How to Get Your Voicemails Returned | Reader's Digest

How to Get Your Voicemails Returned

Simple phone tricks to get people to call you back.

By Cynthia Dermody from Reader's Digest | October 2004

Your doctor said he’d call Tuesday with the test results. It’s now Friday, and three voice mails later, still no word. The experts reveal the secrets to securing speedy callbacks:

If you’re phoning …

Someone you know, like your busy doctor or loan officer.
After several unreturned messages, Kim Mitchell, a Philadelphia public relations rep, says leave one saying you’ll be in the area and will drop by. When she tried this, her target called within an hour.

Someone you don’t know, like a new plumber or a contractor.
Spark their curiosity. One salesman says, ” ‘Hey, John, Ben Long in San Francisco. Had a quick question, give a call when you can.’ For some reason, they can’t stand not knowing who I am, and they call right back.”

And if you reach an assistant …

California PR rep Lea Yardum asks for the person by his first name, and frames it as a statement (“This is Lea Yardum calling for Bob”) rather than a question, which is longer. The assistant thinks you’re important, and you’re showing respect for his time. This ups the odds your message will get top priority.