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Telefonieren auf Englisch - Effektive Nachrichten hinterlassen

Schlagwörter: Telefonieren auf Englisch, Englisch Telefonieren, Englisch Telephoning, Englisch am Telefon, Telefon Englisch, Anruf Englisch, Anrufe Englisch, Nachricht hinterlassen Englisch, Nachrichten hinterlassen Englisch, Anrufbeantworter Englisch, Sprachmailbox Englisch, Sprachnachricht Englisch

No one picking up? Typical. These days, everyone has so much to do that the chance of someone being at his desk when you call is quite low. Your call recipient is either in a meeting, at lunch, speaking with colleagues, out of the office, attending a seminar or even sitting at his desk with so much to do that answering the telephone would be a serious interruption.

What do you do? Send an e-mail? Perhaps, but then you don't know how long a response will take. Many people view e-mail as a medium to be prioritised according to their personal schedules, and not to the sender's schedule. Voicemail, on the other hand, is regarded by everyone as a medium for handling more urgent matters when personal contact is preferable but not immediately possible.

Unfortunately, the volume of voicemail messages has so significantly increased that sorting, organising and prioritising calls has become a necessity as well. There is no longer any guarantee that the person you're calling will call you back, even if failing to do so has in the past been considered rude. But voicemail can still be more effective than e-mail for the following reasons:

  • The past feeling of rudeness and guilt associated with failure to return a call still exists in many cultures. If you leave a message that seems important, your chance of getting a callback is high.

  • A voicemail message allows the recipient to hear your voice - this is far more personal than a voiceless e-mail. People prefer to respond to calls from people who seem friendly, efficient and confident because calling back is less likely to be a waste of time or lead to bureaucracy.

These two issues provide important clues to creating effective messages that increase the chance of getting the response you're looking for within a reasonable timeframe.

The two elements of an effective voicemail message

The following two aspects of a voicemail message are essential to maximising your callback potential:

  • Audial "appearance"

  • Content

These should come as no surprise - appearance and content are the two most important qualities associated with almost any business communication. But it's not one-size-fits-all: appearance and content must be adjusted to fit the communication medium being used - in this case the audio environment of a telephone call.

Audial "appearance"
Think about what you listen for - in addition to content - when you're playing back your own voicemail messages. What do you notice? Or more important, what do you notice when it makes a negative impact? Chances are that one or more of the following no-nos will quickly lead you to give a call low priority or ignore it entirely:

  • The caller's accent was strange, difficult to understand or possibly even unpleasant to listen to

  • The caller seemed confused, spoke with a lack of confidence or unenergetically

  • The caller's tone did not sound friendly

  • The message was unorganised or it was not clear what was being requested or what the desired action should be

  • The caller gave you the feeling that returning the call would require a lot of time and result in little benefit

The following tips will help ensure that you pass the audial appearance hurdle:

  • Call from a landline if possible; if you're using a mobile phone, be sure your reception is high and that you are unlikely to be interrupted by changing mobile cells or driving into a tunnel.

  • Make sure your background environment is quiet: no people talking or laughing, no machine noises like whirring, grinding or beeping and no noises that are foreign to most business situations such as crying babies, mooing cows or barking dogs. Your background environment should be librarial. Call from indoors if possible to avoid the sounds of nature (wind, flocks of birds, whalesong) or the sounds of civilisation (aeroplanes zooming overhead, ambulances racing by, jackhammers tearing up a road).

  • Speak at an even, medium pace and pronounce each word clearly.

  • If you have a tendency to stumble over words, you get easily confused when leaving a long message (in a foreign language any message can feel long) or you're calling someone new or important, prepare your message in advance and practise reading through it a few times before making the call. If your conversation partner actually does answer the phone, you'll be well-prepared to talk.

  • Smile while practising your message and while delivering it. Telephoning studies have repeatedly shown that a smile on one's face can be subconsciously sensed by call recipients. Such a smile - while seeming artificial - will nevertheless significantly increase the chance that the call recipient will think you are a friendly person worth speaking with.

