Voicemails: How to Sound Professional in English

Person On Phone

The world has already become a big global village. So, there is nothing sensational about people from different parts of the globe working together. Many of them speak English as a second language, which poses a challenge of being on par with the native speakers in professional terms.

Leaving voicemails is one of the most ubiquitous forms of business communication. Therefore, it is essential that you master this skill. Unfortunately, even native speakers often fail to record a coherent and mellifluous voice message. People tend to think of voice mails as more casual than they really are. This is a mistake that you should not repeat.

Here is a collection of some practical tips on how to become a true professional in leaving voice mails.

Prepare for the Unexpected

It is very typical of people to be taken aback by a necessity to leave a voice mail. However, it is very likely that the person you are trying to reach is going to be busy, especially if they are involved in business. Therefore, you must always be ready to go if the need to leave a voice mail arises.

If you are a type of person to lose control in stressful settings, I recommend you writing a script of your voice message and rehearsing it before calling. Nonetheless, there is a danger that you will come off robotic and unenthusiastic about the enterprise if you stick too much to what you wrote. So, you should think of yourself as an actor, and your voice mail as a performance that you need to pull off in order to succeed.

If you are fairly confident in your composure, it would suffice simply to take some notes of the future voice message. This way you are less likely to forget to include the key components to your voicemail. In any case, you need to be prepared. If you want to avoid wandering through the maze of your thoughts, you better draw your mental route.

Remember the Basics

Before going into detail about the reason for your call, you have to introduce yourself. It is crucial to mention not just the full name, but also the position in relation to the company you represent. This is the first presentational sentence of any voice mail.

Moreover, when making a cold call when an addressee does not know you, it makes sense to use letters to spell out all the names. For instance, you can use N for Nancy, or D for David. If you want to sound really fancy, use the NATO phonetic alphabet. Never mind the last one though, it is not necessary.

It would also make sense to repeat your name, company’s name and phone number two times at the end of the voice mail. Unless your addressee knows you well, it would be polite to repeat yourself to ensure that they got your message.

If your company has a website or an e-mail address, do not be lazy and reiterate them as well.

Be Laconic

After the introduction, you can explain your intention. It is of pivotal importance to be brief and laconic. You need to convey just the crux of the information, not the whole story, as it may confuse the listener. Moreover, you will probably end up being cut off if you ramble for too long anyway.

You can instead ask for a meeting to be set up for both of you to review the common business more scrupulously. This would make more sense in the context of a 2 minute Voice message.

Try to use clichés to help you through. For instance, say “My name is… I am (insert job) with (insert company)… I am calling in regards to… These simple seemingly hackneyed clichés will help you form a coherent and structured voice mail.

Be Precise, but Polite

Although you would probably want to cram as much factual information as possible into this two minute message, politeness and consideration are fundamental for your success. No matter the topic, common courtesy should not be discarded.

The easiest way to sound polite is to employ modals such as would and could. Even if you need to stress the urgency of your call, beginning a request with a modal makes it appear gracious and respectful.

However, it is worth-noting that despite the civility of your voice mail, it must be precise and up to the point. I have already underscored the importance of laconism. Precision ensures that the listener will get your point and will produce the right deliverable within a given time-frame.

So, if you are having a project that is due Friday, and you are not divulging this critical information in your voice message, do not be surprised if your addressee fails you. Always mention the time. In two days, by Thursday, before Sunday. Do not expect your listener to fill in the gaps for you.

Name a Person Who Referred You

If your addressee does not know you, but you have a common friend who actually referred you – make sure to mention that friend. Very often people are leery of cold calls and do not want to waste their time interacting with somebody they know little or nothing about. So, if you mention a common acquaintance, you are more likely to hear back from them.

Finally, speak slowly, state your name and credentials clearly and explain the purpose of your call briefly. These are the key tips that will make your voice mail sound as professional as can be!

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