The phone rings and suddenly you are confronted with leaving a message on someone’s voicemail. Panic ensues and you become tongue-tied or speechless. My first question would be to ask you what is your fear? Had someone indeed answered the phone, would you have been prepared to address that individual?

For some people, just the thought of making that important phone call and possibly being confronted with voicemail on the other end is frightening enough not to make the call. If such is the case, then the business you are hoping to introduce and/or sell will not happen. And, if that business does not happen, then your success is not as likely.

If you are involved in cold calling, leaving a message may not be in your best interest because of the nature of your approach. It might be wiser in this situation to hang up and try your call later. Cold calling is most successful when you can speak directly to a perspective client and take control of the conversation. Leaving a message places the control in the other person’s hands.

In most other business situations, however, the need to use voicemail may mean the difference between your success or failure with a perspective client. Leaving a message on someone else’s voicemail is easier than you think if you approach it correctly.

Because the situation is an unknown, consider what you should do if you are faced with voicemail before dialing the number. Remember – the purpose of your phone call is to discuss a particular issue. The purpose of your voicemail, therefore, is to identify yourself and concisely describe the reason for your calling. You do not want a long, wordy message but one this is short, sweet and to the point.

This is where practicing out loud what you will be saying beforehand is so very important. I am not advocating that you memorize what you plan to say; but, by all means, go over your words so that you are comfortable with your message. When you are ready to place your call and are then prompted to leave your message:

1. take a breath;
2. say your name distinctly;
3. repeat your telephone number slowly so that it is easily understood;
4. briefly and clearly describe the purpose of your phone call; and,
5. create enthusiasm with your words.

If you find that you are not quite ready, hang up the phone, practice some more, and then try the call again. Once you accomplish your goal successfully, you will discover that it is not nearly as difficult as you had thought. And, if you do this often enough, you will become quite adept at being able to leave a clear and intelligible message in which the other party will understand and want to return your phone call.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and watch Nancy as she describes The Power of Your Speaking Voice.

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