I received an interesting voicemail last night. The caller (who never identified himself) was (probably) calling to get information on one of my listings but never got to the purpose of his call because he was so put off by my outgoing message.
Finally I started to think about this and ended up sort of feeling sorry for the guy. My guess is he has had an experience in the past that has sort of jaded him. He has a chip on his shoulder. He won't know good service from me because of his perception of my message. At the same time, I started to think about my message. Is "at my earliest convenience" really the best way to word my message? It may be acceptable but is it the best? I decided it is not.
For some, that voicemail message is the first impression and it is a 15 second opportunity to sell myself. The subtle message communicated in that 15 seconds can be incredibly valuable. In my experience last night, I did not get the lead because of the 15 second message. Perhaps I didn't want that person as a client but that's not the point. The point is, my message communicated something to him that I did not intend and it was negative, at least to him.
I am working now to evolve my message and am open to suggestions.
My phone etiquette "plan" or "rules" go like this:
1) sense of urgency--I WILL call you back as soon as I am able to do so
2) The most important person is the one in front of me and I am generally not inclined to interrupt with them for anyone
3) I know Realtors are notorious for not calling back. That's just not my style. I am not typical.
4) I am trying to work on "being present" with my family. Honestly, it is a struggle for me. If I have decided I am off the clock, I may not call you till tomorrow--especially if you call after 6 or 7 at night.
5) If you ask a bunch of questions in the voicemail, I will try not to call you back until I have the answers. If I think it is going to be a while before I have those answers, I will call you back to tell you I got the message and then call you again when I have the answers.
6) I have a business partner, Taylore, that is very capable and willing to help also. She can answer most, if not all, questions about my listings. If it is just a price/square footage/can I see it? type question, you might get a faster response from her.
Obviously I can't put all that into the outgoing message. Here is what I currently have on my voicemail, any input or examples of great outgoing voicemail messages would be appreciated!
Hi, you've reached Jonathan Harmon. Please leave a voice message or text me, with a clear phone number, and I will return your call as soon as I am able. If you have a question about a listing and want an immediate response, please call Taylore at 615-557-2240, 615-557-2240.