Leave Phone Messages That Encourage a Return Call

Have you ever thought you were ready to leave an effective phone message only to stutter or ramble after the beep? Or forget to leave your phone number?

With time being at a premium for everyone, that’s not going to improve your chances of getting called back.

Before you pick up the phone, take a moment to focus on the reason for your call and how to get right to the point. Plan out what you’re going to say. If you have a particularly critical message, say it out loud to make sure it sounds good.

At the very least, provide a succinct reason for your call, the time you’re calling and your phone number. If you will be difficult to reach, let them know what time is best to call you back.

Here are some other ways to send a successful phone message:

  • Speak slowly and clearly and pause between each thought.
  • Make sure there isn’t any background noise such as music or loud appliances.
  • Repeat your own name and number twice in case they couldn’t write it down easily.
  • Spell out tricky or hard to understand names, like the name of your company.
  • Your tone of voice can affect the reaction of the person you’re trying to reach. Make sure it’s friendly and polite.
  • The optimal message is 8 and 14 seconds long, certainly no more than 20 seconds.

Prospecting phone calls require even more thought and attention, since nothing will cause a prospect to delete your message faster than a sales pitch.

  • Give them a reason to call you back. Lead the message with something your prospect will find relevant or thought provoking.
  • Don’t offer your website, email address or too much information that would allow them to make a decision without you.
  • Avoid leaving messages at the beginning or the end of the week. Messages left on Friday afternoons and Monday mornings are the least likely to be returned.

Delivering top notch customer care is a priority for most businesses. Contact management tools like Halloo will help you make the best connections with your customers.


This post is by Caren Burmeister. Caren is a retired newspaper reporter turned freelance writer who enjoys yoga and caring for her two fat cats.