1 Transcript: Optimizing Times on Calls Pedram Shojai: Let's talk about your phone calls. Phone calls are an amazing way waste of time if you don't know how to use them. I used to have my days booked with phone calls. Again, I don't know what you do for a living, so do with this information what you need to do to fit your life. We used to plan calls for me and book them for an hour. Guess what? When something's booked for an hour, usually you take up that hour. Nature hates a vacuum. I would have 8 to 10 calls lined up on a Tuesday, and whatever, and I'd sit there and be like, "Oh my God, I'm on the phone all day." It's 8 hours on the phone. You're just blowing out your chi, and you're sitting there talking and doing this thing. You're spending less time getting to the point. As I started to become more effective human being, as I started to be on calls with more effective human beings, neither of us had the time to do that. Then I realized, so what happened was I just started booking all my calls for half an hour. What that did was liberate half my day, and it just got us to get more efficient. You get on, for half an hour, 10% of the time, let's just say, you dedicate to pleasantries. You get on for maybe 2, 3 minutes, "Hey, great to have you. Duh, duh, duh. Where do you live? Duh, duh, duh. How's the weather out there? Ha, ha, ha. Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle. All right, well, you know, I'm super excited to hear what you're up to. This is great." 1 minute, usually... I've gotten way better, because I'm going to talk about what I do now... Once you dispense with the pleasantries in a very nice way, and the transition, basically, is coming real nice, coming real soft, and real friendly, and just be like, "Hey, I'm excited to meet you. This is a person to person. Let's connect on a heart level, in some way. Let's feel like you're another person on the line. Now, great. Okay, let's talk about this thing," and then in between you can make a couple jokes and be human. Cut that hour down to half an hour. You just got half your day back. Then what I started doing is realizing that there was still a lot of calls that didn't need half an hour. We started booking 15-minute calls for things that were just quick intro meet-and-greets. There are apps like TimeTrade. I'll make a 1
2 list of the apps where people can book in times that you allocate for appointments and meetings that will help you manage your time and your calendar better. What that started doing was freeing up, and taking my time and doubling it again. Look, if there's someone you like that you want to hang out with, you want to go get drinks with after work, go for 4 hours, fine. That's your prerogative. If you're going to spend your entire day having conversations with people, and staying away from the work that you needed to get done, that starts to become disruptive. My suggestion for you, no matter how busy you are and you have time... If you have time, and you start stretching and dilating that time, and spending it on the phone with people unnecessarily, that's time away from your exercise, that's time away from your personal practice, that's time away from reading the 55 books that are sitting in your room or on your bookshelf that you need to read to get you ahead in your career, your life, your whatever. You're spending it in an unnecessary way, on the phone. Start looking at which calls can be 15 minutes, which calls can be 30 minutes, and if something is really serious and you've got to put more time into this conversation that needs to be whatever it is, then you book it for a full hour. Look, you're not being unreasonable. You're just starting to look at your time differently. Then, I would always build an agenda for a call. If you're ing someone back and forth, "Great, let's get on a call. Duh, duh, duh. The agenda is to talk about, bap, bap, bap. Is there anything else you'd like to talk about?" You lay out, and then you go through the agenda, so you handle the items you wanted to handle. You open with pleasantries. You close with pleasantries. If it's something you want to follow up with, you immediately follow up with , you connect the right people, you say, "This is great. We're going to do this. I'm adding Wendy." What I'll do is I'll do plus Wendy, plus Lorenzo, plus whoever. Then put them on the CC line and say, "Wendy, we just had this great conversation. Please send this, that, and the other over to Michael. Then, Lorenzo, please get that video clip over. Then, Michael, we said that you guys are going to get this stuff over. This was great. Looking forward to it. If we need a follow up call, let me know. Here's a link to my TimeTrade app to schedule a follow up call, but in the interim, great stuff. Everything's moving forward." Done. You didn't end it in an abrasive way, and you didn't short-change yourself so that you need to get on another call to catch up. Get efficient, get an agenda, and do it. One of the other things that I like to do is even as I book minute calls are tough. You just go in 2
3 and out in 15. What I'll do is say, book a block of 2 hours of calls. What is that? That's 8 calls at 15 minutes. I'll take 1 of those 15- minute chunks, or maybe 2 depending on how complex it is, so I'll do 3 calls an hour, and leave 15 minutes for follow-up. "Okay, hey, great talking to you. Duh, duh, duh. Adding so and so, adding so and so. Wonderful. Hope to get this going next." In 15 minutes you've handled 3 calls. You got up. You stretched. You did whatever you needed to do. Again, I've already talked to you about how to take calls on the road, but we're going to do it again right here. I never take calls at the desk. I don't really have a desk to sit at anymore. That means I don't have a desk for paper and junk to accumulate, and it means that I'm walking around on my calls anyways. I'll be, much like I'm in the studio right now, I'll have my laptop at a standing station, and I'll walk around, talk to them, and if they need me to look at a page or something, I'll walk over to my laptop, be like, "Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh. Great." The conversation goes in a direction where I don't need to be in front of the computer, I'm walking around. I'm walking all day, taking notes, and then every 15 minutes, doing some pushups, doing a quick follow-ups, text follow-ups, whatever it takes, getting back to doing calls, getting out, going to lunch, going to the gym, taking a nap, it doesn't matter. You become more efficient, and then that time comes back to you, okay? