Should I Leave A Voicemail? Sales Calls Made Simple

Luke Kinton
Oct 4, 2019 · 6 min read
Photo by Berkeley Communications on Unsplash

Imagine your phone rings.

Great. A number you don’t recognize. Do you answer it?

If you are like the majority of Americans, the answer is unequivocally “no”. Aside from the lone grandmother who hasn’t seen her family in months and is lonely for human interaction, almost no one does.

So you slide the red button and wait to see if they leave a voicemail. No? Great… spam caller. Moving on.

A few hours later, the number calls back. Your eyes roll, decline it again, and you see if they leave a voicemail.

No voicemail. Now this is getting annoying.

A few hours later, the same number begins to ring on your phone. You are certain that it is someone claiming to be from the IRS trying to scam you for Walmart gift cards or some auto warranty nonsense and decline it.

But then you see a voicemail. Curiosity gets the best of you, and you listen. Of course, it is a sales call, and already you are annoyed with this person who continues to call you incessantly when you have other things on your mind.

“I’ll call them back later,” you say to yourself and move on with your day.

The next day, the calls begin again. Same as before, but you now know who it is. Not really in the headspace to answer, you decline and carry on.

Eventually, one of three things will happen:

  • The caller will burn out and move on to other people to harass
  • You will answer the call
  • You will get so annoyed with the pressure this person calling is putting on you that you avoid the calls entirely or block the number

Being in sales for as long as I have, I find it downright amusing when people I work with advocate for this type of abusive sales call tactics as part of their appointment setting practices yet get angry when others use it on them. I even called out an old boss I had years ago on it during my tenure at AllStateFarmersMutualLiberty Insurance (you know, one of those insurance franchise owners).

The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Why are you pushing this strategy?”

Him: “Because corporate says it works.”

Me: “Oh… then why do you get annoyed when someone cold calls your phone?”

Him: “Because I am busy and have a business to run. I don’t have time for that…”

Me: “…and the people we are calling also have better things to do as well, right? How is harassing them with a cold call and not leaving voicemails going to make them want to talk to us? Do you ever call the numbers back who cold call you?”

My time thereafter was limited. Mainly due to my stance that customers deserve a little more respect than what they are given by these types of outfits more than anything else.

You cannot expect customers, especially in this new era of technology, to have the same type of responses to schemes that worked five years ago, let alone 20 years ago. It is just illogical and borderline sketchy.

Some points to remember:

Calling And Not Leaving A Voicemail Is Skeezy

You can’t get upset if your contact rates go down if you implement this plan. If you can’t take the time to extend the courtesy of a simple voicemail, you can’t expect the simple courtesy of them wanting to engage with you.

Calling And Not Leaving A Voicemail Is Like Playing Ding Dong Ditch

The phone has become a personal thing, primarily due to the overabundance of impersonal ways to engage in communication with others. In essence, it has become their digital doorstep. If you don’t appreciate being harassed and bothered by others, logic will dictate the bulk of the people out there probably feel the same way.

It Devalues The Customer And It Devalues You As A Professional

If you stand by your reputation that you bring the best solution to meet the needs of the customer, they aren’t going to care what you do if they don’t feel respected first and foremost.

People Will Contact You When They Are Ready

The Best Solution Is A Simple One

Then, send a follow-up email that lets them know you called (so they can place a name with the random number they just saw) and summarizes what you just said on the voicemail. Don’t attach anything. No sales scripts or corporate marketing nonsense. Just a solid, respectful follow up.

If you have the opt-in (and I can’t stress this enough) signed, permitting you to use SMS to contact the person for marketing or sales reasons, send a follow-up text as well. I don’t lean too heavily on this as a solution for making contact, given the severity of the punishment by state and federal regulators for unsolicited marketing texts.

A call, a voice mail, an email, and a text. From there, leave it alone for a day or so and see if they respond. If they do respond, make a note of how they respond. The medium they use to respond is their preferred avenue of communication. If they do not respond, repeat after allowing two or three days to pass. Repeat one last time if no response. If they don’t respond after the third attempt, leave them alone and add them to a passive marketing list.

In Conclusion

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Join The Startup’s +793K followers.

Sign up for Top 10 Stories

By The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Subscribe to receive The Startup's top 10 most read stories — delivered straight into your inbox, once a week. Take a look.

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Luke Kinton

Written by

CX Drill Sgt. Experience Evangelist. Behavioral Economics Freak. Insurance Pro. Freelance Marketing Consultant. Entrepreneur. More at

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +793K followers.

Luke Kinton

Written by

CX Drill Sgt. Experience Evangelist. Behavioral Economics Freak. Insurance Pro. Freelance Marketing Consultant. Entrepreneur. More at

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +793K followers.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store