Agency New Business: Has Voicemail Gone the Way of the Fax Machine?


In response to Coca Cola’s recent announcement that they are jettisoning their voicemail system (sending some sales organizations into a frenzy), we pose the question: “What new business tactics are tried and true?” The answer is none and all.

After decades of successfully representing marketing agencies of all sizes and abilities, we can assure you that blanket trend statements and truisms are often misleading.  And, reacting to them can be detrimental to your new business success.

So what works?

We advocate a nuanced approach – one that layers the personal with the promotional.

What is the role of voicemail?

The purpose of voicemail is to cut through the clutter of an overflowing inbox and link personal credibility (and likability) to your agency's USP. To be effective, it is critical that your message be personalized, professional and intentionally clear.  Nothing guarantees an early delete like a voice message that meanders around the point or is overly familiar in style.

We suggest the following concise approach.

1.  “My name is…”

2.  “I am the Director of Business Development for… "

3.  " I am contacting you because..." (State clear point of reason/market differentiation here.)

4.  and/or, “I am following up on…” (Reference specific content.)

5.  “You can reach me at…" (Reiterate your identity and personal contact info.)

6.  “I will also send you a follow-up email so that you will have my contact info handy…” (Give them an alternate response option.)

7.  " Thanks so much for your time. "  " I look forward to connecting at your convenience."

It’s important to remember that every message you leave (whether voice or digital) is directed toward an individual with very specific likes and dislikes. Getting to know the personality traits and professional preferences of these individuals over time will expedite your success. In the interim, consider these voicemail tips for positioning your agency beyond the new business fray.

UPDATE: As corporate giants like JP Morgan Chase announce the cancellation of their voice mail services (June 2015), we further recognize that this growing trend needs to be identified (and flagged) at the contact confirmation stage in order to effectively tailor a custom outreach plan.