- Thoughts for inspired living

October 5, 2015

The Art of a Message

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:05 am

Telephone messageThe art of leaving a voicemail message is on life support and on its way to an unnecessary death. It’s not too late to save the patient.

I can’t speak for you but my memory is not as good as it used to be and I only know about seven phone numbers by heart, including the one for Chinese take-out.

When someone leaves me a voice mail and rapidly speaks their number and only says it once, it makes me have to go back through the message several times and act as interpreter. Many people don’t get a call back because, frankly, I don’t want to work that hard. Some don’t even leave a call back number but expect a call back.

Unless you are one of the sainted seven, please don’t assume that anyone knows your number. Don’t make them go look it up. Put it right out there TWICE so they have easy access to it the first time. Additionally, speak the number as though you were giving nuclear launch codes to the Pentagon.

If it’s important to you to have the person call you back, make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

This message also applies to email and texts. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of emails I get that lack specificity on how they want me to respond. Here are real world examples: “Smoking is killing me.” “My doctor says I’m overweight.”

Of course I answer, “How can I help?” but the amount of assumption that people put in their communiqu├ęs is staggering. They must believe you can read minds as to what information they specifically want.

Reminds me of an old pseudo-radio commercial created to show the ineffectiveness of lack of specificity.

“It’s our amazing, annual sale and it’s only going on for a limited time. Act now to get the biggest savings ever. Hurry on down so you’re not left out of the biggest sales event of the century. No offer will be refused. Bad credit or no credit will not stop you from getting huge savings. It’s a once in a lifetime extravaganza that you can’t afford to miss. Drive, walk or run to our nearest location and take advantage of our doorbuster deals. Don’t be left behind because time is running out for you to save a bundle. So grab your coat, cash, credit cards or checkbook and head out to our incredible sale. But hurry, these deals won’t last forever.”

Almost sounds real, doesn’t it?

Want to leave a real message that has a real chance of getting answered? Be specific and make it easy for them to get back to you. You’ll save the patient without trying someone’s patience.

All the best,


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