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How to Leave a Professional Phone Message

The Business Etiquette of Phone Messages


Voicemail has become a standard part of every business class telephone system and knowing how to leave a professional voicemail phone message will reflect positively upon your company. Every employee that uses the phone as part of their job should know how to leave a professional phone message. Use the following tips and your company's image will be represented as professional on every voicemail message that is left by your employees.

Phone Message Tip #1: Think First

Businesswoman eating lunch at desk
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Before you pick up the phone to make a call, pause for a second and summarize in your mind the purpose of the call in one or two sentences. Remember, between 50% to 67% of all calls end up going to voicemail. Now you will be prepared to leave a concise voicemail message without rambling on until the phone system cuts you off.

Phone Message Tip #2: Introduce Yourself

Begin every voicemail message by introducing yourself so the recipient knows who calling right away. This should include: Name, title and company name. Example: "Hello. This is Jim Bucki, Guide to Operations Technology for About.com."

Phone Message Tip #3: Speak Slow

Speak slowly enough so the person receiving the message can hear every word. It is very frustrating when I retrieve my messages and the other person is speaking so fast I cannot jot down a short note so I can remember what the call was about when I return the call.

Phone Message Tip #4: Speak Clearly

Speak directly into the mouth piece of your telephone in a clear and adequately modulated tone of voice. Don't hold the phone between your cheek and shoulder so that the mouth piece is positioned by your neck.

Phone Message Tip #5: Keep It Short

You don't have to leave every detail on your voicemail message. Most business phone systems have a one to two minute time limit for messages. It is acceptable to leave a short summary of the reason for your call and end it by saying, "Please return my call and I will go over the issue with you in more detail."

Phone Message Tip #6: Dropped Call?

If you believe your voicemail message was dropped by the voicemail system before you were finished, try the call again and lead off by telling the person that you believe your previous message may have been dropped. Example: "Hello. This is Jim Bucki, Guide to Operations Technology for About.com. I think my previous message may have been cut-off. So here it is again..."

Phone Message Tip #7: End It Professionally

Just like a professional business letter, end by giving your contact information. Remember to speak slowly so the person has time to write it down. Example: "Thank you for your time. This is Jim Bucki from About.com, 800-555-1234."

Phone Message Tip #8: Practice and Test Yourself

If you are not sure if you are speaking too fast or clearly enough, ask a friend or business associate to help you. Call him and leave a fabricated voicemail message on their phone. Ask them to listen to it and evaluate it based upon the tips listed above. Listen to it yourself and see if you sound professional.

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