If you want to use the time prospects would otherwise spend listening to static to your advantage, do what Scott Mosby of Mosby Building Arts did: produce a low-cost phone message that dovetails with all your marketing.

Mosby's three-minute, looping on-hold message is a marketing tour de force.

The message conveys the company's design/build mission and explains what it offers, using punchy language — for example, "eye-popping lower levels," and "one-of-a-kind custom spaces for comfortable lifestyles." It also touts the company's 50-year history of service and awards, and directs listeners to the Web site ( www.scottmosby.com). All this, delivered in a soothing tone with a mellow musical background. The message is designed in such a way that if callers are on hold just 10 or 20 seconds, they take away a nice sound bite.

Mosby's advantage is that he hosts a home improvement radio show in St. Louis. But he insists anyone could do what he did, for no more than $500. "Having a personality affiliated with the company is important," he says. "Even if I wasn't on the radio, I'd still record the message."