The other day, I was checking my phone messages. I couldn’t believe the number of people who breeze past basic techniques when leaving a voice mail. As I went through several messages, I quickly could tell the difference between people who understand these techniques and those who don’t. Here’s what I mean:

1. SLOW DOWN. I realize some people get nervous when leaving a message, and therefore they tend to speed up their voice. Problem is that the person checking messages will have to replay such messages over and over again just to jot down the important info. Take a deep breath and slow down. Not rushing also ensures the listener can hear clear pronunciation of your name, your company, your phone number, etc.

2. DON’T RAMBLE. Speak with confidence and authenticity, but stick to what’s most important.

3. BE COMPLIMENTARY. “I was on your website the other day and saw the great work your company is doing with…” Again, remember rule 2, though, and don’t ramble.

4. REPEAT YOUR NAME AND PHONE NUMBER. Say your name and phone number at the beginning, without rushing. Repeat this same info at the end of the call. If you want the person to call you back, they need your name and phone number.

The above seem pretty basic, don’t they? Yet, many phone messages we receive (and probably a few we leave) wouldn’t meet these “basic” guidelines. The last thing you want to do is aggravate the person your calling. Their time is precious and you need to do all you can to ensure they can listen to your message ONCE and get all they need to call you back.

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