too much information and not giving enough—the idea is for prospects to know who you are and why you're calling, but still be left wanting more.

2. Correct your pacing and cadence

The correct pace and cadence have a huge impact on how you are perceived. While we all have the tendency to ‘um’ and ‘uh’, especially in a voicemail message, you need to actively work to improve your voice quality.

Don’t rush through your message—speak at a normal pace, but make sure your words are clear.

3. Speak with the same energy you would if they had answered the phone

Having the right energy is important when you’re on the phone, whether or not you have someone on the other line.

Most sales reps take time to get amped up before doing cold calls or getting on the phone with potential customers. If you do this, make sure that energy carries over even if no one answers.

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

Lots of articles about sales voicemails tout the idea of leaving messages of 30-second or less, but then go on to list 5 minutes worth of content you ‘must’ include.

Simply put, that’s not going to happen.

Instead, practice and pare your voicemail script down to the bare essentials. 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 in this voicemail. Make a list of points you want to make 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.

I’ve always said that listening to your own recordings is the fastest way to become a cold calling pro, and it applies to voicemails as well.

You can even ask for outside feedback from your sales manager or a colleague to see if they have any specific advice to improve your sales voicemails.

6. A/B test your voicemails (especially the ones you leave a lot of)

A/B testing allows you to see which version of your sales voicemail script works best for your prospects.

For example, does your target market respond better to real social proof in a voicemail or a specific benefit for their company? Should you tease a key benefit before introducing yourself, or is it better to state your name and company right off the bat?

If you’re leaving a certain type of voicemail very often (e.g. cold calling voicemail), then 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 is working better.

7. Use pre-recorded voicemails to scale your outreach process

Dropping recorded voicemails can save you hours of time in a week when you’re doing heavy outbound calls.

Just think about how many times you didn’t get an answer when calling this week. If you were manually leaving a voicemail each time, how much time would you spend?

In Close, you can drop a pre-recorded voicemail as you call new leads and save yourself the hassle of leaving a voicemail manually.

Here’s how:

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

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

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

The only downside of leaving a pre-recorded voicemail is that you won't be able to mention the prospect's name and their company's name. If you're doing a high volume of calls though, and you do already have your perfect sales voicemail (especially if you've A/B tested different versions), voicemail drops can be a huge timesaver.

Discover more of the intuitive calling features in Close—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 voicemails won’t get a callback. And that’s okay. But if you’ve done your voicemail right, you already have their attention.

So, keep following up. With cold call voicemails, it’s the same as following up after a cold email—do it right, and you’ll be more likely to get that conversation. You can also follow up on other channels, like email and LinkedIn. We've seen companies being very successful that included a strong multi-channel approach in their sales strategy.

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

13 sales voicemail scripts you can swipe and use for every sales situation

Just like a cold call script, leaving a voicemail message that’s scripted helps you stay on track and hit all the essential points you want to say (without rambling).

We’ve curated some of the best sales voicemail scripts we’ve encountered for the various situations when you’ll need to leave a voicemail.

Basic sales voicemail script you can customize

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—and if you do a lot of cold calling, you’ll really need to hone that voicemail message.

Check out these 3 scripts with different ways of generating 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].

John’s voicemail script has the goal of getting 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 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 to respond.

Prospecting voicemail script that builds trust with transparency

During the prospecting and discovery phase, you’re still doing research to decide if the lead is a good fit for what you’re offering. So, a prospecting voicemail script should absolutely avoid a pitch and focus on matching your product to this 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 the goal is 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, 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 easy for the person on the other end.

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

When following up on cold outreach, you can only go so far. At some point, you need to break up.

While the breakup email is the most common way to do this, you can follow the same formula to leave a breakup voicemail.

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 they don’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 that is 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

Sometimes your first contact in a company is the end-users, not the 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.

But they can refer you to the right person.

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 calling, you come up to a gatekeeper who won’t let you talk with the decision-maker you wanted.

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 here is to reduce the risk for the gatekeeper. After all, 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 heavily on the people you sell to, the product or service you’re selling, and the goal you’re trying to reach. You have to understand how to pique your prospect's interest.

But more than all that, it will depend on your attitude.

Are effective voicemails guaranteed to get callbacks? If you’ve been in sales for some time, you know the answer is no. 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.

Try it for free today.