Sign & Digital Graphics

August '18

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22 • August 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RUNNING THE BUSINESS Leave Your Message After the Beep Earn a better response rate from your voicemail messages Vince DiCecco is a business training and development consultant and owner of the Acworth, Georgia-based business, Your Personal Business Trainer, Inc. He has been sculpting his sales, marketing and training techniques since 1979, and he has shared innovative and practical ideas on business management excellence for two Fortune 200 companies, the U.S. Coast Guard, and in seminars at past NBM Shows. Since 2003, he has been serving small- to mid-sized com- panies in their efforts to strive for sustained growth and market dominance. Contact him via email at vince@ypbt. com or visit his company website, www.ypbt.com. B Y V I N C E D I C E C C O Make it Your Business invention. (Fun fact: Matthews happens to still hold the U.S. patent for voicemail.) So, let's try a few on for size. Get the Message Voicemail is the next most effective means of communicat- ing with another person, if a face-to-face meeting or real-time phone conversation is not possible or practical. A voicemail message is superior to an email, text message, snail-mail letter, and even a message you may ask an administrative assistant to write down and pass along. Why? It's because such a message includes your actual voice and its tonal inflections, rather than mere words. Neuro-linguistic studies have concluded that the tone of a message is more than five times as important as the actual words used. Unfortunately, when leaving a voicemail message in haste, the tone of one's voice can inadvertently convey various unde- sirable, underlying meanings, such as nervousness, uncertainty, fear, negativity, or impatience. Efficient use of telephone technology is a required business skill these days. Taking a minute to plan that important call will undoubtedly result in a more coherent, effective voicemail message if you are unable to speak to your party directly. In fact, "choreographing" such a call could be as important as its content. What constitutes good planning? It could be as simple as answering a few self-directed questions. Grab a pad of paper and jot down your thoughts to these questions: • Within the first 15 seconds, how could I professionally H ow many times a day do you try to reach an important business contact and hear a voicemail greeting like this? "Hi. You've reached the voice mailbox for Gordon Matthews. I am not available to take your call, but it is important to me. At the tone, please leave me your name, number, and a brief message. I'll return your call as soon as possible. (BEEP)" What do many of us do? Too often, we do the absolute wrong thing, a thing that nearly guarantees we won't get a return call: we leave a rambling, ill-prepared, uninspiring message. Is it any surprise that our batting average for getting timely replies is dismally close to that of a third-string pitcher forced to hit in the playoffs? How about raising your response rate to warrant induction into the Voice Mail Hall of Fame? There are a few simple ways to improve your effectiveness in using Gordon Matthews's 1979

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