According to InsideSales, the average response rate to voice mails is 4.8% — about one out of 20.  So if you have not received responses to most of your voice mail messages, you’re not alone.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make every attempt to get the highest response rate possible – especially since you probably spend 15% of your time leaving messages (according to RingLead).

So, how do you do it?  Here are a few tips that have positive impact on responses:

  •      Speak clearly and loudly.  How many times have you tried to interpret somebody else’s voicemails and got frustrated because you couldn’t quite hear it properly.  Don’t be that guy!
  •      If you don’t know the other person, you might need to spell your name or even your company’s name.  If they can’t write it down, they probably won’t be able to call you back.  Be deliberate – even slow – in your delivery, giving them time to jot it down without going back through the message repeatedly
  •      If they don’t know you, give them a compelling reason.  Compelling to them, that is.  Just because it’s compelling to you, it doesn’t mean they care enough to want to call you back.
  •      Set up the call time in-advance.  I find that sending an email with a couple choices times to call has a high response rate compared to those that I try to call cold.  If they say they’ll be there for the call, it usually means they have available time during that slot – perhaps even reserved it on their calendar.
  •      Connect the dots for them; so you don’t allow confusion.  You don’t always have to have them call you.  You can tell them that you’ll call them.  If you do, make it clear that you’ll do the dialing – preferably along with the time; then make sure you don’t miss the time.  If you want them to call you, make sure they have your number, know when they can call, and have your extension if needed.

How it multiplies your results

You don’t need to increase your total response rate to “50% of your calls” in order to get a “50% increase in your revenue attainment”.  You only need to get one more call back for each two you get now.  Here’s the math:

If you’re currently average, you’re getting 4.8 calls back for every 100 calls.  By bringing that number to 7.2 calls back for every 100 placed, you’re increasing your callbacks by 50%.  If the rest of your funnel maintains the same ratio, you’ll increase your total attainment by 50%.  On a $100,000 quota, that’s an extra $50,000.  On a million-dollar quota, that’s an extra half-million.

Are you likely to get that 50% lift? Perhaps; it depends on what your current rate is, and what you can do to enhance it compared to what you’re currently doing.  Even if you increase callbacks by 10% — say from 4.8 to 5.3, that’s still a substantial gain in your revenue and for most sales people in their personal compensation too.