The guy wouldn’t call me back. I wonder why?

The guy wouldn’t call me back. I wonder why?

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

The guy wouldn’t call me back. I wonder why?

Can you tell me if voice mail has ever been a problem?

You call somebody up on the phone and you get their voice mail. You’re thinking to yourself, should I leave a message or not? Have you ever had that thought? Should I leave a message or should I not leave a message? That’s a big question isn’t it? Because sometimes you leave a message (and I know this is a surprise) and they won’t call you back. Rats.

That defeat tends to make you not want to leave a message more often than not. Isn’t that true? Why is that true is a better question. REASON: Whatever you do or whatever you want is not very important to whoever you are calling. Let me repeat that: Whatever you do or want is not very important to the person that you are calling.

What do you think keeps your customers up at night? What do you think is the biggest thing on their mind? What makes them lose sleep?

Losing or making money? That might be one. Profit. What’s another one? Keeping customers loyal? Sure! Do you think sometimes their family might keep them up at night? What about their business? If they are in business for themselves, do you think they are concerned about making more sales of their stuff? Competition? Ouch. How about a few other concerns…

Productivity! Do you think that that may be a concern of theirs? Keeping good people? Rising costs to operate? Income tax? I mean, is anybody here not concerned or angry about having to file their tax returns? Actually, I look at income taxes as rent to live in America. Makes it a lot more palatable.

Understand this: The things that keep your customers up at night have little or nothing to do with you. Your job is to try to figure out some ANSWERS to what keeps your customers up at night, and have IDEAS about what keeps your customer up at night. Your job is to be an expert at what keeps your customer up at night.

Your customers and prospects want to sell their stuff. They want to make a profit. They want to keep their customers and employees loyal, and they want to have no problems. If you are not an expert at those things, you’re in trouble. And usually, those things have nothing to do with what you are selling at the moment.

HERE’S THE POINT: What concerns your customers and prospects is also the key to leaving a voice mail message, and getting your call returned. Aha!

See, if you leave a bunch of puke about who you are and what you do, they don’t care, and won’t return your call. And there are five other guys that called them up about financial services or advertising or accounting services or copiers or cell phones (or whatever it is you sell) in the past week. And you’re just one of the five. Isn’t that true?

I don’t want to define what you sell as puke — BUT Bubba, they’ve heard it before. Let’s just say it like this: They’ve heard it before AND prospects are certainly doing OTHER IMPORTANT things with their day to where they don’t want to hear it again.

So, if you are going to leave message, you have to be able to give enough value or reason to get your voice mail returned. That is the whole key to response success. Are you good enough to get a call returned, depends on how much you know (or study) about how to solve or help with what concerns THEM, and leave a message about that.

A message about profit, loyalty, productivity, sales, morale, family, kids – something in terms of the prospect – a tip, an idea – something that says “I have EARNED a return call.” And something that separates you from the other five messages about the same thing you sell.

Suppose you called them and left a sales lead as a message. Would they call you back if you said – “Hello, John, this is Jeffrey Gitomer – I was talking to someone yesterday about your services – the guys name is Harvey Zilch – and he sounded pretty interested – call me at 704-333-1112 and I’ll give you his number and a few details.”


NOTE WELL: This requires WORK on the part of the salesperson – and it’s work that separates the great ones from the mediocre ones. Which are you?

If you spent the same amount of time preparing for your sales calls as you do whining that someone didn’t return one, you’d be the number one salesperson on your team. Maybe the company. Maybe the world.

Press “one” if you want more sales.

Free GitBit… Wanna test your phone skills and savvy? Want to rate your phone-ability? All you have to do is go to – register if you’re a first time user, and enter the words PHONE TEST in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to