Please leave a message: a simple way to prepare yourself for the dreaded voicemail
Imagine this. You've plucked up the courage to phone up an employer. The phone is ringing. You've rehearsed what you're going to say over and over in your head. It keeps on ringing. Then suddenly the phone goes to voicemail. Now what?
Voicemail seems to cause panic in some people. It's something unexpected and throws you off your game. We've heard some er... interesting messages in the past.
But there is one easy way to leave a strong, confident message. That is simply to expect it.
You've probably prepared, or at least thought about, what you want to say assuming that someone will answer the phone. That's why voicemail trips a lot of people up. Because it doesn't fit into your plan and suddenly you have to think on your feet. So, if you know, before you dial, that you may go to voicemail, everything should be fine.
All that's left is to remember that a voicemail message needs to answer these questions.
Who are you?
Even if you already know the person you're phoning, be sure to give your full name. They might not be able to recognise your voice and may know a lot of Steves.
Why are you phoning?
If you don't tell them why you are phoning then they might just ignore your message. How do they know you're not a sales call?
What do you want the person to do?
Should they just phone you back? Phone back with certain information? Will you send them an email instead that they should look out for? Or maybe you just want to let them know that you try phoning again the next day so they can be ready for your call.
How should they contact you?
If you've asked them get in touch with you then they need to know how. Do you want them to phone back? Or email you? Of course you'll also need to leave your number/email address with them if you've asked them to contact you that way. If leaving your phone no repeat it twice so if people can write it down easily.