I’ve had at least four phone messages today where the caller has left a message and wasn’t clear on their phone number.  Have you ever received these?  How are you expected to call back when you don’t know the number?  I know, I know…Caller ID.  Let’s get one thing straight, if you want a call back, you need to employ Best Practices on leaving a message.  Here are a few of them…

  1. Speak slowly.  Unless you’re a teenage girl, you don’t have to speak at the speed of light.  Be clear and speak at a rate that a normal adult human can listen to.
  2. Leave your number twice.  Leave your number twice.  See how easy it is?  Don’t anticipate that your recipient is waiting with pen perched in hand to scribble down your number.  Leave your number twice and remember rule one above.
  3. Leave your name at the end as well as the beginning.  Spell your last name if this is someone who doesn’t know you.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had bad reception and couldn’t hear the name the first time.
  4. Don’t assume your recipient recognizes your voice.  Enough said on that.
  5. Be brief.  Seriously.  There is nothing as bad as listening to a 7 minute voice mail.  Just ask that the person calls you back.

Part of being a great communicator is being able to leave a message that is clear, concise, and able to be returned.  Make sure yours are.


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