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15-second voice mail gets results

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in Workplace Communication

Making a “cold call” can shake the nerves of even a seasoned pro. Engaging with a person you’ve never met is even more challenging if you land in the individual’s voice mail.

On his blog, Never Eat Alone author Keith Ferrazzi (www.keithferrazzi.com/blog) suggests “warm calling” instead. His four rules for making a warm connection in a 15-second voice mail message:

1. Convey credibility by mentioning a familiar person or institution that connects you. Example: “I’m calling for my boss, Melissa Stewart, who speaks so highly of you and your company.”

2. Tell the person how interacting with you will help him. Example: “We’re interested in finding out whether we might join forces for the upcoming widget conference. It could make for a mutually beneficial partnership.”

3. Impart urgency and convenience. Be prepared to meet the other person on his own terms. Example: “Melissa will be in New York next week. Would you be available for a meeting?”

4. Offer a compromise that secures a definite follow-up. Example: “Or, if getting together this trip isn’t convenient, she could make room in her schedule for whenever it’s more convenient.”

Final tips for making the call: To convey warmth, smile before you pick up the phone. The person on the other end can feel it. To give your voice a boost of energy, stand up.

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