Should I ask for voicemail or should I leave my message with the receptionist?

And, if I opt for the receptionist, what do I say?

The answer to the first question may seem pretty obvious when you think about it academically, but when you get into the ‘heat of battle’ and the receptionist asks if they can take a message, many just go with the flow and say “Sure!”

Our methodology, The Appointment Making Formula™ calls for providing both predetermined voicemails and emails when you can’t get through to the target, so leaving a message of some kind is the default. We believe leaving a message with the receptionist is something to be avoided unless there is no voicemail. If I have the email, then I just leave my name and phone number and tell the receptionist to tell him/her I called and that will be sending an email containing the reason for my call.

The reason for that is pretty simple. Your choice is between:

  1. Leaving the specific voicemail you’ve spent time crafting in the manner you wish to convey (your tone of voice is part of the message); or
  2. Letting someone who doesn’t know (or care) about you decide how your message is delivered.

If you’ve ever played the game of ‘Telephone’ when you were a kid, you get the point in terms of what gets delivered. Even the best intentioned receptionists are many times distracted so they will shorten whatever you tell them. Additionally, we will feel rushed ourselves and attempt to shorten it on the fly which is a recipe for disaster.

One more reason for you to leave the message directly. If you use our approach and send a supporting email, the email will reference the “Voicemail I left earlier…” If you differ from that, you’ll have to modify the email instead of having it automatically sent, which increases the time of every call that happens that way.

If you’d like more information on the topic of 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 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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