How to get What You Want out of a 5 Minute Phone Conversation

How to get What You Want out of a 5 Minute Phone Conversation

You might think that asking someone for a quick 5-minute call is just an easy-lead in to get them into a more in-depth conversation. However, keeping that call as close to those 5 minutes as possible might actually offer the best outcome for everyone involved. You keep the fluff to a minimum, ensure you’re wasting no-one’s time (including your own) and, when it comes to closing leads, 5 minutes is about how long it takes most to decide whether or not they’re convinced. Here are a few tips for business owners to keep a phone call short, sweet, and effective.


Prepare your talking points

You know why you’re making a phone call. As a business manager, you might want to get a status update, to deliver an objective, or to solve problems with your team. If you’re chasing a client, customer, or potential collaborator, you want to make a pitch. In most cases, you might have more than one point to make.

Creating a list of objectives that you can tick off can help you go in much more prepared, so you can get to the point with relative ease. This can include the subject(s) of the call, anything you want to clarify from past discussions, and a reminder to follow-up with a meeting or future call.

Just ensure that you’re not using that list to dictate a call. You have to leave some wiggle room for a little banter and back-and-forth to help people feel at ease.


Don’t lead them on, be direct

While opening with a little banter and some pleasantries is all well and good in a conversation, you don’t want to overdo it. Too many business owners will shy away from the point in order to spend time “preparing” the other side of the conversation for the major objective or key point they want to make.

Once you’re done with the initial pleasantries, outright state why you’re making the call. It focuses the conversation and keeps that objective on the mind of both parties, which means you’re both a lot less likely to spin off into a tangent.


Leave room for feedback

You may have an objective, but you shouldn’t immediately dive into a speech that you think will get you there, whether it’s a continuous sales pitch or a strategic approach you’re hoping the other side will agree to.

You might trip yourself up by not giving them the opportunity to provide feedback that may either change your strategy or offer a short end to the call. If, for instance, someone isn’t interested in what you’re pitching, rather than wasting time trying to sell them, you can get feedback on why, exactly, which can help you improve your strategic approach.

What’s more, it’s simply unpleasant to talk to someone who doesn’t leave any room for the other to make their own voice heard.


Make sure you’re free from distraction

The environment that you’re making the call in needs to be a phone-friendly environment. If you’re being distracted by background noise or people are liable to come in and interrupt you, you will have a harder time keeping your train of thought on the rails.

Not only does this you a less efficient communicator, but it also makes you seem a little rude from the other side of the conversation. Take the conference room for yourself, close the door to the office, or consider even adding a private booth-like area for calls in the office.


Know what your ask is

You have one big ask per call, don’t waste it. If you’re looking to convert a lead, your task is to get them to the next stage, whether it’s agreeing to a meeting or a sale. You don’t want to follow up with deals or other asks.

If you ask for five things, you’re much less likely to get them than if you ask for one. Not only might it seem a little greedy or pushy, but you’re also going to be keeping the other party on the line for longer than you need to, which can make them impatient. It’s wise to keep one key objective per call and to keep any further asks for your next correspondence.

If you’re consistently getting stuck in long phone calls, it might be time to try some of the tips and techniques above. Not only will you find yourself using up a lot less of your valuable time, but you may find that 5-minute calls tend to be much more effective at accomplishing the goals you set for them than a long, rambling conversation.


Need some more office tips?

If you’re a business owner or office worker and enjoy seeing these handy tips connect up with our MD Paul Randall on LinkedIn to see regular helpful articles and get involved with the discussion around them.

Alternatively, if you have any further questions about furnishing your office, give our team a call on 0800 092 1985 for a no obligation chat.

Posted by Paul Randall
12th November 2018