Business Etiquette: What You Say On Voice Mail

Treat voice mail the same way you would a letter or an email

Voice mail is old technology, but it continues to be a powerful productivity tool—if you do it right.

Doing it right means leaving a message, not simply leaving your name and asking the person to call back. Doing it right means stating your phone number slowly and distinctly at the beginning and end of the call. Bear in mind that the person you’re calling may be in some out-of-the-way place and not have immediate access to your number.

Doing it right means using a script when you’re leaving an important message. Doing it right means never leaving a voice mail message when you’re upset and out of control. Doing it right means asking the person you call to acknowledge that they received your message. You may sit around waiting for a return call from someone who never received your message or accidentally erased it.

Voice mail is particularly useful when you simply want to leave information. Sometimes it makes sense to call when you know you will get voice main and you don’t have time for a real-time conversation.

Here’s a novel way to use emails.  An engineer at a big manufacturing plant reported that he forwards voice messages from sales people in the field and from customers to engineers who are working on products. This way the engineers get to hear messages directly from people who are selling or using their products.

You can also use voice mail for memos and reminders to yourself. Let’s say you have a good idea, but you’re not in a place where you can write it down. Call yourself and leave the idea on voice mail. You or your assistant (if you have one) can transcribe it later.

An excerpt from “99 Ways To Get More Out Of Every Day” by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.    To purchase this title as a Kindle edition for the promotional price of $4.95 use this link:

Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and communication strategist. His book “TheWords Lincoln Lived By” is in its 23rd printing and “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” is in its 43rd printing. His training video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions and annual meetings all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, call 404-435-2225. Learn more at Atlanta Speakers Bureau or at his website. His latest book “Lincoln and Obama” has just been released by Audible.
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