What Your Cryptic Voicemail Really Says

I just listened to a voicemail from a salesperson. She said she wanted to invite me to a conference that I would “absolutely be interested in attending.” She left only her first name, her phone number, and a cryptic message. She bet (or her company bet) that the more cryptic and opaque her message, the more likely I would be to return her call. They lost that bet. You’ll lose that bet, too. Here’s why:

You Want Trust

The problem with your cryptic message is that it’s a violation of trust. By deciding not to be transparent about who you are, what you do, and what you want, you are sending this message: “If I told you who I was and what I wanted, you would never return my phone call. So I am leaving a cryptic message so that you’ll call me back and give me the opportunity to pitch you.”

Making the choice to hide who you are and to be self-oriented is a violation of trust. And it’s a horrible way to try to begin a relationship. You’ve proven you are willing to use trust-violating tactics to get what you want-regardless of whether or not it’s right for your prospect. Your prospect can use their imagination to guess at how the rest of the relationship will go from there.

You Create Value

If you really create value for your clients, there is no reason for you to leave a voicemail message that doesn’t tell your prospect client who you are, what you do, and what you want. In fact, the more confidence you have in what you can do to make a difference, the more likely you are to get a call back.

The ability to confidently speak about how you create that value—and the more tightly you can tie it to what your client needs—the more likely you are to receive a call back.


Do you really want a call back bad enough that you are willing to be considered something less than someone with the ideas and ability to make a difference?

Do you really want a call back if it means you’ve already violated your prospect’s trust?

Does this approach jive with your idea of being a trusted advisor and consultative salesperson?

How do you leave a voicemail message? How is that message different than what you say when the client picks up the phone?

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