When you leave a message on voice mail, make sure that you speak slowly and clearly, especially when you leave your phone number. It is so exasperating to have a potential client call and ramble through a phone number so rapidly that even after replaying it three times, it’s impossible to figure it out.
According to Clint Rood of Clientele, you should start with your name and number, saying the number at the same rate as the operator when you call information. Then leave a message that states clearly why you called. Do not leave just your name.
Repeat your name at the end of the message. Spell it if it’s not obvious, and repeat your number for clarity. Your message should never be longer than 30 seconds. Think your message through before you call so you’ll avoid rambling on. If you have more than one point, state it up front. “I have two things I am calling about.” If you have more than two points, call back a second time. More than two points at a time are too confusing.
Check your messages at least twice a day and make every attempt to return all calls the same day you receive them. When you occasionally get caught in phone tag, suggest that you both move to email. You can be more precise in your messages. If you have an unusual schedule, leave the details on your outgoing message. Don’t leave people feeling that they’re being ignored.