There is nothing worse than receiving a long rambling voicemail message, especially if it’s a cold call. It makes the caller sound unprepared, less knowledgeable and rarely makes you want to pick up the phone and call them back. So how can you leave a message that will earn you a returned call?
Be succinct. Don’t ramble on and on about why you are calling. The goal is to get this person to call you back, not to have the conversation you called about on their voicemail.
As a pilot, I’ve had to learn to make brief radio calls. Flying in and around Atlanta’s airspace makes for fairly congested radio waves. The goal is to efficiently make your request and get off the radio. Pilots are taught to state three things when making a radio call:
- Who you are.
- Where you are.
- What you want.
For a voicemail message, it can be condensed to 1 and 3, making it a brief two step process. To entice the person you’re calling a little more, you can add a third “extra” benefit to the tail end of your voicemail message:
“Hey Jim, this is Todd Middlebrooks following up about the quote I sent you earlier in the week. Please give me a call back at your earliest convenience. I have a few bonus items that I can throw in that may help you make a decision.”
Most importantly, have a plan. People are busy nowadays. It is likely that you will be leaving quite a few voicemails throughout the average day. Plan your message in advance, just in case the recipient of your call is unavailable. That way you’re not stumbling through the message and filling dead air with “umms” and “ahhhs.”