Yo, Yo, Yo, It’s me. What up, yo. Hit me. Peace.”
“Jeez. Do you ever answer your phone? This is the third message this week.”
“Hello! Congratulations! (Chew, chew.) This is your lucky day. You’re our ten million dollar winner!!! Call me back. (Slurp.)”
Do you get mysterious voicemail messages? Half-finished soliloquies from strangers that make you want to scream? Even a polite, well-worded message like:”This is John Smith. I am calling for Sue Jones. Reach me at 215-555-1234,” fails when accompanied by a soundtrack of barking dogs or wailing toddlers.
Though emails and texting are useful, sometimes only a phone call will do. And you need to “edit” your voice messages just as carefully as you would a text or email. You need to leave a good voicemail message that gives the right impression.
That’s because phone calls often go straight into voicemail, and if you aren’t prepared you’ll be caught off guard and leave a garbled or incomplete message. These mindless messages are not only annoying; they confuse recipients, waste time and make a caller look (and sound) bad.
To avoid this, you need to have a strategy for voicemails. You need to think through your voice message – and edit it in advance. You vastly improve your odds of getting a callback if you are prepared to leave a succinct message that includes all the reasons for your call. Here are some voicemail tips on getting callbacks:
DO find a quiet spot so that background noise won’t drown out your voice.
DON’T punch in the number until you know what you will say if you get voicemail.
DO speak slowly and clearly.
DO spell your name if it is unusual or long.
DON’T put anything in your mouth during the call.
DO leave your phone number twice, at the beginning and the end.
DO state what you need, why you need it and by when.
So next time you call a business contact and get their machine, make sure you leave a good voicemail message like this one: “Hi, this is Judy Norkin from Hollister Creative. My number is 484-829-0021. I’m calling you to get information for an article in the company newsletter. I want to ask you about the successful program you ran earlier this month. To meet the newsletter deadline, I need to speak with you by Friday. Please call me back. Again, this Judy Norkin from Hollister Creative, 484-829-0021.”
“Weird Al” Yankovic is … well … weird. But these real voice mails he left for his drummer Bermuda Schwartz will make you remember what NEVER to do.
Need help with writing or editing content for your website, blog, email newsletter or brochure? Call Kim Landry at 484-829-0021 or email [email protected].