People are less likely to pick up the phone today, and especially if the call is from someone they don’t know or is from a number they don’t recognize. You are more likely to get voicemail or some other automated system, even when calling a business.
At one time, it was not practical to leave voice messages when doing High Probability Prospecting. Salespeople who were telephone prospecting in those days got better results when they just moved on to the next number in their list. The odds of getting a live person on the phone were much higher then.
Today, we do recommend leaving a very brief voice message. Just your name, your company, the subject of your call, and your phone number. As short as possible, with much less detail than a prospecting offer that you would deliver live. The usual mistake is to say too much.
One of the consequences of leaving messages is that you may begin to receive a greater number of inbound prospecting calls (where a prospect calls you). The skills required for handling these conversations are very different from doing outbound prospecting. It takes a special kind of listening. But that’s a topic for a different blog post.
Note: Jacques Werth had written an article titled Top 6 Pitfalls of Voice Mail Messages (which appears in a list of articles on the main HPS website). In that article, he argued against leaving voicemail.