Have you noticed that more and more prospect meetings are being held by conference call? With technology hiccups, people talking over each other and calls that drop, how do we make sure that the time we spend on these calls is the most productive time possible? Time with prospects is like valuable real estate. It’s important to use every moment wisely. Here are a few tips you can employ ahead of the call and at the beginning of the call:
Start the meeting off right!
- Ahead of time: Send conference call links and the agenda with the calendar invite. Avoid the time-wasting mad scramble of attendees finding the right dial-in information or needed notes.
- Ahead of time: Ask for cell phone numbers at the time the meeting is booked. Just in case you need to communicate offline during the meeting due to a tech issue.
- Ahead of time: Have a back-up conference line ready to go just in case.
- Ahead of time: Prepare for the “accordion meeting.” Just as accordions expand and retract, so must your agenda when technical glitches or other delays occur. Since your goal is always to get a next step with date and time at the end of the meeting, make sure to flex the discussion to leave time to lock in a next meeting. If requesting a full meeting is not an appropriate next step, you can always ask for a 10-minute check in call instead.
- At the beginning of the meeting: Start with impactful icebreaker questions instead of misusing time discussing the weather. Thanks to Danny Rosin, President and Co-founder of Brand Fuel, for this great tip. Here are a few ice breaker questions Danny recommends which launch more meaningful conversations while you’re waiting for others to join the call or resolve tech issues:
- Is there anything memorable or meaningful that has happened to you recently?
- What challenges are you facing professionally?
- What is something you learned recently that is worth sharing?
- What are you hoping to accomplish in your job this year?
- If income was not an issue, what would you spend your time doing?
- What are the most significant characteristics of your best bosses?
- Do you get to do something at work that you love? If so, what?
Danny says, “Here’s to really getting to know each other so we can do more stuff that matters, like helping each other.”