How to leave a voicemail

Mar 6, 2013 | Business

I’m sure folks find it just as frustrating as I do to get a message that’s “Hi, it’s Bob, call me back.“. I just got one yesterday that was exactly that. Most likely, if you leave me a message like that, you’re going to end up at the bottom of my call-back list.

I leave a lot of voicemail every day (Over 50/month), and I get quite a bit, too. I respect my customers’ time, my time, and I want my messages to be effective. Here’s what I’ve found works well, for me.

  1. Identify yourself
  2. (Optional) If there’s no need to call back, say it.
  3. Leave a specific message with the action you want them to take.
  4. Leave your name & number, twice

Identify yourself

“Hi, this is Harry Hollander from Moraware.” First, I identify myself. It’s pretty common for me to get incoming prospecting calls where the salesperson doesn’t even say who they are. That immediately puts me on the defensive, and makes me not trust them.

And, even though I’ve got a relatively unusual name, I always give the whole thing and my company. Since we’re all busy, it saves us all time to know. If your first name is pretty popular, it’s even more important. Just among our customers, there are 51 Johns, 40 Mikes, and 32 Dans.

Do you need a response?

There’s no need to call me back.” If you’re lucky enough to be calling someone just to check in or there’s no immediate action required, it’s great for everyone to let them off the hook early. This is all about respecting the time of the other person.

Specific message with action

I’m calling to schedule a 10-minute online demo of CounterGo. Please let me know when’s good for you. I’m available this afternoon after 2pm.” It’s really important to keep the message short and specific. This is the part where many messages I get fall apart.

Mostly, they’re really vague – “Call me back, I need to talk about something“. Occasionally, they’re misleading. For example, a sales call where they say “I’m calling to verify some information“. And every so often, people actually think that a voicemail message is a conversation and they’re telling a long, rambling story.

I like to keep the messages tight by practicing a handful of phrases that I repeat – this covers 80% of the situations when I’m leaving voicemail.

Leave your name & number, twice

Thanks, that’s Harry Hollander at Moraware, 866-312-9273 x802. Again, Harry from Moraware 866-312-9273 x802.” Some people prefer to leave the phone number at the beginning, and although I tried it for a while, I found that as a listener, I’m not ready to write down a number until the end of the message.

And twice is important. Even though we have caller ID, and a database of all of our customers and prospects, there are lots of situations where I need the callback number. If you’re calling from the office, but you want me to call your cell. Or, if you have a direct extension, that doesn’t show up automatically.

That’s my basic framework for leaving a voicemail message. I hope it works for you, too.

Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. CounterGo is countertop drawing and estimating software. JobTracker is scheduling software that helps you eliminate the time you waste looking for job folders. RemnantSwap is a free place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you.