Q: What is the proper length of voice mail messages? I get messages that stretch from two to five minutes. One co-worker’s messages are so long she needs to call back to finish them.
A: With voice mail, short is sweet: Leave your name, company, callback number, and a short summary of what the call is about. Finish by either saying when you’ll call back or asking the other person to call you, then repeat your phone number slowly and clearly. “Hi, this is Peter Post from the Emily Post Institute at 555-555-5555. I’m calling about your order. Please call me back between 8 and 5. My number again is 555-555-5555. Thank you.” For those who are guilty of leaving long messages — stop it! I especially hate it when someone leaves a five-minute message so quickly that I miss it, forcing me to listen to the whole message a second time. What a great way not to impress someone you want to do business with.