The Elements

By Judith Bowman   |   November 10, 2015

Connecting is the Key to Voice Mail – It Can Start or End with Your Voice

Categories: Blog, Prospecting

Voice MailYour voice is 38% of your overall message to the world according to UCLA’s Albert Mehrabian. An original voice – high, low, or in-between – can be your calling card. So when it comes to leaving a voice mail message, don’t sell yourself short.

Voice mail presents a huge opportunity to connect… but you only have seconds to make an impression.

Tonal quality, volume, clarity, grammar, and diction cannot be overstated. Articulate and enunciate clearly; project energy! 

Try sitting upright or better yet, stand when leaving a message. Standing is better for your physical health and opens your vocal cords, and helps you better project. Pace if you want to, it helps relieve anxiety.

Before you leave a message, prepare. Craft a succinct introduction using hard-working words and word tracks. You have limited time before they hit “delete.”

Research the caller and customize your message to make the other person feel special, not like just the next person on your call list.

Ensure your surroundings are quiet and not distracting – no clattering keyboards, cell phones ringing, or people joking around in the background.

Extend a warm greeting, use their name, and identify yourself.

If you have a referral, mention them. Use inclusive and collaborative words whenever possible – us, we, let’s.

Use words such as “chat” or “get together” versus “meet” or “schedule.” You are courting relationships.

Say your telephone number slowly and always repeat it.

State the nature of your call and let them know what’s in it for them, i.e. “I have a marketing idea I want to run by you.” Or, “I’d like to work on your campaign.”

Reference anything you have gleaned from pre-research. Provide your website and leave your email address.

Follow-up each call with an email. Sending a follow-up email provides you with another opportunity to leave yet another impression of you and the “ABC” brand.

Connecting is the key. It can start or end with your voice.


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Photo credit: ©iStock/Getty Images


Judith Bowman
Business Protocol

Judith Bowman founded Protocol Consultants International in 1993 and has prospered to become an established Business Protocol expert, educator, corporate speaker, and renowned authority in the field of Professional Presence, Dining Savvy, International Protocol Awareness, and personal and professional development. Ms. Bowman also provides Protocol Certification. She is a graduate of Boston College and has pursued studies in Effective Business Communication at Harvard University.

Ms. Bowman speaks to critical interpersonal communication skills and shares specific nuances advantageous to exemplary conduct in today’s fast-paced and highly competitive global work environment. She showcases everyday business situations and shows professionals how to leverage these as opportunities to demonstrate respect while earning respect – while showing you know “the difference” while making a difference to stand apart and outclass the competition!

Ms. Bowman has authored two business protocol books: “Don’t Take the Last Donut…” (Career Press) presently sold in 16 countries, translated in 14 languages, and her new book, “How to Stand Apart @ Work …” She has authored a weekly Everyday Etiquette column syndicated throughout New England for ten years by the Pulitzer Prize winning Eagle Tribune Publishing Company. Internationally, she authored a Business Protocol column for the prestigious Noblesse Magazine, China. She presently writes a weekly Business Protocol column for Boston Herald newspapers and has a coordinating weekly radio segment, “A Protocol Moment” on Herald Radio.
She also writes a monthly Fabulous Woman series which features truly fabulous women who have shattered the glass ceiling and has been featured in Leader to Leader, March, 2015.

Bowman has produced a series of support products which include: Executive Etiquette/First Impressions DVD, DINING 101 DVD and Protocol Training DVD – from her on-line How to Stand Apart series.

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