Monday, December 18, 2006

Outgoing Voicemail Messages

Please forgive me when I grab the soap box from time to time as I announce my pet peeves in regards to business and consulting.

Last time I talked about e-mail addresses - how not using a qualified domain name for your business in your e-mail address can alter your business' image. This time, I'd like to talk about outgoing voicemail messages. They seem harmless enough, but let me give you an example:

Suppose I'm a customer calling upon Joe Smith to discuss his financial consulting business and Joe happens to be out of the office or on the phone with a client. His voicemail picks up and I hear, "You've reached 555-1212. Please leave a message." That's it.

What does this tell me or make me think? Well, a number of things.

Did I call the right number?
Is Joe using his home phone to conduct business?
Is Joe trying to hide something?

Has this happened to you? I have a hard time trying to understand why folks who want to be in business cut corners at the expense of their professional image. If you are serious about being in business for yourself, get a separate phone line and dedicate it to the business. Leave a professional outgoing voicemail message, something to the likes of:

"You've reached Joe Smith Financial Consulting. I am currently out of the office or helping a client. Please leave a detailed message with your name and telephone number where I can reach you and I will return your call as soon as possible. Thanks for calling Joe Smith Financial Consulting and have a great day."

The above is just an example. You can record any kind of outgoing message you like. I've even heard some creative ones. The objective is to let the caller know who they are calling and that you will respect the effort they made to contact you by returning their call promptly. In the end you'll project a professional image that people will want to do business with.

When you have a moment, take a listen to your own outgoing voicemail message. Make sure it sounds professional and perhaps re-record it using it as an opportunity to promote something new with your company like the URL to an updated website (provided the URL isn't a mile long), a seminar you have coming up or your business blog's URL.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good tips. I like the example because it's brief, it includes everything, it's professional, and it works.