Voicemail dos and don'ts

Voicemail dos and don'ts

Efficient and effective communication with clients and prospects is crucial. One place where many of us drop the ball is when leaving a voicemail. Seems simple, but many of us do it badly. And that’s deadly because it may mean the person doesn’t call you back promptly — if at all.

Author and Yahoo! Finance columnist Jim Citrin recently offered some tips on how to leave the perfect voicemail message. Among his advice:

  • Be brief
  • Be specific. Confine your message to a specific topic.

And most important (to me at least)

  • Leave your contact information slowly and clearly.

“This sounds painfully obvious,” Citrin added, “but you’d be surprised by how many people rush through their phone number and email address so fast that you have to replay the message three times before you can understand them.” (Grrrr, don’t you hate that?)

I always (OK, I try to remember to) leave my name and number once at the very beginning of my message, then again twice (slowly) at the end. You may feel like an idiot saying it so s-l-o-w-l-y, but it might still be too fast for the busy person who’s listening while driving, scrambling to find a pen and paper, or in a noisy office.

Repeating the number is especially important if you’re calling to or from a cell phone, which is subject to frequent static and dropouts. By leaving it twice at the end, you’ll often save them the trouble of listening to the message again.

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