Spam callers are ubiquitous and we’ve all had the unfortunate experience of answering a call that we wished we’d have ignored. So, can you blame your leads for screening your calls before they’ve gotten to know you?

If you’re struggling to make contact after you receive an inbound lead with a phone number, consider the below tactics to help you break through the screening process.

Having a hard time getting a call back when you leave a voicemail for a new lead? Your lead may listen to the voicemail and not be in the right mood to call back. Worst of all, they may flag your number and choose to ignore your calls in the future (even though they’d converted online and given permission for you to contact them).

Try the double dial — that’s a tactic where you call once, don’t leave a voicemail, then call back right away. When an unknown number calls twice in a row, your contact may perceive that it’s important and be more likely to answer your call.

You can also try the triple dial. In this approach, you’ll call three times throughout the course of the day, without ever leaving a message. Leave at least an hour between each call attempt. Again, the theory here is that people may be more likely to return three mystery calls than one explicit voicemail. Remember, curiosity is your friend!

If you do leave a voicemail, be sure to be clear, succinct and memorable in some way. This Salesforce blog recommends that you:

1. Change up the script! Start with the reason for your call, not your name. By keeping your contact guessing about who you are and why you’re calling, they’ll be more likely to listen to the whole message and call you back.

2. Keep it under 30 seconds. The longer you talk for, the less engaging you’ll be. Don’t start selling over voicemail; keep it short and sweet.

3. Don’t sell! No one’s ever been hired from a great voicemail, and that shouldn’t be your goal. Instead, focus on making a connection and avoiding an overly aggressive tone that could turn off buyers and sellers at the start of their journey.

4. Don’t talk about how many times you’ve called. Even if you’ve left 7 voicemails, don’t admit your past failure to connect. Stay positive and fresh with each contact, so you don’t become “John the real estate agent, calling for the 9th time this week.” And remember, 44% of salespeople give up after just one follow-up, so by staying persistent you’re much more likely to make contact and win the deal! (Scripted)

5. Stand out. Whether you open with a joke or close with a strong call to action, be sure that you sound different than other agents who may be clogging up their voicemail box. When you’re hard to forget, you’re harder to delete or ignore.

At some point, if your lead isn’t answering, you may just wish they’d tell you to bug off. One way to get a response once and for all is to send a text message rather than leaving another voicemail.

Text messages have a 90% read rate (Mobile Squared) and while people can easily say they “forgot” to read an email or listen to a voicemail, most recipients of a text message will feel compelled to reply in some way.

Below is a series of three texts to send to leads who aren’t returning your calls. Note that Rick Realtor gives his lead an easy opt out in the third message. At some point, it’s okay to call it… and it’s better to cross someone off your list definitively than to spend time on them just because you haven’t heard back and consider them a “live lead.”


“Hi Sara, this is Rick Realtor. I’m returning your message from, where you were looking at 149 Elmwood Lane. That’s a gorgeous property and I’d love to help you set up a showing in the next few days. Are you still interested in seeing the home?”


“Hi Sara, Rick Realtor again. Just checking in about 149 Elmwood Lane. I have a few more appointment openings this week if you still want to see it.”


“Hi Sara, Rick Realtor here. Let me know if there’s any way I can help you check out 149 Elmwood Lane or other houses in the Eagle Creek area. If you’re not interested in buying anymore, or you found a different agent, just let me know.”

Remember, less is more — especially within a text message.

Everything old is new again. So perhaps you aren’t having luck with voicemail or simple text. Try sending an “audio file” via your phone’s messaging function. It’s a like a good, ol’ fashioned voicemail, but it’s a recording in a text message. You might be surprised how an audio file via text delights your recipient. Go figure, right?

Learn how to send an audio file via:

Tell us why, and why you believe your messages have a higher response rate than other agents trying to create a dialogue with new leads.

Reply in the comments or drop us a line on our Facebook page, where we keep in touch with more than 35,000 top agents from across the country!

Is voicemail dead? When to leave a message, when to cut and run published first on




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