Skedsheet Blog

Where we talk about the product, calendars, organization, and business

5 tips for leaving a voicemail

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Old Bakelit phone by aussiegall - http://www.flickr.com/photos/aussiegall/279804967/We’ve been busy on the JobTracker side of things – new release, new pricing, and trying to do a better job of keeping in touch with existing customers.  The long and short of is that it’s tough to balance two development projects – especially one that brings home the bacon, and another that is a complete unknown.

As part of trying to keep in touch with customers, we’ve been working on our voicemail skills.  I get quite a few voicemails, and I’ve gotten the whole gamut of long, rambling, incomprehensible voicemails from people who haven’t identified themselves, mumbling phone numbers that I should call for unknown reasons.  Here are 5 tips to avoid that.

  1. Keep it short.  At best, you have 30 seconds to get your point across if you’re selling something.  In order to jam something useful into that short timeframe, I have to prepare by scripting out what I’m going to say.  Then, if you listen to the message you plan on leaving, you’ll find out if it’s possible to do it clearly within a short time frame.
  2. Say your full name, company, and phone number…twice.  Not everyone enunciates clearly, sometimes you talk too fast, and you might even have an accent that’s difficult for someone else to understand.  If you give your name, company, and number once at the beginning and again at the end of a voicemail, there’s a much better chance that the listener will understand.
  3. Cut out pleasantries.  Using phrases like “I just called…” only take time away from your valuable message. (well, unless “I just called” is followed by “to say I love you”).  In regular conversation, expressions like “hope you’re doing well” and “It was great meeting you” are nice, but they just extend the already painful experience of listening to a message.
  4. Be enthusiastic.  Sounding even slightly hesitant or preoccupied in a voicemail is even worse than in a regular phone conversation.  If you sound confused, you immediately lose credibility, and chances are that your voicemail will get deleted before you’ve had a chance to say anything useful.
  5. Don’t sell.  In the 30 seconds you have to get your point across, everything you say should have value to the person you’re leaving a message for.  They don’t care about my software, but they may care about solving their scheduling problems.

Example:  Hi Bob, This is Harry Hollander from Skedsheet at 650-242-4272.  When we met in line at the DMV last week, you sounded interested in getting rid of the spreadsheet and whiteboard you’re using to schedule your trucks now.  Please call me to discuss how we can help.  Again, my number is 650-242-4272.

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Written by Harry Hollander

May 21, 2009 at 5:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] move activities, I’ve accidentally erased parts, and since I like to doodle while I talk on the phone – it’s filled with little notes that are out of context or completely […]


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