How to Reduce Voicemail Phone Tag

Leave fast, efficient, productive voicemail by following the seven rules of voicemail.

Stever Robbins
3-minute read
Episode #35


  • Leave enough information so the person can take the next step. Don't just say "Call me." What a cop out. You'll just bounce back and forth like some hideous voicemail volleyball. Tell them enough so they can proceed without calling back, or if they call back, they can do it having made all the progress possible. "This is Sam, calling about the, er, health issue. Could you call me back with the name of that antibiotic? And what's your favorite cotton swab? Thanks!"
  • If you're just calling to touch base, let them know a few times when they can call you back. There are times you want a phone call, and times when you don't. When you're out on the town, edging up to that sexy single standing by the bar, you just aren't in the mood to take a phone call about refilling your company's supply of packing peanuts. Tell your voicemail victim, "Give me a call today after 3, tomorrow at 7, or Thursday between 9 and noon." You'll help them and save your love life, all at once.
  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Make it fun. If you must go on and on in a voicemail message, make it easy to listen to. Be humorous. Sing. Deliver your message in rhyme. I do all these things, and people love getting messages from me. If you're going to force people to think of you, have 'em think of you fondly.
  • If you remember nothing else from this episode, remember this: leave your name, repeat your number, speak slowly, and carry a big schtick.

    This is Stever Robbins. E-mail questions to getitdone@quickanddirtytips.com or call 866-WRK-LESS or follow getitdoneguy on Twitter.

    Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!


    - http://www.steverrobbins.com/getitdoneguy/sevenrulesofvoicemail

    - PDF copy of these rules - http://www.steverrobbins.com/getitdoneguy/sevenrulesofvoicemail/seven-rules-of-voicemail.pdf

    Businesswoman on Cell Phone image courtesy of Shutterstock


    About the Author

    Stever Robbins

    Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.