How to Leave a Voice Mail Message Everyone Enjoys Hearing
It’s a joy to be with you today! Thank you for the kind e-mails of congratulations on the blog’s debut Monday! It really was a day of celebrating at the McKee home! Thank you again, and by the way, welcome to Post #2! Come on in and make yourself comfy!
Today is Reader Q&A day and our question is about leaving voice mail messages. Funny, the majority of us have more than one phone now, but we’re all harder to reach than ever. Whether you’re calling someone on a cell or land line, phone statistics show that you’re going to reach that person’s voice mail five out of every six times! Wow–so much for, “Let’s talk soon!”
Anyone who knows me knows I can hold a conversation. I love people and my desire to share with them carries over to leaving cell phone messages. Sadly, I know better and have no excuse, but I tend to chatter on and on and on. The other day, I was leaving a message and the voice mail message cut me off. It seems I extended my 45 seconds of allotted time. No, I didn’t call back. I figured they got the gist of the message, so I left the ball in their court.
Here’s a portion of one reader’s letter; see if you relate:
Thanks for all the great advice! Sometimes I’m good at leaving a voice mail that’s to the point, but most of the time I feel like I’m a babbling idiot. I never know how much information to leave. How much is too much? How much isn’t enough, especially in a professional voice mail? I would love to know your thoughts on this. Best wishes for a wonderful week!
“Babbling idiot” when leaving a voice mail message I bet you’re not, but I understand and share your fear! Here are the best tips to help you leave a voice mail message that’s friendly, gets the needed information across, and ends before the dreaded “time’s up” beep!
- Since you’re more likely than not to reach the voice mail service, have in the back of your mind what message you’ll leave before you dial.
- A gracious phone message is 30 seconds when talking to those we don’t know well.
- First, say your name and then, if the person you’re calling doesn’t have your phone number already programmed into their phone, computer database, etc, say your phone number twice at the beginning of the message. People will love you for doing this! Why? How many times have you had to listen through a lengthy phone message a couple of times because the person said their phone number at the end of the message as fast as Superman leaps tall buildings? The first time you say your number, talk slowly like you were writing it down yourself. The second time, you can say it at your normal rate of speech. Then, if you want, just for good measure, at the end of your message, say your number one more time, “…my number again is 407.894.1214.”
- Keep your message to two points. If you need to share more information, then say in your voice mail that you’re going to send them an e-mail message with the rest of the details.
- If you’re calling a home and know the family, it’s nice to say “Hi” to each of them before leaving a message just for the person you called: “Hi everyone, it’s Maralee. Hope you’re enjoying Spring Break week. Janet, I wanted to see if you and I could possible meet for lunch one day this week. My schedule is pretty open, and we could meet near your office, because I know your lunch schedules are tight. I’ll give you a call back at 7:00 tonight, or I’m around all afternoon, so just give me a call!”
- Don’t miss the opportunity to leave a message. There’s nothing more frustrating than listening to a voice mail that basically says, “Hi, it’s me. Call me!” Even if you’re just calling to say “Hi!”, then make that your phone message. “Hi, Barbara! It’s Maralee! I haven’t heard your voice in so long that I just wanted to touch base and say ‘Hi!’ I’ll give you a call tonight at 7:00 our time. Hopefully we can chat then. Stay warm in Michigan. I heard about the storms.”
- End on a high note! You don’t necessarily need to say “Goodbye” at the end of a voice mail, because you didn’t really talk to anyone. Instead, try something like, “Look forward to hearing from you!”
These skills help you stay on point with a focus on gracious encounters! There will be much more about this in my book Personal Polish. Have a voice mail story to share or a question to ask? I love hearing from you. Contact me here at Maralee@MannersMentorBlog.com.
Join me Friday! I have a fun and savvy Quick Tip to share and a great new website that I stumbled upon last week. If you’re like me and feel you have a child (or two, in my case!) who could be a little more help around the house without having to be asked (one million times!), this will help us handle the situation with fun and ease! It’s a free service that works for all ages, Pre-K through teen!
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