Is Your Voicemail Personally Branded?

Phone

 
With all the various ways that we can now get in touch with someone it is easy to forget that we still value personal connection. In many cases that initial personal reaching out might be voicemail.

So how much time have you spent thinking about the impression you leave someone with your voicemail? And not just the voicemail I would get if I called you, but also the voicemails you leave for someone else.

Take a few minutes to craft a personally branded voicemail that reflects how you deal with people and react to their requests. If you pride yourself in getting back to people the same day, say so on your message - but make sure you deliver on it. If your reaction time is longer do not say something like "Today is November 24th" - and its now January!

Consider also what you say on someone elses voicemail, especially if this is the first time you are connecting. Very often we make the call expecting to speak to the person and 9 times out of 10 it's voicemail - all of a sudden we struggle with leaving a clear, concise message that says to the other person - wow they are on the ball, I should get back to them. A little preparation will not hurt.

This is the voicemail you will get if you contact a PR expert, Peter Shankman. He is very clear about the fact that he would prefer you not to leave a message and try any other way to get hold of him (but apparently he also deletes badly constructed e-mails too!).

"Listen to this message. Do not leave me a voice mail. TEXT ME. Email me. Do anything else before you leave me a voice mail. Unless I'm on a plane, I promise to return your text in mere minutes, if not seconds. But if you leave me a voice mail, you're looking at a few days, perhaps a week."

What does your voicemail say - tell me in the comments section of this post.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Paul, this article is perfect timing
    I rarely take live calls coming through and don’t enjoy having to return calls after voicemail messages. so am increasingly getting frustrated/overwhelmed with the backlog of messages to return
    But I reply to emails and text pretty quickly anytime of day / night because of my (rather sad) blackberry addiction!
    So what you’re saying is I should do what works best for me and my brand so that I can do what I do best in my style and better placed to serve clients by educating/directing callers accordingly
    thanks for sharing!

  • Dear Paul:
    Good article. I fully agree with you. Before dialing, since your chances of reaching the person live is minimal, assume you will be getting a voice mail message.
    Make a bulletted list of the points you want to make: First state your name clearly, your phone number, the time of your call , the reason for your call, details of what you need in a reply and when you can be reached live; or suggest a reply by email and include your email addresss and repeat your phone number. And … no bye bye, unprofessional ending.
    Best,
    Diane Craig
    Corporate Class Inc

  • Bob Douglas

    Hi Paul…. I do my voicemail like this.
    “Thanks for calling Scotiabank in Stoney Creek. You have reached Bob Douglas on Tuesday November 24th. Sorry I missed your call. At the tone please leave a message and I’ll call you back as soon as I can. If your call is urgent please press zero and ask for assistance. Thanks for calling, and make this an excellent day!”

  • Maggie

    Good Morning Paul,
    Voice mail etiquette, gotta luv it!
    It’s not what you say, but HOW you say it. Stand up when recording your own message…the difference will be in the quality of your voice. When your throat is “scrunched” over the keyboard, your voice does not carry as well as when you are standing and straight. Practice sounding “friendly” and “professional”.
    Change it up… I always get comments about how interesting my messages are. For example, every Tuesday I remind callers that’s “this is the MOST productive day of the week”.
    I’m in the “people” business of training, coaching and facilitating, so personal contact is my preferred method. Makes sense to extend my brand using “voice” as a tool.
    All the best,
    Maggie Chicoine
    800 587 1767
    807 939 3000 local
    BTW, always include your phone number with area code in your emails!

  • Maggie –
    thanks for this, great tips. I knew a colleague who conducted all his phone
    calls standing up! – Paul