Posted by Todd Smith
Whether you recognize it or not your recorded voicemail greeting makes an impression on everyone who hears it. A professional greeting can make a positive impression, a goofy greeting can make a negative impression and an automated greeting could be viewed as impersonal and inconsiderate. In this lesson I will share some basic things you can do to record an impressive voice mail greeting.
One of the skills I have developed over my 29-year career is a unique aptitude to quickly and accurately read people. My ability to select the right people with which to do business has played an important role in my professional success.
There are many little things I instinctively look for and notice and one of them is a person’s voicemail greeting. I often conduct initial phone interviews and when someone’s personal voicemail greeting turns me off, the interview process is over. It’s their first and last impression.
Identify Yourself—I believe identifying yourself through your voicemail greeting shows respect to everyone who calls you. It allows your callers to confirm they have dialed the right number. When people don’t include their name in their greeting, it leaves me wondering if they have something to hide. I have seen this to be true far too often.
You can identify yourself with only your first name on a personal cell phone or home voice mail. If it is a business voicemail, I suggest including your first and last name. I would also include your title.
Have Energy in Your Voice—When you record your voicemail greeting, make a positive impression. Speak as though you are enjoying a successful life. People are instinctively drawn to people with positive attitudes. If you sound like you just woke up, you will likely make a negative impression.
Don’t Get Creative With Your Voicemail Messages—Many high profile sales trainers advise you to leave all kinds of crazy messages on your voicemail as a way to stand out. What I find is that most of the people who try to do something creative with their voicemail messages end up sounding corny. In fact, seldom do creative off the wall voicemail messages make a positive impression on me. If you want to be viewed as a professional, then make sure your greeting presents you as one.
Tell People What You Want Them To Do—Here’s my voicemail greeting: “Hi, you have reached the voicemail for Todd Smith. At the tone please leave your name, phone number, the purpose of your call and the best time to reach you and I will return your call as soon as possible. Thank you”
The voice mails I receive in response to this greeting allow me to use my time most productively. I learn the purpose of the call and when they are available for a return call. This allows me to prioritize when I need to return calls and helps me be better prepared for the ensuing conversation.
Often times knowing the purpose of their calls allows me to respond to their messages by sending them emails. As an example, when people have a question, often times I can send them an email answering their question. Knowing the purpose of the call also allows me to continue the communication through their voicemail if we end up playing phone tag.
Don’t Use The Computer Generated Greeting—I get aggravated when I hear a computer generated message like, “The person you are calling at 9-4-1-5-5-5-1-2-3-4 is not available to take your call, please leave a message at the tone.” Even if the number repeated by the system is the same one I have for the person, it requires extra work on my part to confirm I’ve dialed the right number and even then I am still left wondering if this is the right number for the person I am calling.
Since I pride myself in being responsible, if I don’t receive a return call I have to assume I wrote down wrong number. If I were irresponsible I would just blow it off and not care. But if I wrote down the wrong number I have a responsibility to get a hold of this person. This extra work combined with wondering if it’s the right number, leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Bonus Tip: If you find that people get cut off before completing their message, call your cell phone carrier and for a couple dollars a month, you can lengthen the time people have to leave you messages.
If you will follow these simple tips, you will make a positive impression through your voicemail greeting. If you have any additional tips, please share them in the comments section below this post.
Your voicemail greeting may be someone’s first impression of you. Make sure it is a positive one.
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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