Are you still leaving voicemails when someone doesn’t pick up your call? Did you know that people actually get frustrated nowadays when they have to check their voicemail? With the rise of email, text, chat, and instant messengers, the concept of even having a voicemail is quickly becoming obsolete. Even some Fortune 500 Companies like JPMorgan Chase and Coca-Cola have ditched their corporate voicemails in favor of the no-voicemail movement.
Think about it: first, the person leaving the voicemail has probably also followed up with a text or email, so the time listening to and deleting that voicemail is a total waste. Then, even when the voice message has pertinent information, it takes longer to listen to than reading the same message, you usually have to find pen and paper to write something down, responding requires you to take a whole new set of actions (dialing, ringing through, leaving them a voicemail…), there’s no paper trail if you need to reference something from your conversation – and you might even have to interact with the other person if they end up picking up the phone! The bottom line is voicemails are super inefficient and inconvenient.
So the real question is: to leave a voicemail… or not?
When to Leave a Voicemail
As a real estate agent, it’s important to make sure you’re paying attention to communication trends so you can adapt, and deliver the best client experience possible. Although voicemail certainly has its flaws, there’s a time and place where they’re still the best choice for communicating. When you need a more personal and confidential way to connect, they can sometimes be the only appropriate vehicle for delivering information.
A great example is delivering bad news. You never want to break the news via any written method since text can leave a lot open for interpretation, and doesn’t give you the ability to moderate the situation. Ideally, you want to deliver bad news in person or on a call but there are certain situations where time is a factor and voicemail might be your best option.
So, before you get caught rambling on a recording, consider first if you really need to leave that message, and then if you do – here’s the strategy:
Keep It Short & Sweet
Part of the reason voice messages are burdensome is because you never know what to expect from them… they could run on for minutes and lead in any direction. However, there’s really no reason for a voicemail to be longer than 20-30 seconds. Before you dial someone’s number, make sure you’ve planned out what you’ll say when their voicemail picks up.
Spare Them the Details
Many people make the mistake of starting a conversation as they leave a message. Let’s be clear, that’s not what voicemails are for. The only reason you’re leaving a message is because you want to get a response. Just say who it is and at a high-level why you’re calling. You can chat about all the details when you connect in person, or perhaps you’re better off sending them an email if you have a lot to talk about. You’ll want to keep in mind that many voicemails are now being transcribed into text, so make sure to pace yourself and speak clearly on the recording.
Make Replying Effortless
As I mentioned before, voicemails can be irritating when you have to write things down, and responding takes more effort than replying to a text or email. The easier you make it for folks to get in touch, the better. Provide clear instructions for following up with you, and use contact info they already have to save them from having to grab a pen. If relevant, include a time to contact you so a game of phone tag doesn’t ensue.
Here’s a sample script you can use for leaving the perfect voicemail!
Don’t Just Hang Up
If you’ve suddenly got cold feet about leaving a voicemail, I can understand… there’s tons of other great ways to get in touch with people these days. BUT, don’t just hang up the phone! If you decide not to leave a voicemail mid-call, make sure you send a text or email as soon as possible to explain why you were calling. The only thing worse than having to check a message, is not knowing why someone called you in the first place.