Leaving a voicemail… we’ve all done this a million times. How hard could it be, right?
As simple as a voicemail is to leave, it’s just as easy to overlook the fact that as a job seeker or young professional, your voicemails represent you as part of your personal brand.
It’s awful in that especially frustrating way to receive a voicemail from someone who’s name you can’t understand, and whose number or purpose for calling is entirely unclear.
But many of us fall prey to leaving garbled unintelligible voicemails. Sometimes a message is urgent, and we assume the recipient will understand the context of the situation (they often won’t). Or sometimes we forget why we called mid-recording and talk faster to make up for our error.
Growing up, I often helped my mom leave appointment reminder voicemails for her patients. She gave me a script so I could learn the correct way to leave a message.
So gather round, my friends, and listen up– because these 5 components to a perfect business voicemail will get you more callbacks than you ever dreamed.
1. Clearly State Your First and Last Name
Especially if your name is common, please please get in the habit of saying your first AND your last name! Some people don’t remember who you are if you say “It’s Jess.” Yes, it feels awkward at first. Once you repeat it enough times, you’ll get the hang of it.
2. State the Name of Your Company or Organization (or How You’re Acquainted)
Add context for your listener right up front about who you are. If your full name wasn’t enough of a trigger, saying where you are calling from is a 95% surefire way of making sure someone knows why you called.
3. List the Best Contact Number for You
Before you even say why you called, list the number at which your listener should call you back. Just in case they didn’t have a pen handy the first time they listened to your message, it will be a godsend for them to listen to the message again and have the number right at the beginning.
4. Briefly Explain Why You Are Calling and if/why They Need to Call Back
There are two keys to the explanation: keep it short (no run-on sentences allowed!) and include a few specific words that explain why your listener should call you back. Examples include, “I’m returning your call about the sausage bill that is due tomorrow – can you give me a quick call back?” or “I have a few questions about the schedule for the dog show this weekend. If you need our help finalizing the order of events, give me a call.”
5. Repeat Your First Name and Number
Just in case your phone has bad service, or your listener has bad hearing, or the phone got dropped… Repeat your first name, so that your listener can call back and ask for you, and repeat your number. This is super helpful if someone picks up a pen during the message to write down your number.
Here’s an example message – feel free to tweak for your needs:
“Good morning. This is Leslie Zaikis calling from your dentist, Dr. Aiken’s office. 617.426.XXXX. I’d like to remind you of your appointment this Friday at 3:00 pm. If you need directions to the office, please let us know. Again, this is Leslie and you can reach me at 617.426.XXXX with any questions. Enjoy your day!”
And voila! Perfect, professional voicemail. Done and done.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Levo League!
About the Author: Leslie Zaikis is the Post-it loving Director of Brand Engagement at Levo League. Before joining the Levo dream team, she was a management consultant in Washington DC. In her free time, you can find her taking personality assessments, debating politics, or cheering on the University of Michigan. Follow Leslie on Twitter!