Creating the right impression, part 1

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By Sarah Setterfield, Personal Marketing Expert

Leaving a message on voicemail or an answer phone

Sometimes when I get back to my office there can be as many as ten messages for me.  I press the play button and stand listening with a pen in hand and pad at the ready.  Some messages are so quick that I have absolutely no chance to getting their name let alone their phone number.  Others are so detailed that they take up lots of time.
The purpose of leaving a message is because you need some action, whether it is a call back, confirmation of something or simply to pass on some information.  To have positive associations to your name when you leave a message, I would recommend following these guidelines:

  1. Make sure the first piece of information you give is your name
  2. Leave a concise message, state clearly up front the major reason for the call and then back up with any ‘fill-in’ information that is necessary to the call
  3. Speak slower than you normally would
  4. Try to restrict your message to 15 – 20 seconds
  5. At the end of the message, repeat your name and leave your telephone number

It’s amazing how much better you can make someone’s day by being considerate.  It’s also a good impact winner for you!


At first, we scoffed at this “short message service,” famously known as SMS. This new fad of text messaging was too impersonal, too informal, too slow, and not long after, too popular to ignore any longer. What was once a quick way to pass on short messages has now become a preferred method of communication for many.

· Does every text message require a response?

· Are we then obliged to enter into a text conversation?

· When we do respond, is it proper to continue until the conversation is officially ended?

· If I get busy and just don’t answer at some point, am I being rude?

There is very little protocol on the etiquette of texting, but I like to think that any conversation should have a greeting, some useful stuff in between, and a “goodbye” at the end.
I don’t like all the abbreviations and text speak because I find it hard to read quickly.  I like punctuation and capital letters because that way it shows respect to me from the sender.  I do hate it when a text conversation suddenly ends because I wonder what happened!
Whatever your form of communication it is a representation of you and what you stand for.  Think of the person you are texting and put yourself in their shoes, how do they communicate and how would they like to receive a text.

Better still, why not call them!


Sarah Setterfield is the creator and owner of Impact For Success and one of the most experienced consultants in Personal Marketing in the UK today.

Contact the author

Tel:  01908 375371