  • Avoid leaving messages at strange hours when no one would be at work (time differences aside). Some people may assume you lack confidence and want to hide behind the security of voicemail.

  • Try to call people who are known to be aggressive with their responsibilities (sales people, executives, project managers, software programmers, etc.) as early as 7:30 AM and as late as 6:00 PM. You'll be viewed as an aggressive type, too.

Assuming you've leaped over the audial appearance hurdle, the next task is to leave content that will have your caller rushing to return your call ASAP. This requires formulating your message as an action item. These steps will help you do this:

  • Create your action statement. Clearly define what you want to achieve. Write down one short or medium-sized sentence that states the desired action. This sentence may be worded as a request or an instruction, depending on the situation.

  • Decide how you will open. Using your action statement as a starting point for building your message text, decide how you will introduce yourself.

  • Add a stage-setter: After you've introduced yourself, you'll need to create context for your call recipient, so that he understands the nature or importance of your call.

  • Provide any necessary background information: This optional content provides the recipient with the information he needs to efficiently respond to your action statement. If your message functions without background information, don't include it.

  • State your reason for the call recipient to be interested: If the recipient feels there is no real reason to take the time to return your call, he may give your request a low priority or simply ignore it altogether. Generally speaking, if your issue is of low importance and is not time-sensitive, your request is better made via e-mail. Given that you're calling, the issue must be important, so it's crucial to provide your recipient with the motivation to call you back.

  • Provide contact information: Use a standard phrase for providing your contact information, and mention any time restrictions the recipient should be aware of.

  • Decide how you will close: Write down what you will say after your action statement to bring your message to a close. This usually includes a thank you and/or statement of expectation and a goodbye.

Assemble your message in the above order, and then move your action statement into place before your contact information.

Smooth out your text until it reads easily and without stumbling over words.

If you will be providing important or complex pieces of information, be sure to include a very short pause in your text after each by writing (pause). Also be sure to pause between each section of your message to give the recipient a chance to quickly note down what you have said.

Practise your text (with a smile) until you can read it in a friendly, confident and positive tone, and you'll be ready to leave a very effective message that's sure to garner attention and a rapid response.

Useful phrases

Opening statements

Good morning/afternoon, this is Mrs Donova from ITG Marketing.


I received an e-mail from you yesterday requesting that ...

We recently received an order from you for ...

I recently saw you present at the ...

I'm returning your call about ...

I'm calling about a problem we've been having with ...

I'm afraid (there is a problem with) ...

We have a bit of a situation with ...

You might be interested to know that ...

Background information

As you may know, ...

You probably haven't heard yet, but ...

The situation/problem is as follows: ...

I'd like to bring you up-to-date on ...

He/she said/requested that ...

Reasons to be interested

I thought you might be interested in ...

I believe this may affect you because ...

I'm afraid things are on hold until ...

This could delay/have an impact on ...

I'm afraid I can't take further action until I hear from you.

Action statements

If you're interested, I'd be happy to discuss it with you in further detail.

Could you please call me back ASAP with/and ...

Could you send me a copy of the ... via e-mail before lunch tomorrow?

I'd like to meet you for lunch to discuss the issue further.

Contact information

My name once again is Mrs Donova.

You can reach me at country code 49 555 555 5555.

My number is country code 49 555 555 5555.

I'll be out of the office all day tomorrow but you can reach me on my mobile. That number is country code 49 555 555 5555.

Please contact me at your convenience at country code 49 555 555 5555.

Again, that's country code 49 555 555 5555.

I'm always at my desk between 10 and 3.

Closing statements

Thank you in advance for helping with this.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Have a nice day and goodbye.


Schlagwörter: Telefonieren auf Englisch, Englisch Telefonieren, Englisch Telephoning, Englisch am Telefon, Telefon Englisch, Anruf Englisch, Anrufe Englisch, Nachricht hinterlassen Englisch, Nachrichten hinterlassen Englisch, Anrufbeantworter Englisch, Sprachmailbox Englisch, Sprachnachricht Englisch

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