4 Tips for More Efficient Phone Calls
Even in these days of email, IMs and texting, the telephone still plays a part in your business day. But if the constantly ringing phone has become the bane of your existence, it's time to make a change.
Whether you're taking or making the calls, here are four ways to make the process more efficient:
If you focus best from about 9:00-11:00 in the morning, don't suggest or choose those times for phone calls whenever possible. Let unscheduled calls go to voicemail until you need to take a break from your other work, then return them.
Just because your planner comes in 30- and 60-minute blocks doesn't mean your phone calls need to. Try to keep even phone interviews to 20 minutes or less. The shorter length imposes discipline and keeps you on task.
If you have to schedule a conference call or a phone interview, create a shorter timeframe. Rather than asking for 20 minutes sometime in the next week, ask for 20 minutes on a specific day. Leaving too large a window or scheduling too far ahead of time increases the chance that someone will have something else come up. Shorter timeframes make phone calls happen.
That is, if you're a punctual person. Waiting from 1:00 to 1:06 for your phone to ring is just dead time. Yes, you can find stuff to fill it, but better to be the one keeping track of numbers and time and hence minimizing those delays.