Speed Up Responses by Slowing Down

There’s an old saying that if you don’t have time to do something right the first time, you can always make time to do it over again.

Most of us are in too much of a hurry – most of the time.  It just comes with the territory of being a lawyer.  But there is nothing more frustrating than receiving a voice mail message in which the caller is asking you do to something important or even critical for him or her, but rips through the phone number so quickly that you have to play the message over and over in order to get it or write it down.  Or worse, the caller doesn’t even bother to leave the number at all, just assuming that you either have it or will be more than happy to take the time to ferret it out.  Add to this the callers who don’t leave a number or bother to spell their names — leaving you to head-scratch on how to even start looking up their number before returning their call.  Those are the calls you really love to return.

Being more thoughtful, courteous and deliberative when you leave a voice mail message, particularly one for a client, can do wonders to make that client believe he or she has chosen the right attorney – and to recommend you to others.  It may engender more cooperation from the opposing attorney.  It might even garner a referral under the right circumstances.  It will definitely help to move you to the top of the call-back list.


  1. This is one of my pet peeves! My tip is to always say your name and phone number twice, at the start and end of a voicemail, and spell your last name once. I hate having to replay a voicemail three or four times to catch the number.

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