A professional voice mail greeting is as simple as a friendly hello and a name, followed by a message such as, "I’m either away from my desk or on the phone. Please leave your name, number and a short message and I’ll be sure to get back to you." The ideal greeting is brief, but lets the caller know whose voice mail they have reached, invites them to leave a message, and informs them they can expect a return call.
An individual should include useful information in his voice mail greeting as well, such as hours of operation, a website where callers can find answers to questions, an email address, and any time periods when he is out of town. If there is another person the caller can contact, such as an assistant, this information can be supplied as well.
Voice mail greetings can benefit from a touch of humor. A message such as, "If you’re part of the problem, please hang up. If you’re part of the solution, please leave me a message," can make the caller smile and ease the sting of reaching a machine.
A number of elements beyond the words themselves make for a professional voice mail greeting. The individual should record the message in a quiet space, rehearse the greeting a few times before recording, and speak with a smile and in an upbeat manner.