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Should I Leave a Voice Mail Message

Some quick thoughts on how to leave a voice mail message. 

How to leave a voice mail message

Voice Mail like Alec Baldwin

Yes. We’re going here.

Since we’re in the midst of Election Season, the ads are coming in fast and furious. And the robo calls. And occasionally live person calls.

Listening to these calls I am thrown back into my days working a call center. The constant topic?

Voice Mail. How to leave a Voice Mail. Whether to leave a Voice Mail. What to include in the Voice Mail.

Lots of thoughts on this one that will probably seem antiquated and small to the next generation, but bear with me! It’s relevant. Even to the “text me” crowd.

Let’s start with this: Communication is hard. It’s like an iceberg.

Iceberg Effect of Communication

The Iceberg Effect

Our communication tools are the part of the iceberg above water but what we are trying to communicate lurks underneath. Some studies say that 80% of our communication happens non-verbally. Eyeballs. Knowing that, when we use the phone we begin the communication handicapped. All we have left is verbal communication and the words we choose.

Back to the RoboCalls. I want to focus on the production quality of the typical call. What jumps out is something we can all use some help with.

Voice Inflection. 

Zig Ziglar has a funny and effective way of explaining the power of Voice Inflection. He uses this sentence, “I didn’t say he kicked his dog.” (the first time I heard it I swear he said “hit his wife” but I was young. . .)
Zig then puts emphasis on each word individually to connote different meanings. Say these out loud putting the emphasis on the underlined word. Inflect.

I didn’t say he kicked his dog.” (Not me)
“I DIDN’T say he kicked his dog.” (Indignant)
“I didn’t SAY he kicked his dog.” (I may have implied it)
“I didn’t say HE kicked his dog.”  (It was his brother)
“I didn’t say he KICKED his dog.” (He slapped it a bit, but didn’t kick it)
“I didn’t say he kicked HIS dog.” (It was that yappy neighbor dog)
“I didn’t say he kicked his DOG.” (It was the cat)

He makes his point, right? The same 7 words, at least 7 meanings.

With this base of knowledge – voice inflection and not having non-verbal at our disposal – the question is whether or not to even leave a voice mail. Right?

Think about it this way. If you’re looking to spread the word about you and your firm and you don’t have a huge marketing budget, you should leave a message. Even if it’s a simple, “Hello, this is Greg from Chambers Pivot Industries. . ” I would always default to saying your name. On cold calls, on warm calls, on voice mails, etc. In one past gig we said it to everyone for just this reason. And it worked. 10 people making 50 calls a day for a year. 100K+ impressions.

The call was made, the effort put in, so spread the word. Leave a Voice Mail. Think of it as a Display Ad. “Oh, I’ve heard of you,”  is what happens over time.

So, if you have to leave a Voice Mail, make sure it sounds awesome by using Voice Inflection.

That brings up my last point. What do you say? 

Good question. I wish there was a single answer here in regards to content. There isn’t. The following advice applies to communication in general and borrows from sports talk host Jim Rome.

Have a take and don’t suck. 

You need to be relevant. If you’re struggling with Value, the person you’re leaving the message for will struggle with the value. Bring something to the table or don’t call in the first place.

Easy to say, hard to do.

So take what you can from Robo Calls. Leave a Voice Mail. Be relevant. Bring Value. It’s a process, not an event.

(and save the rants for behind closed doors. Alec and Mel can vouch for me on that.)

Good stuff.

About the Author: Greg Chambers is Chambers Pivot Industries. Get more business development ideas from Greg on Twitter and .

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