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How To Leave A Voicemail


Robby

Even though this technology is several decades old, I still get terrible voicemails almost every week. If you’ve ever been a victim of a bad voicemail, or if you’re not quite sure what a voicemail should include, here are some helpful hints.

Always start with, “Hi, this is [Your First and Last Name].” Even if the person knows you well or you are sure they have caller ID, it sets the tone of the voicemail as professional and gives them a moment to mentally connect the sound of your voice with a real person. Plus, we often check voicemail on the go. There’s no time to play detective in these situations!

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Next, give the time and date that you are calling. Even though many voicemail systems record this data, it’s a good reminder that you are paying attention to your own words. It also communicates the intensity of the message indirectly, because the listener knows how long ago you tried to reach them.

If you’re not absolutely certain that the other person could pick you out of a crowd, add some context. I like the words “with [Company Name]” and perhaps the relevant department. If you’ve only met them once, try adding: “We met last week at conference in Columbus.”

Here’s the most crucial part of the message. You get exactly one sentence to explain why you’re calling. The reason for the call has be something which requires a complex and urgent response. Otherwise, you should have just sent an email. Consider: “I’m calling to see if we can change the time of our appointment this afternoon, so please call me back and let me know.” Be sure whatever sentence you choose includes some kind of irrefutable call to action.

Now give your number, and then your name again, and then repeat your number. That way if the message is garbled, you’re still likely to get through. Plus, nobody has a pen when the message first starts.

That’s it. Try this formula for leaving messages, and you are more likely to get a response to your voicemails!

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Mon, August 1 2011 » Personal Organization, Technology Tips

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