Do you leave messages on answer-phones when you can’t get through?

The camp is definitely spilt on this one.

Half of the people I speak to leave messages and half do not.

Only last week one of my delegates said “Sean, I never leave messages on an answer-phone. It’s a waste of time. They never call me back.”

I disagree with this as it all depends on the message that you leave.

The primary objective of leaving a message is to get your call returned. That’s it. Period!

Don’t go into sales fluff, don’t go into why you are calling and why it’s so important. Just think of some standard message and test it out.

Try out different messages and keep track of the responses you get.

Keep tweaking that message until you get the best returns.

Here are 5 quick tips to get your calls returned:


Don’t try to sell your product or service on a voice mail.

Don’t just “introduce” yourself via voice mail and expect a response.

All you want is for your call to be returned.


Make your prospect think and want to call you back.

Try a statement like:

“Hi Jim, it’s Sean from MTD. Could you please call me back in relation to your sales people”

This statement would create curiosity. Is the call from a client wishing to complain? Or from a top sales training company looking for business?


Your message should be 20 seconds or less.


Say your name and number at the start and the end of the message.

You are much more likely to get a call back if the prospect doesn’t have to listen to the message again to take action.


Make sure you keep track of who you’ve left a message for and what you’ve said, so that you are prepared should they call you back.

When all is said and done the purpose of leaving a voice mail is to get your call returned – never forget that! 


Sean McPheat is regarded as a leading authority on modern day selling. Sean is a ImageHobestselling author and has appeared on CNN, ITV, BBC and has over 250 other media credits to his name. Sean founded MTD Sales Training in 2001 and since then they have helped over 50,000 staff. Please visit Sean’s Sales Blog for his latest musings and tips. Sean also offers free audios, videos and sales tips.