How often do you get a voicemail that misses some critical information?
Voicemails are an effective tool if used correctly, but they can be frustrating if they are done badly.
In the last few days I have had several voicemails that have been difficult to understand, I listen to them a couple of times but if I don’t get the message by then I just ignore them! That defeats the purpose of the call and leaves me frustrated. Clearly just a little bit of attention by the caller would have made it a positive experience rather than a frustrating one. Speaking too fast, speaking too close to the microphone can create a lisp that makes it hard to hear and accents can be difficult to understand … I had them all this week!
Here are a few tips for leaving business voicemails:
1. Be prepared … if you are expecting to talk to someone, and are not prepared to leave a voicemail then hang up. You can call back when you have thought through your message.
2. Keep it short.
3. Tell people who you are first … “This is Kevin Dee from Eagle”.
4. Tell people why you are calling … “I am calling to follow up on an invitation you sent me”.
5. If there is more detail, then be clear about that … “I would like to get some more information about the event”.
6. Give a clear contact number … “You can call me back at (999) 999-9999”.
7. Repeat the contact information … “Again this is Kevin Dee at (999) 999-9999”. Note that by repeating this information you may save the person from having to re-listen to the voicemail … for which they will be appreciative!
8. Speak slowly, knowing that the person may need to write this down. Too many times I will need to listen to a voicemail multiple times and still have trouble catching the details.
9. Enunciate your words clearly. If you have an accent, then practice talking so that people WILL understand what you say. (This applies to me too!)
10. If it is a sales call, make sure you inject energy and enthusiasm into your voice.
- Role Play leaving voicemails;
- Smile while you are talking;
- Preparation of your message is EXTRA important;
- Try standing up when leaving a message.
Any communication is important and voicemail done correctly achieves your aim, but it can also create a favorable impression of you … or NOT!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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