Posted by Todd Smith
Today, voice mail is a vital form of communication. The messages you leave create impressions and play a small, but important role in how you are viewed. If you want to make a positive impression through your voicemail messages, here are 10 suggestions:
1. Leave a message. Unless I am calling my wife who will see the missed call from me and call me back, I always leave a message. Since current technology allows us to see the details of a “missed call”, you shouldn’t make people wonder why you called. If you had a reason for making the call in the first place, leave a message with the purpose of your call. This will also save you time from having to call back at another time.
2. Speak with energy in your voice. How you sound on someone’s voicemail makes a noticeable impression. Make that impression positive by sounding upbeat.
3. Be prepared. When I hear the phone ring on the other end for the fourth or fifth time, my mind immediately begins to prepare for the message I want to leave. This allows me to clearly communicate the purpose of my call after I hear the voice mail greeting.
4. Be friendly. You can say something simple like, “Hi Mike, this is Todd Smith calling. I hope you had a great weekend. The reason I am calling is …” After you are finished with the “meat” of your message, conclude your recording by saying something positive such as, “I am looking forward to talking with you.”
5. Let people know when you are available. When leaving messages, let people know when you are available to receive a return call. This will allow both of you to be more productive with your time.
6. Leave a clear message as to the purpose of your call. There’s nothing worse than a voice mail message that only says, “Call me.” If your message clearly states the purpose of the call, it will give the person time to think about it and discuss it effectively when they call you back. It also helps them prioritize the timing of their return phone call.
7. If you can, leave a message that does not require a return call. If the subject of your call is such where you can leave a message and not require a return call, give a detailed message and tell them it’s not necessary to return your call. This is a time saver for both parties.
8. Leave your phone number twice. When leaving your phone number, ALWAYS speak slowly and repeat your phone number. Considering most people aren’t this thoughtful, this will certainly make a positive impression.
9. If you make a mistake. If you make a mistake in the recording of your message, finish your message the best you can. Then when you are done, press either the star “*” key or the pound “#” key. On most cell phone voicemail systems you will hear a prompt that will allow you to erase and re-record your message.
10. Don’t Leave Negative Messages. It is my belief that ALL negative topics should be discussed live and NEVER through email, text or voicemail messages. When you need to talk about a negative subject, let people know the purpose of the call, but avoid leaving a message with the details of your feelings.
If you follow these 10 simple tips when leaving voicemail messages, you will be making a positive impression on everyone you call.
Bonus Time Management Tip: When people other than my family or close friends call me and don’t leave a message, I figure if the reason for their call wasn’t important enough for them to leave me a message, I am not going to take my valuable time to call them back to find out why they called in the first place.
“A big success is made up from a great number of little circumstances each of which may seem small and insignificant most people pass them by as not being worthy of notice.” – Napoleon Hill
Phone Communication, Voicemail Communication
Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 34 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts.
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