Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Making Your eMails and Voice Mails Work Harder

Last week I posted about the evils of email.  But there are benefits.  I am surprised at how many people don’t really understand how to make email and voice mail work for them.

This is a short and simple post.

I hear all the time from candidates who are trying to set up appointments that they have been exchanging messages with a prospective interviewer.  They tell me that sometimes they go back and forth four and five times, just returning calls and leaving messages.  But they are not making any progress. 

Their messages simply say they are calling to make appointment.  And the return message simply says I am returning your call.

In order to make your voice mails and emails work harder, there is a very simple solution.  Leave a message with alternative dates and times.  The person you are trying to connect with will  return your call simply choosing a date or leave you alternatives when they call back.  It saves so much time and effort.

This doesn’t just apply to setting up appointments; it works with all your daily commerce. Be sure to tell people why you are contacting them and what you want to accomplish and provide them with the information they need to contact you, including all your contact information.

I include my phone number on every voice mail no matter how well I know the person I am calling.  That way they don’t have to look it up.  And it is always on the bottom of my email in my auto signature (everyone should have an auto signature).  When leaving a message or signing an email leave your full name.  You should not assume that, even if you have an unusual name, you are the only one that someone is dealing with (right now I am dealing with three candidates named Karen, but a few months ago, I was dealing with two different people named Keisha.).

This simple advice will improve communications between you and others and make your life much easier. 


  1. And when you leave your phone number on voicemail, please say it s-l-o-w-l-y!

  2. Ugh, the worst is getting the call "Hi, I'm having a problem with your software. Please call me." A little detail might let me actually have solved your problem by the time I call.

    Regarding the phone number, in addition to slowly, I usually say my name and number once near the beginning and once at the end ("Hi, this is Joe Schmoe at 123-456-7890 and I would like you to hire me. Blah blah blah more info here, and again this is Joe Schmoe at 123-456-7890").

    I know it helps me when I get voicemails, because sometimes I don't catch it the first time, somebody's cell phone cuts out, they slur the numbers, whatever.


I would welcome your comments, suggestions or anything you would like to share with me or my readers.

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