1. Start with something personal – Telemarketer calls are such a problem these days, people might think you are a spammer if you don’t quickly say your name and why you are calling them. If you don’t know the person well, it’s best to say “Bob, this is Pam Smith, we met at the NAWBO luncheon last Tuesday and you asked me to follow up with you.” Now you can be sure your message will be fully heard.
2. Keep it brief – Everyone is time pressed these days. Voicemail is no place to get into a long story. Just leave the tip of the iceberg and save all the juicy details for when they call you back.
3. Slow down – If you’re at all nervous, there is a natural tendency to rush. It is better to speak slowly and clearly, even if it means you will have to distill your message down to its essence. When you talk too quickly, people often miss what you’re saying.
4. Repeat your callback number – People are often distracted when they’re listening to their voicemail playbacks. Even if you say your number slowly, they may miss some of it. That’s why it’s considerate to repeat it. That way the other person doesn’t have to replay the whole message a second time.
5. If you’re cranky, don’t make phone calls – A person’s energy comes through loud and clear over phone wires, so if you’re having a bad day, focus on other tasks, or watch funny YouTube videos until you shake off your blues.
6. Don’t call and hang up repeatedly – With some phone systems, it creates a voicemail for each call received, even if you don’t speak. If you’re in the habit of calling people repeatedly until they pick up, you may inadvertently create a situation where they have to sit and delete multiple blank messages from you before they can get to their actual voice messages. This does not build goodwill.
7. Script important messages – Certain messages are critical. For these types of messages, it’s a good idea to write down your main points so that you don’t lose your train of thought and ramble. As long as you can sound natural, it’s okay to have some written words to guide you as you leave your message.