Let’s say you have 17 seconds to make a convincing, credible and concise point. Could you do it? I often pose this question to printers and promotional companies around the country. They don’t enjoy what I call the “17-second challenge” at the moment, but, in time, they will tell me how much it helped them reflect and change. I hope it does the same for you and makes you think at a deeper level. I came up with this concept after hearing the term “elevator pitch” (an approximate 20- to 30-second pitch) one too many times. You see, 17 seconds…
“This is Joe Smith—I am sorry I missed your call—I must be on the other line or away from my desk…so please leave your name, number and message, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.” Really? Is this the best voice-mail greeting we can leave? Why does it seem that I hear this on nearly every v-mail when I’m about to leave someone a message? Why do I even think about such things? Great question; a little crazy I guess, or maybe it is just being from Georgia…but that’s a topic for a different post.
Isn’t our goal to be unique in all that we do? Different? Friendly? Memorable? Creative? It is a given that when you do not answer your phone it means you are somewhere else. Right?
So, why not have some fun? How about this? “This is Joe Smith—your call is very important to me—but I am away having even more fun at the beach…” Then quickly insert, “Now that I got your attention—just kidding—please let me know how I can best serve you and I will be back in touch in a prompt manner.” Note: Do not say (as soon as possible) because this means nothing. OR, if that doesn’t work, you could be like the airlines: “Your call is very important to us (this means not really) and for faster service (hint, hint) visit us online” (this means they do not want to talk to you). My point is to BE YOURSELF, but have fun at the same time. People need to laugh. I am not saying be unprofessional. Not at all, but don’t be a boring robot either.
So, how does your voice-mail sound when people listen to it? Go ahead and listen to yours. Does your message sound the same as everyone else’s OR is it unique? Remember that Perception Is Reality, and the way people perceive your v-mail (for them to leave a message on) is their reality. So let me ask: Is your voice-mail message fair, good or great? What ways could you make it better and more creative?
Ryan Sauers @ryansauers