Leaving a Message for a Prospect? 3 Mistakes to Avoid

1414996783661_communicating-at-workHave you ever said something with the best of intentions only to find out it “burned a bridge” with a possible prospect?

HOW you communicate can open or shut doors of opportunity more than anything else. For example, my computer wasn’t working so I contacted 3 tech people and left a message.

One just sent a text message “Call 604-988-0012 and we’ll see if we can solve your problem.”

The second left a voice mail in an exhausted tone of voice, “I’m calling to help you with your computer issue. I’m booked solid, but I’ll see if I can help you sometime next week.”

The third one called a few times until he got me in person and said in an upbeat tone, “I’m Jonathan, and I know how to fix the exact problem you’re dealing with and can get online with you today and we’ll do it virtually.” Guess which one I went with?

Here are 3 common mistakes that can unwittingly hurt your business relationships. And, by the way, these also true for personal relationships:

#1 – Just digital communication

It’s so tempting to just send a text, email or chat these days. However, if the relationship and the goal is important, a more direct and personal form of communication is always better. It builds the “trust, know and like” factor that is so important for building your business.

#2 –  Negative Tone of Voice

I once re-listened to a voice mail message I left on a day I was very tired. Even though the words I was saying were positive, my tone of voice didn’t match. Reconnect to a positive goal for contacting this person before you talk, so that your voice will match your words in terms of warm, passion and goodwill.

#3 –  Not Anticipating Their Needs

Most people are so self focused that they miss an opportunity to really serve people. Before contacting someone, put yourself in their shoes. For example, I chose Jonathan because he anticipated that I wanted to know if he could solve my computer problem and if he could do it right away. Take a few moments to think about what’s probably most important to the person you are contacting. If you don’t know, begin the conversation with an open question such as “what’s important to you about…”. Since so few people do this, you will stand out from the crowd and win them over.


Carla Rieger is a funny, motivational keynote speaker on the topic The Art of Communication: The Top 6 Habits of Highly Effective Communicators. For a live demo go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihchHZ_aapI