Effective Use of Voicemail in Ad Agency New Business Prospecting


Voicemail can be a very effective tool for new business prospecting when used correctly. Incorrectly used it quickly leads you to a dead end and high levels of frustration for both client and agency alike.

It’s becoming harder and harder to reach prospective clients through cold calling. Armed with defensive tools such as caller ID, personal assistants, and the dreaded voicemail box, most clients have become very adept at avoiding cold calls from agencies. According to the AAAA’s, most clients receive 8-9 unsolicited agency approaches every month. No wonder they are running for cover.

You can try calling during fringe hours to try and catch them of guard and try all the other tricks in the book. The reality is that most of your calls will go straight to the prospect’s voicemail box and, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, you will end up having to leave a voicemail message. However, this is not the end of the world.

Voicemail messages can be a very effective way of getting your message through to the client and peaking their interest in your agency. Sometimes, enough interest to actually get them to answer your call on your next attempt. Here are a few tips to help you deliver more effective cold calling voicemails:

  • Keep them short and do not leave one every time you call. (One new business person showed me their call log for a specific client. They had made over 150 phone calls over four months and left only 5 voicemails. She got through to the client after the fifth voicemail, secured an initial presentation and was subsequently awarded the business).
  • Develop a series of voicemails that each shares a different piece of information about your agency and how you might bring value to the client’s business. (Think of it as dropping a series of breadcrumbs for them to follow)
  • Practice leaving voicemails so that you sound confident and eloquent when the prospect listens to them. Avoid leaving confused and rambling voicemails full of Um’s. They end up being deleted within the first few seconds of playback.

Remember, clients hate receiving cold calls as much as you hate making them. So think your voicemails through before leaving them and make every one count.




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