9 Reasons Why Your Prospect Isn’t Responding

Some cold calling experts suggest that you leave a message when you receive a voicemail of a potential customer. Unfortunately, many salespeople feel that this is a pointless exercise because most of the time, their potential customer doesn’t call them back. If that sounds familiar to you, here are nine reasons why a potential customer isn’t responding to your calls.

9 Reasons a Prospect Doesn’t Call You Back

Your voicemail message is too long.

The majority of the voicemail messages that decision makers receive are very long. Decision makers are too busy listening to a long, distracted, and disjointed message. This means that you need to get your message across in 30 seconds or less. In fact, I suggest that you try to limit your message to a maximum of 20 seconds.

Your voicemail message is highly encrypted.

On the flip side, a short, succinct voicemail with no details likely won’t motivate someone to call you back. You should give the prospect enough information to get their attention and say, “I want to talk to this person.”

I left the same voicemail message.

It’s important to keep trying to contact your potential business which often means leaving multiple voicemails. However, if you want someone to call you back, you need to leave a different message each time you call. Plus it has to be persuasive (see next point).

Your message is not convincing.

Most voicemails do little to motivate someone to answer the phone and answer your call. The persuasive letter should show that you understand the potential customer’s industry, situation, or circumstances and envision that you may have a solution.

You did not develop a relationship with them.

In today’s competitive landscape, people want to do business with suppliers and sellers they know and trust. It is unlikely that a call from a sales representative of an unknown company will be returned.

You sound like any other salesperson.

The average CEO gets dozens of sales calls a day, so if you want a busy executive to call you back, your message should stand out from every other call they receive.

I once sat in the vice president’s office listening to his voicemail messages on speakerphone and was amazed at how alike each sales call sounded.

I was equally impressed with how quickly this person deleted messages too. He moved his finger over the delete button and, in most cases, erased the message in the first few seconds.

You have not done any search.

When you leave a voicemail that clearly states that you know nothing about a prospect’s business, there is no chance of them calling you back.

For example, “Mr. Prospect, we provide solutions that help call centers improve their productivity and performance and achieve higher ROI on their outbound calls.”

If this message was left to a small business owner (and it was!) the salesperson is unlikely to receive a return call (and they didn’t!).

At the very least, do some background research and make sure your letter reflects this homework assignment. This will improve your chances of getting a call back.

Your product or service does not interest them.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone needs your solution and when you contact companies that are not a good fit for your product, service or offering, you are simply wasting your time and that of your prospects.

Improve your results by targeting your prospecting calls more closely to companies that can already use your product or service (see point 7 above).

Your prospect is simply too busy.

Most salespeople fail to realize exactly how busy executives are. A client once said to me, “I’m too busy right now, and I can’t do any other projects.”

This sheer volume of work often prevents decision makers from answering your call because they don’t have the time to talk to you and because they can’t fit another project into their schedule.

Unless your product, service, or offering is something they really need right now, they probably won’t answer your call.


Download our free guide, The Seven Steps to Building an Effective Prospecting Sequence and learn how you can develop a series of prospecting touches, arranged in an intentional sequence, to improve the likelihood of prospective client engagement.

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