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8 Things to Remember When Leaving a Voicemail Message

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By Brian Farris   |    May 11, 2021   |    3:48 PM

How to Leave the Perfect Professional Voicemail

Last time, we explained the ins and outs of recording the perfect voicemail greeting for your business. That post shared the essential elements that every professional voicemail greeting needs, plus three simple scripts you can use to record a greeting for your own business.

Now, let's review how to leave a voicemail message that will encourage people to call you back. 

Whether you’re leaving a message with a potential customer, trying to get in touch with a vendor, or attempting to reach a well-known expert in your industry, these tips will dramatically increase your chances of receiving a return call.

1. Always be prepared to leave a voicemail

Since so many calls that businesses and individuals receive go straight to voicemail (unless they have 24/7 phone answering, that is) it’s always a good idea to plan your message before picking up the phone.

Think about the purpose of your call, and try to narrow it down to one or two concise sentences. 

2. When it comes to voicemail messages, practice makes perfect

The thought of practicing leaving a voicemail might sound silly, but it’s a great way to prepare. This is especially true for anyone who gets nervous when leaving voicemails.

So, try recording a few practice voicemails before the real thing. You’ll get better with each try.

3. Keep your voicemail message short and sweet

If your message is long and rambling, the person you’re trying to reach won’t feel too compelled to return your call. Aim to keep your message between 20 to 30 seconds.

Plus, most voicemail systems have a time limit on the length of messages. Fortunately, if you followed the second tip, leaving a short voicemail should be a piece of cake.

4. Speak clearly and slowly when leaving a voicemail

With a time limit of 20 to 30 seconds, you might feel pressured to fit as many words as possible into your message. 

That would be a mistake, however.

If you’re someone who tends to speak quickly, be mindful of that tendency when leaving messages. Focus on making every word clear and easy to understand. This is especially important if you’re leaving a callback number.

5. Speak in your normal tone of voice

Many salespeople are taught that they need to sound excited and enthusiastic over the phone, but that’s not necessarily the best way to ensure a callback.

If you sound inauthentic, your caller will almost certainly pick up on it.

So, stick to your normal tone of voice. It will sound more genuine, more articulate, less “salesy,” and people will be more likely to return your voicemail.

6. Don’t forget to introduce yourself

Start every voicemail message with a short introduction that includes your full name and company name.

This one might seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget in the moment when you’re trying to keep your message short and sweet.

7. Follow-up with an email 

Sending a post-voicemail email is a great way to keep the conversation going. The person you’re calling can choose to call you back or respond to the email, whichever is most convenient.

Just make sure the caller knows you plan to send an email so they can look out for it in their inbox. A quick, “I’ll also be in touch via email” will do the trick.

8. Set clear expectations in your voicemail

Do you want a call back to discuss something specific? Would you like to continue an earlier conversation? Are you simply checking in?

Before you hang up the phone, your caller should understand what you want and why you’re calling. This way, expectations are clear and there’s no confusion about the next steps. With any luck, you’ll receive a call back in no time.

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Available at the App Store and Google Play Store

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