Here's how to leave a voicemail that gets you a call back.
1) State your name and phone number in the first sentence
2) Describe the reason for your call
3) Ask for a call-back
4) State your name and phone number again
5) Conclude with a brief, cheerful signoff.
Here's why it works:
1) If they're going to call you back, they'll need your number. Little is worse than listening to a 45 second voicemail, missing the call-back information at the end, then having to re-listen just to get the digits. Do your contacts a favor and give them the information they need at the beginning so if they need to replay the VM, they get what they need quickly.
2) When you describe why you're calling, open a story loop in their head that calling you back will close. Give them enough to make them curious, but don't try to explain the whole thing at once in a VM. And never try to sell over a VM; people buy from people, not answering machines
3) Ask for the thing you're after, which is to continue the conversation. Simple state, please call me back at your earliest convenience.
4) Restate your name and phone number. You can even benefit from saying your number slowly, twice.
5) Conclude quickly and professionally: have a great day, or looking forward to connecting soon.
How do you leave a voicemail? What do you wish others would do for you when leaving voicemail?