About three years ago I started a practice which has resulted in an extraordinary improvement in the effectiveness of my phone calls.
I create a written "agenda" for almost every call.
How does this help?
We know that meetings generally go better if there is an agenda. If we think of a phone call as just a one on one meeting, it stands to reason that an agenda should help as well.
- With an agenda, you are more likely to cover what you need to, and in the optimal order.
- For a potentially difficult conversation, you can plan in advance how you might respond to anticipated objections and so forth.
- You may discover issues that need prep work in advance of the call.
However, my phone call agenda has one major difference from a meeting agenda.
It is intended just for me.
In fact, it's more like the combination of a plan and a script that allows me to conduct a more efficient and effective call. (I may also, in some cases, send a more agenda to the other person if it would be helpful for them to prepare as well.)
Some questions you might have:
Is this just for work calls?
No! All the same benefits listed earlier apply to personal calls.
When's the best time to make the agenda
No contest here. At the time you decide you need to make the call.
Where should the agenda be stored?
Wherever you'll have access to it at the time of the call if the call is on your calendar put the agenda in the notes section, or in your planner
And finally, should you make an agenda when you plan to make the call immediately?
This is an easy technique that really does save time and add value. I hope you give it a try!