Is it frustrating to you when you receive a voicemail and the person goes on and on, then at the very end of the long message, they rattle off their phone number so fast you can’t catch it? You then have to rewind their message to grab the number, or worse they don’t leave their number assuming you have it on the latest tech device you are accessing?

Another area of frustration comes from the ether into our email inbox. How do you feel when you receive an email where the person sending it includes a bunch of information along with their opinion and perspective and you have to scroll through only to find out it contains no clear call for action or direction? You then find yourself left wondering why they sent the email and what they want or need from you.

I hope you are not an offender of these when you send your message. In the event that you are, or you know people who are, here is a simple 4 point checklist to be more impactful with your message and get the results you desire.

Think M.A.I.L.

M – Message purpose: Ask yourself, what is the purpose of my message? What is the desired outcome you are seeking as a result of taking the time and energy to craft and send the message? Give thought to what needs to be included to accomplish getting what you need to make the progress you want.

A – ABCs of messaging:

  • Action summaries are a single sentence that states specific action, purpose or key point of the message. This makes it easier on the reader or listener to quickly respond so you can get what you want.
  • Background is the body of the message. Resist the urge to write out say all your thoughts. Instead, chunk your key points. With email, define and limit attachments. If you have attachments provide a brief definition of it and direction to where, in the attachment, the recipient needs to go. Keep the background concise.
  • Closing section. This is where you can provide any extensive niceties. This is the place for the next steps. Be sure to include a strong auto-signature. A well-crafted signature provides important contextual information. Make sure it projects your professional image and the best way to get a hold of you.

I – Importance – Will the recipient perceive the email or voicemail content as important to their cause in making their life easier, or their business more profitable or productive? How can you craft the message so it registers as important to them and assures they also understand the importance of a timely reply to you? If it is not important, why are you sending it?

L – Legible – Whether in writing or speaking, create a decipherable message with a clear call to action so the other person knows the purpose of the mail. Let them know if it is a response to their inquiry, a request for what you need,  the sharing of required information they need to have, or simply a note of appreciation for a job well done.

When using voicemail, be sure to state your phone number clearly at the beginning and end of your message. Keep it short. Think before the beep, not after the beep. When it comes to voicemails less is more. The same is true with text messages.

Remember regular handwritten notes or typed letters.  Because most of the world has shifted to some form of electronic correspondence, there is power in the handwritten note. They stand out from all the buzz.  Do you really want to get someone’s attention? Send a handwritten note. For added impact, place that handwritten note in an overnight envelope. Imagine being the recipient of that. How do you think that would make you feel to receive a special package like that.  People may not remember what you actually wrote, but they will remember the good feeling generated by receiving a handwritten note rushed in an overnight envelope. Growing relationships is about generating good feelings. The more we trust, respect, and like somebody, the more we are open to doing business with them and vice-versa.

Here’s a bonus: Use your outbound voicemail as an advertisement or branding for you and your services or product. Let your ideal clients know how they can benefit from doing business with you. They have to hear something while they wait for the beep, right?   Use that time wisely. What do you want them to know? Keep it concise.
If you were to call my office, this is what you would hear: “Hi, you’ve correctly reach Machen MacDonald at ProBrilliance. We pride ourselves in our ability to help small business owners gain more clarity, certainty, and courage to grow their business and live the life of their dreams. Please leave your message along with your phone number, even if you think I have your number and I’ll return your call as soon as possible. Remember to make it, a grateful day.” Beep.

To improve your image and grow your business remember to message mindfully and watch your productivity increase.

Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!