A powerful voicemail message can make a positive impression on callers or immediately alienate them. Have you ever listened to an outgoing voicemail message and thought, “Wow, he/she sounds really tired, sad, overly chipper (you fill in the blank)?” The tone of your message reflects on how others perceive your personal brand. Their perception of you is their reality of you.
Every detail matters as it relates to your personal brand or image. Yes… even your outgoing voicemail message. Think of your image as a car. The base model gets you where you want to go. The luxury model gets you there as well AND has the finishing touches that make it stand out from the rest.
Here are some tips to polish the fine detail of your outgoing message and make YOU stand out;
- Silence– Record your message in a quiet, well insulated location (I do mine in the closet). Background noise and echo are distracting. A quiet background will create the image of a message recorded with intention and professionalism, not running on the go. Exception: If you own a spa (or such) you might consider some quiet background music to add to the mood.
- Smile– When people hear a smile in your voice it makes them smile. My son is a voiceover actor and when he smiles as he says his lines it creates a sound and mood of happiness. Service with a smile makes your clients feel like they matter.
- Be YOU– (when you’re in a good mood)- Avoid recording your message when you’re sad or tired. It comes through your voice. Being overly cheerful comes across as insincere. Open and close your message with something you’d authentically say in greeting/parting. Recently my mother told me my message was too syrupy. Apparently I had tried to sound happy on a not-so-happy day. I changed it right away.
- Upbeat– Keep your message upbeat. NEVER apologize by saying, “I’m sorry I’m not able to take your call.” Instead let them know you’re unavailable and will be happy to return their call as soon as you’re able.
- Brief– Get right to the point. Keep your message short and to the point. It conveys that you value your caller’s time. Lengthly outgoing messages drone on and on and people will tune you out.
- Identify– First time callers will not know your voice yet. Be sure to open by identifying your name and company name.
- Question– Let your caller know what information you need from them. Although it may seem obvious, ask for their name and number (some people actually need that reminder :)). If you need additional information like their client or order number be sure to ask for it.
- Rehearse– Being clear about what you want to say and saying it with ease are two different things. Taking a few minutes to identify what you want to convey and practicing it shows polish.
- Update– Changing your message frequently keeps it sounding fresh and current. Also, remember to update your message when you return from being out of the office.
Here’s an example of mine: (smiling) Hi there! This is JuliAnn Stitick with Your Success Style. I’m not able to take your call, but will be happy to return it. Please leave your name, number and best time to reach you and I’ll be in touch as soon as possible. Have a great day.
Listen to your existing message. I mean REALLY listen to it. Is it time to change it?