Living With Voice Mail ‘Jail’

When you hear that ‘Double Clicking’ sound on the phone you’re going to voice mail…

Do you hate voice mail greetings? Me too! Problem is, voice mail is here to stay. It ain’t going anywhere, so we might as well learn to live with it, even if we hate it. To that end, here are a couple of quick tips with regards to voice mail ‘jail’ that may help you save time and aggravation.

For starters… There’s something I’ve noticed about voice mail after dialing the phone, and right after the first ring of the phone number I’m calling, I hear a distinct clicking sound, and then another ring of the telephone. This means my cold call has been dumped into a voice mail system, or that my call is about to be transferred to a Gatekeeper. Immediately following the ‘double click’ sound you have 2 choices: either you wait an eternity for the phone to ring 4-5 times to get to your prospect’s voice mail greeting, or simply hang up and call back later. If you prefer, you can also leave a message for your prospect that will probably go unreturned. It’s your call…

My suggestion? May I suggest that when you hear that ‘Double Click’ sound connecting your call to voice mail that you let it ring once, or maybe twice, and then hang up, and call the next prospect on your list. By doing this you’ll find that you are able to increase your outbound phone dials by 30% or more, and not go out of your mind listening to dozens of voice mail greetings each day.

If they don’t answer by the third ring you’re going to voice mail…


Over the years I’ve also noticed that most people answer their phone by the third ring, and the majority of people will answer on the second ring. To learn more about human behavior with answering the phone I did some research on phone answering etiquette from some industry ‘experts’ I found on the Internet. I found that proper protocol requires customer service people and receptionists to answer all inbound calls by the third ring, and every attempt is made to answer the phone by the second ring. A recent poll I found mentions that most people answer the phone by the third ring on their home phones. I suspect they take this practice to the office and do the same thing on their office phone. It’s a fact – phone calls are answered within 3 rings. So… why do salespeople let the phone ring for 8-10 times? I think they are holding out for hope that someone will eventually answer. But why? I believe waiting 30-seconds for someone to answer their phone is a crazy waste of time. I understand that persistence is a trait of a successful salesperson, but persistence at the expense of missing out on making another call to someone who may answer? I dunno, but that doesn’t sound like a good judgement call to me.

My suggestion? If the prospect doesn’t answer their office phone by the 3rd ring they aren’t going to answer. Hang up the phone and call somebody else! Cold calling is tough enough without putting yourself through the added pain of having to listen to non-stop voice mail greetings all day long. Your thoughts?

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2 Responses to “Living With Voice Mail ‘Jail’”

  1. Deandre Says:

    Hi just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures
    aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.

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