The joys of chunking

Curious about Communication | Phone Calls and Voicemails, Part One

Business-Communication-Voicemail

One of my own pet peeves is phone tag and having to listen to voicemails.
Phone can be an effective communication tool with some guidelines:

1)  short voicemails

Time is a premium.  Duh!

Quite often, people don’t even want to spend the time listening to your voicemail, especially if you’re using a lot of “ums” and “uhs” and talking about the weather and your cat’s hairballs.  While you may find think it’s entertaining, you’re losing your listener.  They’re standing there, with the phone to their ear, rolling their eyes and tapping their foot impatiently.

Especially if they’re at the Newark airport about to board a flight for London.

Most people just press “call back”.  They know you called, so they’ll call back to find out what you want to know, without bothering to listen to your voicemail.

With that in mind, here’s how to leave a short voicemail.  Just enough to prepare someone for your next interaction and also just enough that your yourself are not investing a whole bunch of time in it:

Calling a colleague
“Hi, this is So and So.
We recently met at the Such and Such Conference.
I’d like to discuss the Thing-A-Ma-Jig.
My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.
That’s xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Once again, my name is So and So.”

Calling a client
“Hi this is So and So.
Thanks for your interest in my business.
I’m available to discuss it further.
[maybe insert a congenial piece of information at this point, but avoid talking about hairballs]
My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.
That’s xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Once again, my name is So and So.

Calling a plumber
“Hi, my name is So and So.
I need my toilet fixed, fast.
My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.
That’s xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Once again, my name is So and So.”

 

2)  chunking

Cell phone reception is getting better, but most people still have a top speed that they can jot down your info.
That’s where chunking comes in.

Slow down (unless you’re about to miss the aforementioned flight to London).
Identify yourself.  State your name clearly at the beginning of the call.
Then, when saying your number, pause between each group of digits.
It’s almost sounds like a little poem if done right.
Avoid rattling off the number at warp speed.
It’s good to repeat the number.
Then repeat your name again.

Ta da!  You’re on your way to being an expert chunker.


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