How to Brand Yourself Using YOUR Voice Mail Box

When your clients or prospects call back and get your voice mail, what do they hear?

Do they hear a tired, dull voice asking them to leave a message? Or do they get some generic, dis-embodied message explaining you’re unavailable?  Or … or do they hear a message that has a unique flair and brands you as professional and distinctive?

If you’re in telephone sales or you use the phone to prospect and leave messages, chances are that sooner or later a prospect or customer is going to call you and encounter your voice mail.  What a splendid opportunity to position yourself as different, proficient, and creative!

The 5 Steps to Branding Yourself

It is easy to create a positive and professional impression every time a client hears your voice mail box message if you follow these five simple rules.

First, provide you full name and company name. This is not rocket science.  People want to know they’ve called the right person and company.  Everyone has this part figured out.

Second, provide today’s date. Okay, here’s the hard part. What this means is you have to change your message every single day and provide the current date. Why bother?  It shows that you interact with your voice mail.  It tells the caller that a message that is left will get heard.  It gives your caller piece of mind.  And the vast, vast majority of sales reps DON’T do this so it gives you a distinctive edge; makes you a little bit more memorable.  Like a brand.

Of course, there is a danger with this.  If you forget to change the date, callers remind you.  They’ll point it out.  Tell you point blank.  But that’s a good thing … because it tells you they were LISTENING.  Get into the routine of changing your voice mail first thing in the morning.

Third, explain where you are or what you’re doing. This part of your message can provide an explanation of where you are.  It could be as simple as “I am away from my desk or on another line” to something more elaborate such as “I am on a site visit with a client in San Antonia for today and tomorrow.”  Either way, it provides your caller with some detail and, if used properly, can position you and your job function.  Like a brand…sound familiar?

Fourth, tell the listener precisely what you’d like them to do. Usually this part of your message asks your caller to leave their name, number and a detailed message.

Fifth, thank them and tell them what you will do. Complete the circle. Assure them that leaving the message was the right thing to do and that you’ll respond within a given period of time.  If you’re an inside sales rep, response times could be within an hour or two.  If you’re on the road, maybe it’s with twenty four hours.  Either way, tell them.

4 Other Ways to Supercharge Your Voice Mail Box

Here are some additional ways to brand yourself through your voice mail box.

Watch your tone. You want to sound upbeat, positive, and polished.  If you fumble about and make a mistake simply re-record your message.  Another 17 seconds to create a positive impression. Peanuts.

Speak at a moderate rate of speech. The faster you deliver your message the less sincere it sounds. In fact, people equate fast talkers with those who are not trustworthy; someone trying to pull the wool over their eyes.  As your message gets routine it gets easier and easier to delivery it quickly. Slow down and be aware of the negative impact that pace can have.

Provide a mini-marketing message. While it is best to keep your message short, don’t be afraid to add a one liner at the end of the message. For instance, “Thank you for calling … and be sure to ask me about….”  Or you might want to lead them to your web site, “Thank you for calling … for more information please visit”

Provide a quote.  Some reps have branded themselves by adding an inspirational quote at the end of their messages.  Some change the quote daily while others use the same quote.  Different. Unique. Branding.  Why not?


It takes about 17 seconds per day to change your message and brand yourself. Seventeen seconds! That’s amounts to about 1.4 minutes per week.   Changing your voice mail message is not a big step towards branding and marketing yourself but it is a STEP.  That so few reps don’t change their messages means you have a huge opportunity to make a difference.  Try it and see.

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