It’s Monday morning and I drag my laptop into work, carefully balancing my Starbuck’s Venti American coffee and carrying my briefcase (not your typical leather attaché, but rather the U.S. Postal Service plastic extra large bin).
I begin to retrieve my voicemails. Thirteen to be exact!
Of which nine -- 9 – spoke so quickly when leaving the phone number that I was totally unable to retrieve the call back number.
Business Lesson #101: If you expect a phone call to be returned, don’t waste your breath leaving a number that can’t be retrieved. Speak slowly and repeat the number 2 times – slowly. It is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of a message.
Business Lesson #202: Train your salespeople and remind them of the importance of leaving messages that are clear, and concise.
According to eHow, there are 9 simple steps one should follow when leaving messages:
Step One: Speak slowly and enunciate clearly. If the recipient can't understand your message, it will be useless and frustrating.
Step Two: Try not to ramble, mumble, hesitate or whisper.
Step Three: Emphasize your phone number and name by repeating them, especially for business calls or important social engagements.
Step Four: Prepare, at least in your mind, what you want to say beforehand.
Step Five: Respond to the matter at hand. If it's a romantic connection, consider reading a sweet poem; alternatively, make it short and sweet.
Step Six: Be businesslike for a business connection. State your name, your company and your reason for the call: "returning your call," I was referred to you by Joe Schmo," "I got your name from my marketing VP," "You've won the sweepstakes."
Step Seven: Never feel compelled to tell all to the machine. Phrases such as, "Call me back for details" or "I'd prefer to tell you this news in person" are welcome.
Step Eight: Cut off? Call back and leave your message again, explaining why.
Step Nine: Include a time when you can be reached for a return call.
I didn’t even bother looking up the nine people’s numbers who left me messages this morning.
This really is a pet-peeve of mine. It’s so incredibly annoying and stupid!