The Improbable Story of a Returned Voicemail

When you reach a prospect’s voicemail, should you leave a message?

Though it’s a simple enough question, no one seems to agree. Some of our clients want a voicemail on every call. Others ask that we leave voicemails only when we’ve already spoken with a decision maker previously. Still others tell us not to even bother.

When asked for our input, VSA advises clients to leave voicemails whenever appropriate. The cost benefit is clear: while some prefer email, there are still a lot of prospects who check their phone messages. We routinely get return calls from voicemails.

Occasionally, a voicemail comes back around in a completely unexpected way. This happened recently, when a BDR working on one of our most long-term programs received quite a surprise.

For years, VSA has partnered with a client that offers calibration services to companies who weigh heavy industrial equipment. While working on this account, one of our BDRs received a callback from a prospect.

The prospect asked to speak with someone whose name our BDR didn’t recognize. While introducing himself, he described his call as a “shot in the dark”.

The prospect explained that he had recently changed jobs and now uses an old scale that is in desperate need of calibration. While performing a long-overdue cleanout of his voicemail, he just so happened to come across a message about our client’s services.

Since he didn’t recognize the name of the VSA associate who had left that original voicemail, our BDR assumed that she must have changed jobs herself since then. Still, he didn’t know how much time had passed — until he looked up the name of the prospect’s former employer in our CRM system.

The call he was returning had been placed in 2015!

The BDR ended the conversation by scheduling an appointment. Thus, a terrific, well-qualified lead entered our client’s pipeline — seemingly out of thin air. It all happened because we had done our due diligence by leaving a voicemail… four years ago.

This story just goes to show that while leaving a voicemail might seem futile in the moment, you never know what might happen. What seems like a dead end now could turn out to be a great opportunity in the long term.

That’s why, when it comes to leaving voicemails, VSA urges our clients not to take anything for granted. You already know the worst-case scenario: the prospect never returns your call. So why not hope for the best and allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised?