Like any other communication, voicemails reflect on you and your business. What kind of message are you leaving after the tone? Avoid these mistakes when recording a professional voicemail.

Recording Without Planning

Think through what you’ll say. You could even practice your message or write it out beforehand. Getting it right the first time matters; you may not have the option to rerecord it. Planning will also cut down on hesitation and filler noises—both of which make you sound unpolished.

Also, speaking off-the-cuff could lead to you accidentally saying something incorrect or unprofessional, such as sharing a personal opinion when you should share an unbiased resource.

Rambling On and On and On

A good voicemail should answer the questions who called and why. Say who you are, clearly state your number—don’t assume everyone has caller ID—and then leave a brief message.

Your message should explain what you would like to discuss. You could add how urgently you need a reply. But that’s about it. A voicemail should be more like a text message or email and less like a monologue. No one wants to sit through a 5-minute voicemail.

Letting Emotions Show Through

You want to sound poised and professional when you leave a message. The person listening to the message will hear if you are stressed, angry, tired, or distracted. It’s a good idea to wait until you can compose yourself before leaving a message.

Unnecessary Voicemails

Do you really need to leave a voicemail at all? Nowadays many clients dislike voicemails and do not check them regularly. You may receive a slower response unless your client or prospect is expecting your call and message. Consider if there is a more effective way to reach the person.