Think of how many voice messages you have received in the last year. Consider that every time you get a voice message, someone has listened to your recorded greeting. Start your new year with a fresh greeting message and keep it fresh.
Correct mumbles and misspeaks. When some of the same people call you repeatedly, they hear you repeatedly fumble your name, clear your throat or speak to someone in the background as you hang up. Record a new greeting that lets them hear you at your best.
Update your greeting and keep it current. Some people record a new greeting every day. I did that for a time (and received compliments on it) but found it to be more trouble than I wanted to deal with. However, it’s oten necessary to change your messages for specific situations.
“Hello, this is Mark Sanderson. It’s Tuesday, January 4th, and I’m traveling today. I’ll be returning calls tomorrow, Wednesday, so please leave your message. Thanks!”
“Hi, this is Jan Rossoni. I’ll be out of the office and won’t be getting messages until February 10th. Paul Nabors will be happy to help you before then and he can be reached at 316-222-0570. Otherwise, leave a message and I’ll call you back when I return in February. Thank you!”
If you do that kind of updating, call yourself and leave a reminder to change the message before business starts the day you return.
Give callers a fresh mental image of you. When your greeting sounds the same for months or years, frequent callers just wait to get to the spot where they can leave a message. When you occasionally have a fresh sound, even frequent callers tend to listen to it as though they are listening to you speak. Let them hear you as a dynamic person who is engaged in work, not a dull, recorded echo of you from two years ago.
- It sounds pretentious for anyone but the President or Donald Trump to have a secretary record the greeting.
- Don’t pause after, “Hello.” People feel silly when they start talking, then realize it’s a recording. Well, I sure feel silly when I do that, anyway!
- Say your greeting as though you’re really talking to someone, not as though you’re reading a script.
- Catch phrases are usually unnecessary and a bit much. (“Have a GREAT day!” “Go Broncos!” ) Get some input from a colleague about them.
- Put a slight smile in your voice instead of sounding excessively stern.
- Call yourself to hear what others hear. For example, there is no point in saying something that an automated message repeats after your personal message.
The bottom line: Your voice message is you to those who call. Let them hear the best, current you.