How to Leave a Voicemail (Professional Context)

  1. Greeting
  2. Your name
  3. Your employer/business name
  4. Your phone number
  5. Your message
  6. Required if a cold call; otherwise optional:
    • Your name again
    • Your phone number again, slowly and clearly
  7. Goodbye.

You don't know what tools exist for the receiver of your call to check the message, so you need to try to leave a message that's convenient no matter what interface the receiver has to deal with. If I have to start the recording from the beginning to finish writing down your phone number, I don't want to have to listen to the forty-five second message that preceded it.

And please, if the name of your employer is not obvious, do not rush or mumble the name. I cannot determine the company names of about 20% of the sales calls I receive. I'm already unlikely to return a cold call - if I don't know who you are, I can guarantee that you won't be hearing from me.

Most people do provide their contact information at the end of the message; this is helpful for people with some sort of visual voicemail, as it can be easier to step back a few seconds than to start over. If you only do one or the other, then providing your name and phone number right away is more important, because such an voicemail interface is not incredibly common.

"Hi, this is Favorite Person, 800-555-0123, calling from 123 Four. We specialize in providing quantum toothpicks to mothball manufacturers, and believe we can offer you a good deal. Again, this is Favorite Person, 800-555-0123, and I look forward to hearing from you. Have a nice day."