phone greetings

Do you handle business calls? How many times during the day can you relate to this GIF?



Well, Jill Konrath says that 97% of all business calls now go to voicemail. (Source)


Frankly, leaving a voicemail is the stodgiest routine work ever because people never get back, do they? Leaving a voicemail would be less a part of the day if you could reach the person or they called you back! A quick call back in acknowledgment of our time and efforts is all we ask for!


Here’s how you can get more and more customers to call you back and you can feel better about leaving voicemails:


How to encourage customers to call you back?


#1 Do Not Literally Follow a Script


Reading a script word for word sucks out the warmth from your words (and is a boring job!). In order to sound friendly and still stick to company protocol, follow a bulleted summary of your script instead of a detailed complete script. Here’s an example of a summarized list:


  • Your Name, Company Name


  • It is okay if you accidentally skip your name but do not ever skip your company’s name. The name will stick and help a lead easily find you on the internet.


  • Reason for calling


    • Your reason for calling must sound acceptable and not feel like a waste of time. A strong reason will persuade the customer to listen to the complete voice message and not press delete just half way through the voicemail.




  • Customize proposal for a particular client


    • A customized proposal will push your prospect to call you back. Feel free to include a quick reference or question about something personal to the customer. For example, a quick inquiry about the issue you last solved for them, or a common interest. Avoid sounding cliche.


  • Your contact information


    • Be very clear when mentioning your contact details. Preferably, repeat the details twice and mention your available hours if you aren’t available 24/7.


  • Promise of a follow-up


    • A promise shows you care. But if you promise an email, send an email. If you promise to send a reminder, send it. Because the customer will depend on what you promise and use it as a reason to not call you back if you fail to deliver.


  • Ask the person to call back


    • This may sound ‘philosophical’ but you only get what you ask for. So do not hesitate to clearly ask for a call back. Let your customers know you are expecting them to call you back, that you’re waiting to hear from them.


These bullet points work like a speaker’s notes. They help you stay on track and not sound like a robot or a bored employee.

#2 Keep It 17 to 25 Seconds Long


What? Cover all the above bullets in 17 seconds? You must think I am crazy!


But, I’m not. Here’s a script that sticks to all the above-mentioned bullet points and ends in 17 seconds.


“Hello John. This is Sarah with Listenforce.

We’ve a customized pricing ready for you. Do call me back and we can make changes if you’re not happy with the details. Call me back on 123-456-7890.

I hope our revised reporting plan is working as expected. Have a great day John. Bye!”


The purpose of a voicemail is to get the customer to call you back. So, try to trigger interest and save your real pitch for an actual sales call. Make a voicemail short and simple.


#3 Study And Improve


Listen to your own voicemails as if you were the receiver and be honest about if you would call back. If the answer is no, find out why. 


  • Were you unenthusiastic?
  • Was your tone monotonous?
  • Did you not ask the lead to call back?
  • Were you too aggressive?
  • Did you not smile?
  • Are you following necessary phone etiquette?


Asking yourself the real questions will help you be better, one step at a time.




Additionally, analyze the voicemails you do receive a call back from. Find out what worked and implement it in your next voicemail.


Rehearse a voice message in your head before you dial. This will boost your confidence and speak with authority.


#4 Other ideas to incorporate…


  • Use the prospects name often
  • Use strategic pauses. Be aware of the modulation and inflection of your voice.
  • Avoid sales speak. “Lowest price guaranteed!” is a big no-no.
  • Smile. The customers and leads can hear it!
  • Do your research to add a personalized touch.
  • Provide context if the lead is at an early stage of your marketing or sales funnel.
  • If you’re repeating you contact information, say the same thing but in a different way.


How to encourage customers to leave a voice message?


You do not want to lose leads who contact you after business hours, so you need a voicemail system.


  • Avoid Cliche

    • Phrases like “Your call is very important to us…” are overused and have lost meaning. Be creative and straightforward.




  • Let the customer know he/she reached YOUR voicemail


    • Mention what business, department, or person are they leaving a message for? This will help you lower the amount of wrong numbers.


  • Apologize for not being available

  • This shows you care and what the customer or the lead has to say is valuable to you.


  • Ask them to leave a message

    • Again, you only get what you ask for.


  • Mention when they can expect a callback

    • Make sure you stick to your words and do call back with a solution. Nobody wants to repeat the same issue over a call.


  • List any additional options

    • If there’s a way the customer or lead can get their question answered immediately, mention that option. It could be contacting on Facebook Messenger or visiting your website’s “Help” page.

In Closing


If done right, your voicemails will strengthen your relationships and add value to your company’s public image. So, have fun with them,  experiment to find the right fit, and keep hitting those phones.