Something that we all do frequently:  leave voicemail!  A simple thing that used to give me gobs of anxiety. Until, I formed a game plan:

Before you even pick up the phone to call someone, write down some quick notes on what you want to talk to them about.  A simple bulleted list will probably suffice.  Let’s say you’re calling a new business prospect to sell them some widgets.  There are 3 things they need to know:

    • You have specific recommendations about their widget needs
    • You will be in their vicinity to talk about the widgets over the next couple of days
    • You have a special on widgets that will only last for a week

When you call them and get their voicemail, follow this formula:

“My name is Blah Blah, my number is blah blah, I’m from blah blah.  I’d like to talk to you about <list your 3 bullet points>. Again you can reach me at blah blah (said slowly, ideally twice), and my name again is blah blah, <spelled out>.”

However, if your voicemail receiver is like many these days, it may also make sense to send an email follow up.  Note in the email that you just left them a voicemail about your 3 bullet points and that you’d live to schedule a mutually convenient time to chat.  Give them 3-4 time options (only giving 1 time option is seen as arrogant).  Be sure to give them your phone number.

If you have an established relationship with this person already, it may make sense to not leave a voicemail at all and just text them.  Keep it short: I’ll be at blah blah in blah minutes.  Or: Call me! I have news for you!  Or: I found out about yadda blah, it’s xyz.  Leaving a text instead of a voicemail is not recommended for new relationships, unless you’ve been instructed otherwise.

You should not use Twitter DM instead of voicemail.  Some individuals don’t like Twitter and this can cause them anxiety.  Same goes for Facebook (unless you’re good friends) – follow ups to actual email addresses matter more to most people.  Many people ignore their Facebook inboxes for days at a time.

awesome voicemail