Skip to content

UXL Blog

Creating Successful Leaders

phone meeting2

Many initial meetings happen over the phone. You might be “meeting” with a prospective client OR interviewing with a potential new company OR connecting with a possible collaborator for a new project. Whatever the case, don’t take these initial meetings lightly. Phone meetings are valuable opportunities to put your best foot forward and make an excellent first impression. How can you make sure your next phone meeting is a positive one?

1. Prepare

Nothing is as important as well-planned preparation. One of the most critical things you can do is research the other party. Visit their website, familiarize yourself with the company (or the person with whom you’ll be speaking), and learn about their guiding principles or mission statement. You’ll likely be able to interject some of your knowledge about the company during your phone conversation, but DON’T FORCE IT. You don’t want to sound canned or rehearsed.

Next, go over exactly what you’re going to cover in the meeting (or what you think you’re going to cover). Practice asking yourself questions that will likely be covered in the conversation and prep answers that are flexible and can be elaborated on or modified, depending on the question.

2. Warm up your voice

If it’s early in the morning or you haven’t been talking much all day, your voice will likely sound scratchy or weak. And that does NOT make for a good first impression. What to do about unused vocal chords? Warm ‘em up! Talk to a co-worker, call your mother, or even talk or hum to yourself. Newscasters, actors, singers, and other people who depend on their voice know the importance of warming up—a warmed up voice sounds more powerful and confident. For more ideas on prepping your voice, Business Insider printed an excellent article with several tips and tricks.

3. Be punctual

If it’s up to you to initiate the phone call, be punctual. Calling too early might rush the other party; calling too late gives the impression that you don’t really care.

If you’re on the receiving end of the phone call, be prepared to speak five minutes before the scheduled time. You don’t want to be caught off-guard by an early call.

4. Practice good listening

It’s easy to let your mind wander if you’re speaking with someone who is not in the same room. If your laptop is sitting in front of you, you might be tempted to absentmindedly scan your email, Facebook, the New York Times, the latest shoes on your favorite retail site…DON’T DO IT.

In order to truly absorb what the other person is saying, you must give them your full attention. Multi-tasking has been proven time and again to be ineffective and unproductive. Instead, put distractions away, take notes, and really listen. By being completely engaged in the conversation, you’ll be able to ask good questions and demonstrate that you care about the speaker and what he has to say.

Keys to Good Listening

5. Set up a follow-up meeting

If it’s within your power to set up a follow-up meeting (i.e. if you’re NOT interviewing for a job), then do so. Unless the phone meeting was a complete disaster, you’ll likely want to follow up with the other party. By setting up a time to meet—either face-to-face or over the phone—you’re demonstrating that you care and are enthusiastic about working with the person or company.

Once you hang up, send out an email to 1) thank the person for their time on the phone and 2) confirm the next meeting time and place. Not only is this good etiquette, it also shows that you’re grateful for the other person’s time.

 

Do you have specific questions about an upcoming phone meeting? Send me a message! I would be happy to answer any queries you might have.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: