May 26, 2016
Life Hacks

Question: How do I make sure I make a good first impression on people?

One of the first questions I ask a new executive coaching client is “What are people’s first impressions of you?” Most of them think about what reaction they get when they enter the room, but I want them to think even before that. I believe that the first impression may be the voice recording a person hears when they call you and it rolls to voice mail.That’s the real first impression. Even before I meet you face to face, I can make a judgement by what I hear in your voice and what you say in your voice mail.You can tell that many people don’t put a lot of thought into this. They just slap together what rolls off their tongue. Here are a few things you can do today to attract more people to you by the first place they may have contact with you—your voicemail.1. SAY ‘CHEESE’You have to smile broadly when you are recording your voicemail, so you might want to do it in a private place where you aren’t distracted.2. QUIET ON THE SETYou should do your voicemail when there is no noise. I have done some in a closet (where the acoustics are perfect), in the car before you start the engine and pull out of the garage, or phone booth ( but you probably won’t find too many of them around).3. JUST THE FACTSDon’t tell us things we already know, like “I’m not here right now” or “I’m not at my desk or out of the office” or I’ll return your call as soon as I can.” Don’t we know all this already? Just welcome your caller and encourage them to leave a message.4. SHOOT FOR NO MORE THAN 15 SECONDSPeople don’t have time to waste, so keep your message brief.5. CATCH THEIR INTERESTIf you have a slogan or message that is current with what your company is doing, that’s fine to mention it. Just keep it brief and memorable.6. FIND ANOTHER SET OF EARSDo you have someone who could listen to your voicemail? Let them tell you what they think. It could be useful, since you are working to make a good first impression.7. RE-DO YOUR MESSAGE—BUT JUST ONLY OCCASIONALLYDon’t waste time doing too many new messages. The more you do, the more you’re going to start rushing them and be less attentive to doing a good one.8. PREPARATION IS EVERYTHINGThere is nothing wrong with writing out what you will say when you do a voicemail greeting. When you do, you’ll find unnecessary words to crop out and you’ll be able to work on your voice tone and inflection. Try it.Here’s my voicemail as an example for you to consider…“This is Dan Chiodo, president of iMPACT Training and Executive Coaching. Isn’t now is a good time for you to level up to your very best work ever? And now, I’m interested in hearing your message…”

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