Can’t get a callback? Maybe it’s your fault. Hello.

Can’t get a callback? Maybe it’s your fault. Hello.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at



Can’t get a callback? Maybe it’s your fault. Hello.

The guy wouldn’t return my call,” and 50 variations of the ageold sales dilemma of getting the prospect to respond to the salesperson, is a HUGE frustration. And now with the proliferation of voicemail it’s even worse.

Imagine the nerve of a prospect not returning your call. Boohoo.

Now what? Give up? Call back until he picks up the phone? Try another route like through the secretary? No. None of the above.

An unreturned phone call isn’t a problem. It’s a symptom. The problem is the prospect is not interested in doing business with you because:

He does not know you, and has no business reason to call you.

He sees no gain for himself (and by the way “saving money” is not a gain it’s a BIG turn off).

He perceives no need.

He is too busy to be bothered.

He perceives he can get (or already has) a better deal elsewhere.

He does not have the money, or the authority to spend it.

He perceives no value in the relationship

He perceives no difference in you no reason to switch from who he’s got.

He does not like or trust you.

He doesn’t want to, feel the need to, or have the guts to, tell you no.

BUT the salesperson in his blindness, blames the prospect. Big mistake.

Here’s a letter I just received on the same subject. See if it applies to your problem:

Mr. Gitomer: Regarding voice mail, What do you do in the situation of a coldcall or semicoldcall (have met the person briefly) where you get their voice mail, leave a message, and don’t get a callback.

In our company there are two theories: (1) Tell at some length what services you offer and advantages (plus name, company name, phone number, email) (3045 seconds). (2) Just say “This is Bob Smith; please give me a call at 5551234.”

I tend to do (1) but this may be the wrong approach. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you!


Neither 1 nor 2 is correct in fact, both are bad.

The first (1) is a message all about you it’s something that’s intrusive, boring and reeks of selling. People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy. Why drone on about who you are, when you don’t even know if they need what you’ve got?

The second (2) is typical sales manipulation that will piss the customer off if he didn’t want or already has your product. If you’re going to employ a sales trick, at least be creative about it.

So what’s the answer? Good question there are several.

Leave a message that has stuff about their business

…there are five ways to save money on your copier

…there are three websites you should check out to build your office productivity I’ll email them to you

Leave a message that has stuff about them:

…there are three reasons people buy use … insert facts about the use of your product that helps them build their business.

question that provokes response I’ll call you with the answer

Use a different medium in conjunction with voice mail:
email or fax a joke but tell them that on the voice mail

email or fax a testimonial but tell them that on the voice mail

Have a bit of fun:

Leave half a message and hang up (pretend you got cut off, but be sure you get your phone number on the first half of the message, duh.)

Fax an urgent message that their voicemail is broken.

Success Strategy: Get together with other people having the same problem and discuss the wackiest alternatives you can conjure up. Try half of them. I’ll bet they work better than anything you’re doing now. Once you see that creativity works you can refine it to a science.

Voice mail is here to stay. So are people (prospects) who will avoid you. Your success will come with a message strategy that has imagination, creativity, and VALUE. Otherwise you will continue to blame the wrong person for your inability to get a call returned. Hello, big mistake.

FREE GitBit… Want to know more ways to be funny? Be careful it requires work on your part. Just go to click Free Stuff the click GitBit register and enter the secret word, “HUMOR”.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to

1999 All Rights Reserved Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written

permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/3331112