Making it easier to do great work. Hacking all things stupid.

Lost Art: How to Give Good Voicemail

Yes, it STILL matters!

The most precious asset people have is their time!

99.999% of all voicemails should not exceed 30 seconds in length.
Under 20 seconds is preferable. The key is in knowing how to use that time.
Those who do know how, get their messages heard, returned, and acted upon.
Those who don’t… D E L E T E! That’s why this is still so important.

Hardly anyone answers their phone anymore. Always assume that you will automatically go into voicemail.
If you begin with that assumption, three things have already happened:
• You will be thinking about your message before the b-e-e-p
• You are ahead of more than half of all message-leavers, who scramble at
the b-e-e-p, searching for the right words
• If someone does pick up, you’ll sound amazingly focused and articulate

Remember three words:
• Know
• Feel
• Do

“Hello, Joe. Here’s the one thing I want you to know.”
Maybe not phrased that way…But because nobody has time to listen for more than one — maybe two — points in a voicemail. So know that one point you
want them to know before you dial.

Your tone of voice often
impacts when, or if, your call gets returned.
Depending on circumstances, three tones-of-voice create the fastest replies:
• High energy [ + ]
Messages that ooooze endorphins and adrenaline
• Happiness [ + ]
Tip from acting coaches: Smile when leaving a message.
The tone of your voice will change!
• Frustration or feigned helplessness [ – ]
If you want immediate corrective action or you’re going for the sympathy vote, (“Hellllllllp!”), a tone of concern works wonders.
(If frustrated, be firm but polite. Never angry.)

“Joe, here’s what I need
you to do.” Short. Clear. Two to three sentences, maximum.

The best close is almost
always heartfelt appreciation.
“Thank you”… “You’re da best”… “Love ya”… “I really appreciate you doing this”…

Time commitment for Steps 1 through 3:
Maximum: 30 seconds

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