Seven ways to get more emails and voicemails returned on appointment setting calls. (Updated.)

Nobody returns voicemails anymore…or do they?


Our clients report that, in the B2B market space, the percentage of returned voicemails and emails has dropped over the past ten years with the advent of voicemail. Our experience mirrors that. So, the operative question is, “Should we stop leaving voicemails?” Our answer is an emphatic, “No!”, as our techniques have the percentage of returns on the rise again (over 10%), and as we pointed out in the blog covering why we should leave voicemails and send emails, there are plenty of reasons for actually sending/leaving them.

So, now assuming that we’ve agreed to leave the voicemail and send an email, what are the seven most effective ways to get a target to return a voicemail/email?

  1. Identify the top three reasons why people buy from you and craft a different message for each of first three voicemails and emails. Then put one of those key reasons into each of messages. It is important to word your message in terms that pique curiosity by offering to share how others (your clients, not you) have found this particular reason to be of benefit to them. Do not put it in terms of how you think you can help this particular target.
  1. Create a fourth and final message and make it what we call a ‘Move-on’ message which tells the target explicitly that you will not be calling them again for some pre-determined period of time (usually 90 to 150 days depending on how many targets you have). This creates a sense of urgency and will get you more responses than the first three combined—but it doesn’t work if you didn’t leave/send the first three compelling messages.
  1. Make it personal. If it is worth doing the upfront investment before calling a target, make the message personal in addition to talking about how you’ve solved what your research has indicated is a big issue for them. If you’d like to read a blog on the four questions to ask yourself to determine if it is worth the effort to do research prior to the appointment setting call, click here.
  1. Send complementary emails that mirror and reinforce what you say in your voicemails. This doubles the ‘touch-points’ as advertisers call them and some people simply respond better to email than voicemail.
  1. Make the emails attractive and use bullets in them. People’s eyes are drawn to bullets. If they are intrigued by the bullets, their eyes will then go up to the sentence above it that describes what the bullets are all about.
  1. Make sure the Subject in the email is interesting. You can Google this topic for lots of advice.
  1. Make sure you’re calling companies/individuals that use what you sell. In other blogs, we’ve talked about the importance of our lists. The better the list, the more often you’ll get through to a person you’re wanting to meet with. The result is we are more efficient and more effective. A better-qualified list is one that has the following attributes:
  1. Identifies companies that use what we sell
  2. Identifies companies that can afford what we sell
  3. Identifies companies that can be profitable for us to sell to and support (right size, geographical location, and vertical concentration)
  4. Identifies H.E.R.B., the highest executive responsible for buying what we sell by name and title
  5. Minimally provides physical address, web address, phone number, and email address
  6. Provides pertinent information that would be helpful for our call, including facts about the company and the individual we’ve identified
  7. Provides multiple targets within a given company, where applicable

If you’d like more information on voicemail and email strategies, or why no team of sales professionals has ever failed to at least double the number of Initial Appointments they were setting after going through one of our programs, give us a call or drop us a line. We love talking about the challenges of appointment making!

Caponi Performance Group and Contact Science jointly market the telephone prospecting and cold calling solution called Coldcalling101™.  It is the only comprehensive solution to solving the biggest barrier to success in most selling organizations—the inability to secure enough Initial Appointments to begin the selling process. We accomplish that through simultaneously addressing both the efficiency and effectiveness of the process.  We can be reached at 817 224-9900 or at You can also find answers to many of your challenges in our books: Contrary to Popular Belief, Cold Calling DOES Work! Volume I: Effectiveness, The Art of Appointment Making and  Volume II: Efficiency, the Science of Appointment Making.

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