How to Avoid the 6 Worst Voice Mail Mistakes

Some voice mail messages are almost unbelievable.

You may have received some of these unbelievable messages; like the person who is eating while leaving the message. Or someone who is chewing gum.  Not sure which is worse.

Then, one of the worst: A sales rep making a cold call who actually yawned while reading (yes, reading) his voice mail message.  True.

This voice mail message was so unbelievable I played it over and over again to make sure he really was yawning. He was.

Six more voice mail mistakes.

  1. Leaving only a name and number for a call back. Some may think that not leaving a company name is an attention getter. But if the prospect returns the call and realizes it is a salesperson trying to sell something, this tactic will leave a negative impression. There goes that first impression :( When leaving a message on voice mail, be sure it offers a hint of a benefit/result that sparks curiosity, but does not talk about your products or services.
  2. Saying “I’m calling to introduce myself.” They don’t care and don’t have time to be introduced to every Mary, Kevin and George who calls.
  3. Making the call all about YOUR products and services. Self-serving voice mail messages do not work.  Prospects want to hear how they may benefit by calling you back.
  4. Leaving a message lasting longer than 30 seconds. Most busy executives will listen only to the first two sentences before they erase you. They have their finger hovering over the delete key as they listen to voice mail messages.
  5. Using filler words like “um” and “uh.” In addition to sounding unprofessional, filler words detract from your message.
  6. Making a call without a written plan for what you will say if you reach voice mail.  A little preparation can lead to being heard and getting results. You dramatically increase the likelihood that your calls will get returned when you leave a concise, rehearsed message with a bright and energetic voice. Think about the point you want to make and write a few key words. Limit the points to one or two per message.

Don’t Get Deleted

The best way to actually get a call back (and not annoy the person you are calling) is to clearly state your telephone number right after your name and company name at the beginning of your message. Then leave a brief message and at the end of your message, state your telephone number and extension number again – clearly. Most busy executives will listen only to the first two sentences before they delete you.

Did you know there are four compelling ways to motivate prospects to return your calls? You will learn how in my e-book Voice Mail Tips and Scripts.

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