A Telephone Technique, A Selling Technique, And A Time Management Technique All In One.
At the very start of any call–whether on the phone or in person– always ask how much time you will have.
There’s an important reason for doing this. Very successful people are jealous of their time. One of their worst fears is the time thief–the individual that gets in their office or on the phone and wastes their time.
So you must assure the person you see or call that you are not a time thief, and that you will pay attention to the boundaries that are set.
Here’s how this tactic is used by Gene Griessman, Ph.D. author of “99 Ways To Get More Out Of Every Day” and the best-seller “Time Tactics Of Very Successful People”.
“When I was director of national media relations at Georgia Tech, I regularly called TV producers, editors, and journalists. These individuals lived with real deadlines, and simply could not allow anyone to waste their time.
I would begin by introducing myself and saying, ‘I’ve got a story idea that I believe will work for you. I can tell you what it is in 60 seconds. If you’re interested, we can take longer. May I have 60 seconds of your time?’
I don’t recall ever being turned down when I asked this way.
Prior to making the call, I prepared a script that I used to describe the idea in 60 seconds. When the 60 seconds expired, I would say, “I’ve taken 60 seconds of your time. Would you like to hear more?”
I used this same approach for face-to-face appointments, when I was pitching a story in person. I would ask in advance how much time I could have. If the other party said 10 minutes, at the end of the 10 minutes, I would say, “My 10 minutes are up.” And then pause.
On a number of occasions, when I followed this tactic, the other party would say something like: “Please take a bit longer.”
Anyone who’s ever done sales knows that it’s a good sign if the prospect asks you to take longer than the allotted time.”
This is an important telephone technique and selling technique, and it’s easy to learn: find out how much time you have.