Whether making professional calls to colleagues or calling friends and family during the holiday season, chances are many of your phone calls end with leaving a voicemail. It is becoming more and more common for people to allow their voicemail to act as their personal secretary, screening their incoming calls and returning only those they feel are a priority for them. This means that learning to create a strong, effective voicemail is an increasingly vital step in making day-to-day professional and personal connections.
The two key words that describe an effective voicemail are “succinct” and “specific”. Most people view sifting through voicemails as a chore to be accomplished as quickly as possible. Therefore, voicemails that drag on for several minutes are especially irritating and will negatively color the recipient’s view of the caller. If at all possible, keep your message under 30 seconds. This timeframe may seem short, but if you craft your message well, it is more than enough. Before you pick up the phone, think through what it is you want to say and decide what the most important points are. This will help prevent you from rambling through a message, as well as help to eliminate unnecessary, unprofessional fillers such as “umm” and “uhh”. The shorter and more concise your message is, the likelier it is to receive a favorable response.
Check in with us again next week for part two of this series: The Four Parts of a Perfect Voicemail.