Voicemail Messages Made Easy

woman talking on the phone

Recently, the number of incoming calls I’m receiving has increased. These are not necessarily scam callers. The majority are coming from local numbers during business hours. Yet no one is leaving a message.

This is driving me crazy!

Being “The Phone Lady”, I do make it a priority to answer all incoming calls. Of course, this isn’t possible when I’m delivering a webinar, in a coaching call, or onsite with a client. In these cases, callers are greeted by my friendly dated message, indicating my availability and a request: “Please, leave a message.”

So I’m puzzled.

If I had a receptionist, would these callers leave a message? Is the process of being recorded an issue? How is this impacting our ability to communicate with each other?

There was a time when, if we called someone and they were unavailable, the phone simply rang and rang … and rang. The caller’s only choice was to try again later.

It felt like a bit of magic when answering machines entered our lives. This new technology was introduced in the 1970s and ’80s. Initially, the machines were an expensive purchase. But by the late ’80s and throughout the ’90s, most households and businesses had an answering machine attached to their phone.

Messages were left. People called each other back. Conversations took place.

Then a new technology appeared. Voicemail began to eclipse answering machines in the 1990s as digital communication advanced. The shift was gradual but by the early 2000s, voicemail had largely replaced answering machines.

Messages were left. People called each other back. Conversations took place.

Voicemail is a technology. It isn’t as fancy or enticing as a social media app, as informative as a spreadsheet … or as obsolete as eight-track tapes. It is a valuable technology that helps us connect and communicate.

Here are some ideas to help you benefit from leaving voicemail messages.

  1. Perhaps you hang up because you don’t want to take the time to listen to the message before the sound of the beep. Know that the majority of voicemail messages you’ll encounter are less than a minute in length. They often include valuable information. Take the few seconds required to reach the beep and leave your message. You’ll reap time-saving benefits when the other person returns your call.
  2. Don’t know what to say? Get tongue-tied at the sound of the tone? Keep your message short, pronouncing all your words clearly. For example: “Hi Linda, this is Mary Jane calling from The Phone Lady. You can reach me today until 5 pm at 902-404-3290. That’s 902-404-3290. Talk soon.”
  3. Worried they will call you back when you are unprepared for the conversation? Here’s a possibility: “Hi Linda, this is Mary Jane calling from The Phone Lady. No need to call me back as I’m in meetings all day. I’ll try you again tomorrow.”
  4. You can increase your ability to reach people by combining email and voicemail: “Hi Linda, this is Mary Jane calling from The Phone Lady. No need to call me back as I’m in meetings all day. I’ll send you an email with a link to my calendar so you can book our conversation at your convenience. Look for me in your inbox.”
  5. In fact, with so much email and inter-office chat in our world, voicemail is a valuable way to make sure an important email receives attention: “Hi Linda, this is Mary Jane calling from The Phone Lady. I sent that revised document a few moments ago, so look for me in your inbox. I’ll follow up with you early next week.”

Connecting with each other and having real-time conversations is how we build trust and relationships.

This is not only valuable for our businesses, but also for our communities. And there are indications that phone conversations are experiencing a resurgence. You can learn more in my 2024 Report on Phone Communication Trends.

When your reason for contacting someone is important, valuable or supports your ongoing relationship, do leave a message. If you need a bit of support to embrace this skill, book a short conversation with me. I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals who’ve wanted to overcome their discomfort and anxiety on the phone. Use this link to book a 15-minute call: calendly.com/thephonelady/a-short-conversation-with-the-phone-lady.

Closing a sale is the natural outcome of inspiring great conversations and listening intently to our potential customers.

This natural approach still involves a process – a plan that moves potential customers through a journey of discovery with you. So ... what's your process? And am I the right sales coach for you? Let's find out.

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What's The Phone Lady doing?

 

  • Remote learning experiences + one-on-one coaching for women entrepreneurs (More info about this three-year program here.)
  • Team and individual coaching with a national moving company to refine their sales process
  • Remote half-day training for provincial tourism representatives
  • Remote seven-part sales training program for US-based SaaS
  • Remote webinar on accounts receivable communication for industrial-services company
  • Remote webinar on validation to college students in entrepreneur program
  • In-person workshop on job search skills for women in the trades
  • Remote half-day webinar on written correspondence to customers

Do you or your team want to improve your communication skills? Do you have a communication question or challenge you'd like to discuss? This quick-to-fill-out form is easy to use and you'll hear from Mary Jane very soon.