Why do some voicemail messages result in a return call and other’s don’t? While there are a wide variety of reasons, one of the biggest contributors to the unreturned call is the detailed message.
The role of the detailed message is : 1) to provide information to someone you already know and /or are already working with; 2) to give them information they need/want ; and 3) to give them such complete information they do not have to return your call.
When we receive a detailed message, we are predisposed to not call back.
So, if the objective of your phone calls is to connect with others and have a conversation – stop leaving detailed messages. This simple shift in your behaviour will both increase your percentage of returned calls, and improve the quality of the conversations you have with people you reach.
I recently received a detailed message from a finance organization. The caller, whom I do not know, left me a tremendous amount of information on the reason for the call. So much so, I was able to determine that returning the call held absolutely no value for me. It was clear in their tone they did not expect me to call back and that they felt leaving the message removed me from their to-do list. Displaying such a lack of desire to truly communicate means that not only will I not return their call, I’m unlikely to answer should they decide to call again.
And this is the illusion of the detailed message. We convince ourselves that we’ve delivered information in such a way that the other person will be inspired to call us back. And we give ourselves credit for completing a task. But since the task was about having a conversation and building relationship, well … it’s a fail.
If the person who called me had left a shorter message, inspiring me to call back, we perhaps could have discovered value for me during our conversation. As it stands, they have a check mark beside my name but have not “connected” with me in any way.
Here’s a message that would have worked: “Hi Mary Jane, This is Angela calling from ABC Company. You currently have an account with us and I have a few quick questions for you. You can reach me throughout the day today at 555-555-5555. That’s 555-555-5555. If we don’t connect today, know that I’ll follow up with you again next week. Thanks and I look forward to our conversation.”
If you are interested in more information about leaving messages, you’ll find these previous posts of value
Enjoy your phone work everyone!