Do you ever feel dread when you see you have 11 new messages on your phone? For the sake of full disclosure, my voicemail box is completely full and I have to talk to Sprint to gain access to my messages. However, first I thought it would be fun to write about voicemail, and fix my problem later. Do you wonder how people feel as they listen to your message? Between sales calls, networking, administrivia, meetings, meetings and more meetings, writing newsletters, and actually doing your work, it’s easy to forget about the power of your own phone messaging. Your voice mail messages (the ones you leave) create a chance for you to reach out and shine for those 30 seconds that someone is listening to your voice. Make it count!
13 Steps to More Powerful Voice Mail Messages:
1. Don’t tell all. If you want a call back, create some suspense, or hunger for what you need to tell them. Leverage the power of curiosity to motivate and make their day more interesting. By not leaving the whole story, you’re also keeping the message shorter, which is a sure path to popularity.
When I don’t follow this rule, I end up leaving epic-length messages and then add insult to injury by apologizing for running my mouth too much. Short is sweet but make sure your message as a hook in it.
2. Touch the person’s pain points. What pain does your service or product heal? Is it relationships, financial stress, boredom, insecurity? If you’ve met the person before, or if you’ve spoken to them on the phone, it’s really effective to address the person’s “issue” in her own words.
For example: Ms. Jones, this is Laura Camacho from Mixonian Institute at 843.882.5135. I’m calling to offer some solutions to make your next investors presentation a home run. I can help you feel more confident in your talk, and not second-guessing yourself as you mentioned when we last spoke.
….I can help you customize your key note speech to that new audience you told me about.
….I can show you how to talk about and promote your business in a way that feels comfortable to you, not like the used-car salesman you mentioned last week.
3. Tell them you are calling from corporate headquarters. (This is not my idea, but it’s a recommendation from noted voice coach, Susan Berkley.) If it’s appropriate, you can say you’re calling from corporate, which adds credibility, especially if your business is based at home.
Hello, this is Laura Camacho, from Mixonian Institute’s main office…it’s also the only office.
4. Leave your first and last name. Say it slowly and give a memory aid if possible.
This is Laura Camacho calling, Camacho as in “macho Camacho.” For some reason, this always gets a smile.
5. Cut out minimizers from your message. Minimizing words include “only, merely, just.” Women in particular tend to use these, as in “I’m just calling to remind you that….” All minimizers act to minimize the impact of your message. Don’t use them!
6. Don’t get transactional in the message. That means, don’t try to sell ANYTHING in a voice mail message. If you try to sell in your message, you are highly likely to cut off future opportunities to do business with this person. The only payoff you want right now is a call back, or inform them that you will be calling back.
7. Speak more slowly and clearly than you usually do. This is the exact opposite of what most people do, especially those who leave a lot of messages. Articulate more precisely, even if it feels like exaggeration.
8. Spell your name if it’s unusual or foreign. I spell C-a-m-a-c-h-o all the time, even though it seems to me to be a super easy name. It is, if you speak Spanish, but only a few of the people I deal with are multilingual. The good news is, an unusual name can make you stand out from the crowd. A friend named Tarsha always introduces herself as “Tarsha, it rhymes with Marsha.”
9. Mention a benefit that is contingent on speaking with you. Like this. This is Laura Camacho from Mixonian Institute. We’re introducing a new coaching program that is high-end luxury, but highly affordable for the first 10 people to sign up. To see if this might be a good fit for you, give me a ring at 843.882.5135. Thanks!
10. Speak with energy, enthusiasm and confidence. If you’re not standing, sit up straight in your chair and smile. Remember why you’re in this business in the first place. Smile.
11. Leave your phone number twice. Say it at the beginning and at the end of your message. Slowly and clearly.
12. Call again with some useful information. No matter how great and compelling your first message, some people are not going to call you back yet. So call them again, keeping it light and using all these tips….again. But add some additional, juicy tidbit. It can take 4 or 5 or 7 phone calls to get an appointment. Don’t get discouraged!
13. If you’re ready to give up, leave a last message. Tell the person you’re ready to “close their file.” This often gets someone moving. No one wants to have another person close their file.
Got your own voice mail magic? Share by leaving a comment below.