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Have you honed your expertise at “elevator pitches”? That is, the brief sales pitch to impacting executives or possible prospects that could be crucial to your business?

Voicemails are comparable types of pitches worth becoming skilled. A voicemail always makes or breaks your business. It could just mean you have a companion for a weekend game of tennis. Nonetheless, you want to someone call you back. And that’s why, as an entrepreneur utilizing small business resources, it is beneficial that you make the most of voicemails – both in those you leave with individuals and in your voicemail greetings to inbound callers.

Below are 10 techniques to make your voicemails more efficient and, in the end, more constructive to your business.

We will start with tips on what to do when leaving a voice message:

  1. 1. Get to the reason of your call. In this day and age, business professionals cannot waste a lot of time for chit-chat. Rather, when leaving a voicemail, make it simple and to the point why you are calling. Are you calling to give and update, or are you calling to return a call? Leave the voice mail accordingly, so they know why they need or should return your call.
  1. 2. Put contact information early on as well. It’s happened to most of us, you go to listen to a voicemail only to have it cut off before you get to hear the person’s call back information. However, you can minimize the risk of this by leaving your call back information at the beginning of the voice mail.
  1. 3. Don’t repeat what the system already knows. Newer voicemail systems will automatically record the date and time of the phone call. Never waste your time by repeating those in your message. Also, do not repeat your phone number more than one time. If the person missed the information, all they have to do is rewind or replay the message.
  1. 4. Get to know the person the person you are calling. If you know that the person is constantly being bombarded with voicemails and calls. One or two voicemails will do the job. Try not to leave too many, as this will become a burden to them.
  1. 5. Avoid leaving messages about multiple topics. Trying to cover a variety of issues in one voice mail is nearly impossible. Instead, them up into separate voicemails or, even better, opt for e-mail to do as a job as possible, covering every topic of importance.

Now, here are tips for your recorded voicemail greetings.

  1. 1. Think about changing your greeting every day. This is especially important if you keep in touch with people who need to know when you are available and when you are not. Few things create a more unfavorable impression than an out-of-date greeting.
  1. 2. Offer specifics. A caller who hears that you are out of the office or away from your desk was probably able to figure that out on their own – after all, you’re not answering the phone, are you? As an alternative offer specific, beneficial information, such as dates and times when you will be back or when you may be reached if the caller wants to try to you again.

  1. 3. Promote detailed messages. Ever get a voicemail saying that someone has important new information, and to get back with them immediately? That isn’t exceedingly detailed – and may not be helpful to you either. In your outgoing message, inform callers to leave as many details as they think are needed so that you can get back to them with all the needed information. This will reduce the amount of phone calls that you and the other party will need to make in order to trade crucial pieces of information.

  1. 4. Use comedy and unusual material with caution. As a guideline, it’s good to make your outgoing message distinctive or notable in its own way. But don’t go over the top with risqué jokes or other information that may cross the line in some way. While some callers may find that amusing and intelligent, just as many may be setback by something they feel is in bad taste.

  1. 5. Always overview your outgoing message! One common flaw that can lead to powerless outgoing messages is a failure to actually listen to what you have just recorded. Every time you change your message, take a minute or two to review it. Do you sound spirited or uninterested? Do you include all the information that you feel you needed to and in the most efficient order possible? If you’re not fully satisfied, don’t be shy about re-recording your message. If required, record it a number of times until what you have on tape is the message you want to pass on to whoever may be calling. That sort of attention to detail can make a great difference, especially with first-time callers.

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