Voicemail Etiquette

7 Tips to Generate Callbacks

Posted by Liz Taylor Mar 26, 2014

If you are like me and need to actively prospect for business, voicemails are a necessary part of the process. A good voicemail should be like a cliffhanger in a movie – it gets people to call you back. Here are my top voicemail tips to ensure that you’re projecting the right image:

  1. Keep it under 30 seconds. If you can’t say it briefly, don’t say it at all. Voicemail is not story time so keep it to one topic.
  2. Don’t be spontaneous. Think through (or write down) what you want to say prior to leaving a message to avoid “ums”, repetitive details and a lack of purpose. Be prepared to include the reason for your call, the problem your prospect or customer is dealing with and why they need to call you back.
  3. Check your tone. It’s not just what you say; it’s how you say it. As silly as it sounds, smile while you are talking. Leave yourself a message and listen carefully to how you sound. Are you bored or upbeat? Make adjustments if needed.  
  4. Don’t repeat what the system already knows. Voicemail systems today record the date and time of incoming calls so there is no need to mention it. Unlike what you’ve learned in the past, there is no need to say your phone number twice. If someone wants to call you back, they can easily rewind your message or simply read your number off their phone system or cell phone.
  5. Know your audience. Does the person you are working with prefer email to a phone call? Find out and communicate accordingly as some people loathe voicemail.
  6. Pick up the handset. Never leave a voicemail message for someone while you're speaking through a speakerphone.
  7. Thank you. Always end your voicemail cordially with something like, “Thank you and have a great afternoon.”

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Testimonials

“How refreshing and timely. From the texting generation to the baby boomers—the art of etiquette is sadly disappearing. Whether you just need a touch-up or a full immersion, Liz, is the person to teach you the skills to appear confident, elegant and professional in any business situation. Her energetic and engaging style will make this one of the most enjoyable seminars you have ever taken! Liz is awesome!”

—Chuck Bokar, Principal, Design Resource Center

“Absolutely superb! Liz has an amazing knack for presenting her concepts in a thought-provoking and clear style. Her ideas and suggestions would enhance anyone's ability to bridge the gap between business and etiquette. She clearly has a deep understanding of not only the topic, but the thought processes that go into creating better interpersonal relationships out of socially awkward situations. I highly recommend her and her coursework...she will help your business!”

—Brad Guck, District Manager, Administaff

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—Betsy Hamlett, Director of Sales for Kenra, Ltd.

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