View Full Version : Voicemail Tips

01-17-2007, 12:33 PM
Not really knife related, but is, still - in a way.............Do you, as I do, ever wonder what to say when a "machine" answers?
The following article might be of interest to any knife enthusiast, since we're always calling someone, sometimes getting the "machine:"

(Just a note regarding Email: Just my opinion --------- Why do we use the smallest font in the world for our email messages? Some of us guys are getting so old we have to enlarge the text in order to read it!)

The Art of the Perfect Voicemail
by Jim Citrin
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

In the age of email, there are still times when you need to let your voice do the talking. You may be initiating contact with a prospective client, soliciting advice on an important project, or trying to secure an interview for a job.

In these cases and many others, your initial outreach will inevitably require you to leave a voicemail. What you say and how you say it will, in large measure, lead the listener to decide in a split second whether or not to return your call.

Six Tips for Effective Voicemails

Sometimes leadership and performance has to do with broad notions and momentous issues. But sometimes it's about the granular and the practical. Since it will determine whether or not you make progress on an important task, the art of leaving an effective voicemail is very much a case in point.

Here are six tips to keep in mind when leaving voicemail:

? Be clear about the goal of the message.

Don't try to do it all -- close a sale or get the job. The objective of the message should be to get your call returned.

? Be authoritative yet upbeat in your tone.

Your communication sends a clear signal about who you are and how important you are. You need to portray a sense of confidence, authority, and respect.

People also respond better to an energetic, positive-sounding person than to a bore. But at all costs, avoid being obsequious -- there's nothing more annoying.

? Find a bridge to the person you're calling.

People feel comfortable if there's a familiar connection from them to you. This can be someone who suggested you call, a mutual acquaintance, a shared affiliation with an organization (such as your alma mater), a hometown, or any number of things. Do your homework and be creative in finding a link.

? Be brief.

Everyone's busy, so keep your message short. Your listener will resent it if the voicemail's recorded announcement says, "New message received at 7:45 p.m.; five minutes."

? Be specific in your request.

People are much more likely to get back to you when they know that the conversation will be confined to a clear topic.

Request an answer to a specific question with the promise of a well-defined timeframe, rather than introducing an open-ended issue that the caller may fear will turn into a black-hole conversation.

? Leave your contact information slowly and clearly.

This sounds painfully obvious, 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.