Years ago I had a client in the landscaping/hardscaping business. A great person who was and still is very good at his profession. If you’re looking for that beautiful outdoor living space, this was your guy!

But…catch his voicemail and you’d hardly be inspired.  Read this out loud:  “This is Frank, leave a message.” Frank is not his real name, by the way.  Now, those are just words. Let’s add the music and we’ll infer the body language – both of which account for 93% of the communication effect. Here’s the music – you just got up from a very deep sleep, possibly hung over and your name is Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Go ahead, say the voicemail message again – but with the correct music and let’s add a little slurring: “This is Frank, leave a message”. Pretty awesome, isn’t it!!??

No, not at all.

But that’s not even the worst of it. Frank is in the service business – one with a highly emotional appeal. And this is a phone call, not an email. Think about it. Who calls people in today’s world? Yep – people who want something done now, right now, or people who like to connect personally in a way that email does not allow. Now, are either of these personality styles going to be inspired by Eeyore’s slurring message?

Definitely not at all.

But Frank still had a relatively good business and, despite my suggestion, has not changed his voicemail.  Imagine if he did.  Good might lead to best.

What about your voice message? If I call and get your voicemail, what will I get? Is it even you or just some default message from the manufacturer? If it is you, is it inspiring, brief and does it leave the caller feeling better or worse for calling?

Check it now. If you have to, set it up – make sure people know they are in fact calling you. And if they know it’s you, be sure they feel you are at least slightly happy to hear from them, even if you’re not.