Steps to Make Conference Calls With Calls to Action
Have you lined up a conference call, only to find that the call was a waste of time, or that you got cornered and didn’t know what to say?
First calls with potential partners can create anxiety and worry if the call is not approached with authority, an agenda, and calls to action. Here are three simple steps to alleviate these concerns:
1. Use Pareto’s Principle to Create a Time Constraint
As soon as you get on the call take control and let the others know that you have a limited amount of time to talk. This is a very important as it will keep the length of the call short as well as create the appearance and value for your time spent on the phone call. An easy step that is often missed by startup rookies, can make or break calls from the get go.
Phrases such as “Hi everyone, I’m really excited to have this call, I do want to give a quick heads up that I have another meeting in 30 minutes, but I believe we can get a lot accomplished if we get right to it.” Pareto’s Principle states that you will finish things in the amount of time that you set to get them finished, and setting a time frame on a conference call (or in person meeting) will make more happen in the meeting!
2. Seek information from Them
Make the call one in which you are gathering information about them instead of vice versa. For example, you can say “Mr. Jones, to start off can you please introduce yourself, the role you play in the company, and a bit about what you already know about our product/service.” This will help you to determine if they are a decision maker in their company, and will help to understand their knowledge of your product/service.
Often times we waste way too much time pitching and talking to people who don’t have the power to write checks or are already familiar with your company. You should aim to have a catered conversation which you can’t do unless you get information from the other side. Do not get trapped into giving too much detail, especially on a first call. After the introduction, the focus of the call should be to clearly and concisely identify at least three potential collaboration points based on a generalized view of your business idea.
3. Form Three Ideas, Choose the Easiest, Then Start
On the phone conversation your ultimate goal should be to help identify three potential ways of working together for collaborating or creating synergy. Tell this to those on the call, and stick to this purpose. Physically write down the three ideas in no particular order and then before you get off the phone discuss which is the easiest to accomplish and try to convince all parties to start there.
Oftentimes, in an initial phone conversation, not much is actually accomplished and you fall into the trap of simply talking, or making the whole phone call one big “introduction.” Then you are left to follow up emails and wasting time on trying to secure a second phone call or in person meeting. Cut to the chase on the first call to determine three identifiable opportunities, and then start with the opportunity that is the easiest.
You should be excited to take any and all potential conference calls that could lead to synergies with small, medium or large opportunities. Don’t be scared or stressed. Take control of the call by setting a time limit, gathering information to tailor your discussion and starting with the easiest of three potential collaboration points.