Let’s talk about voice mail. You either love it or dread it, but it is a recognized part of our business lives that demands some rules to make it more effective and efficient. Good voice mail technique is a required business skill that often goes lacking, so let’s look at some simple rules.
When you are leaving a message you have a very short window of opportunity to capture the attention of the target. Remember that a significant portion of all voice mails are deleted in the first 20 seconds, your goal is to have the person you are trying to reach, call you back. Because 75% of all business phone call end up in voice mail, plan your message with the same care you give any business communication.
· Greet the person by name.
· Keep your message short, and tell them how long, but don’t rush it.
· Identify yourself and your company immediately after the greeting.
· Use a nicely paced, professional and courteous delivery
· Use exciting verbs that convey action.
· Use unusual combinations of words to surprise the listener.
· Talk about the person not about yourself.
· Leave a clear phone number with pauses between each section of the number and tell them you will repeat it before you begin.
· Invite them to the action of calling you back.
· Thank them and use their name.
Poor: “Give me a call, please.” Typical: "My telephone is 519-271-2450. I look forward to hearing from you". Hang-up
Better: "This is my call back number, I’ll repeat it twice. (Pause) 519-271-2450 (Pause) Extension 231. . (Pause) 519-271-2450 (Pause) Extension 231. I look forward to a scintillating conversation when you call back, thank you Paul. (Pause) Hang-up
Remember to plan your messages as carefully as you plan an advertising campaign and set aside time for a practice session to improve them. You will be viewed as a professional and your credibility will rise in quantum leaps, but best of all, you'll get more call backs.