Schedule Phone Meetings: The single easiest and most powerful technique I know

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Why is the Technique Useful?

1. Quantity: To increase your Efficiency, Productivity and Momentum

Given voicemail today, the average person has a 10-20% chance of getting hold of their audience when they just pick up the phone and try calling them.
However, if, during your last communication with them, you booked your next follow up as a phone meeting – with date and time – your odds of getting hold of them increase to 70%-80%.
That is a 400-500% increase in your productivity and ability to get hold of our audience.

2. Quality: To increase the Effectiveness and Conversation Quality

Even when you get hold of a customer playing the typical phone chase, they are logically working on something else at that time and were not anticipating your call that second. So, they are less likely to give you their full undivided attention – which results in a quicker, less productive, lower quality conversation. However, when someone has scheduled a time for you, they mentality re- focus to the planned phone meeting with you so the quality of your discussion goes up.

3. Other Benefits

  • You are less likely to give up and resort to email instead (which is far less intimate & does not offer the benefits of a live, 2-way discussion).
  • Maintain momentum as things don’t drag on while playing chase, wait, chase, wait.
  • It’s more motivating & productive when you have a busy day full of meetings than a painful list of follow ups that you need to chase down.
  • It will lower your anxiety often associated with waiting for someone to get back to you.
  • When they show up to your meeting it is clear sign of their level of engagement/interest.
  • Keeps you top of mind with your audience. When they get into the office, look at their calendar and see your meeting, it will put you top of mind and enable them to mentally prepare for you.
  • Lastly, since the goal is to always be building trust, think of trust points you get when you book a firm phone meeting, call when you said you were going to, have an organized agenda & lead.

How does it work?

It’s so simple. Here are some examples.

  • Instead of telling your prospect you will call them back next week to follow up information you sent, while on the phone, schedule an exact date & time you will call them back and put it firmly into your calendar.
  • Instead of telling your prospect you will call them in 4-5 weeks to see how their business is doing and what projects they might have, while on the phone, schedule an exact date & time you will call them back.
  • Instead of promising your customer you will put together a quote tomorrow & call them next week to answer any questions (see the “Why You Should Always Present Your Quote” module), while on the phone, schedule an exact date & time you will talk next.

Are there any situations where I should not use this technique?

The simple answer is ‘no’! Even if your customer calls you at 10 am and you tell them you will call them back that same morning, you will have a 400%-500% higher chance of getting hold of them if you book that call firm for 11:15 am then if you just try to call them when you have a chance.

Some Tips when Using this Approach

  • Treat phone appointments as being equal in importance to face-to-face appointments.
  • Explain to your audience why you are doing this (which is to save everyone time).
  • After you have booked your phone meeting, immediately send a meeting invitation (via Outlook), re-stating the meeting agenda. In addition, if the phone meeting booked is more than 1 week away, send a meeting reminder 1-2 days prior. It’s a “reminder” – not a “confirmation”.
  • Don’t ask them for a next phone appt, tell them! You are in the driver’s seat & they will typically just follow.

© 2016 by Darren Rabie. Co-Founder and President of Focus America, Darren Rabie is also a passionate speaker, writer and jokester, having enjoyed speaking at over 350 events, trade shows, associations & CEO groups throughout North America…with topics including “How to Turn Leads into Sales”, “Manufacturing a Sale”, and “The Science of Selling”. Daren has helped hundreds of owner-operated B2B companies make the transition to a structured, scalable and accountable sales organization. For more information, visit www.focus-america.com or contact Darren directly via email at drabie@focus-america.com

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