Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on August 8, 2011
The only interaction many of your co-workers, customers, and prospects may have with you on a given day is your voice mail greeting. Quick gut check: Does your current greeting accurately reflect who you are or is it so monotonous and drab that you sound like your dog just died? Follow these steps and you will have a great voice mail greeting that is clear, winsome, and effective.
1. Smile as you record it. Your voice will sound more resonant and engaging if you smile while you speak. Customer-service reps who smile on the phone are consistently rated higher than nonsmiling peers. (Fake smiling works just as well.)
2. Stand up and gesture. At least do not record while you sit hunched over your desk. Good posture relieves overcrowding of organs, including your lungs. The result is a richer, stronger vocal quality. Also, gestures will help you punctuate key words and add much-needed inflection.
3. Make it short. People are busy. Get to the beep quickly.
4. Ask how and when callers want to be contacted. Office number, cell, e-mail? Available right away, during lunch, after 5 p.m.? This is crucial because it cuts down on phone tag and helps you to be more responsive and productive.
By the way, the same advice applies to the voice mail messages you leave. Smile, stand up, gesture, make your point, and then tell them how to get in touch with you. Doing this will make you more engaging.
Hit Your Stride
St. Louis, Mo.