Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Wrong Way to Leave a Voice Message

If you want people to return your calls, don't leave a voice message like this.

This message is for George Torok.
This is Alex calling.
I need you to return my call at 1 800 000 0000  It’s urgent that I hear from you.
Once again the number is 1 800 000 0000.

That was the message on my voice mail. There were at least two messages from Alex and one from a female using the same script. I could not understand her name.

What's wrong with this message?

1. There was no reason to call. Your listener is wondering, "What's in it for me?"

If you want people to call you, you must tell them why. In particular the reason to call must be in their interests. The listener doesn't care about what you need.

2. Just because you say it's urgent doesn't mean it's urgent. Even if you think it's urgent, that's only your interpretation. It's not urgent to your listener.

If it is urgent tell your listener why it is urgent for them.

3. There was no offer.

What was Alex offering? Was it a free gift, special price or insider information? Who knows? We can only assume that Alex was selling something. Clearly it was not something I wanted or needed because he didn't mention the product or the problem that it would solve.

4. There was no connection.

Alex didn't mention his company name so the listener is left wondering. I don't know Alex. I wondered, "How did you get my name?"

If there was a pre-existing connection or referral - tell your listener. That can warm up the relationship.

5. It was clearly an automated call.

My name was in a different person's voice. So it was patched into the voice message like a mail merge in a word processing program. It was clearly not a personal call but one intended to broadcast to as many as possible in the hope of catching some unsuspecting fish. Telephone spam.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing
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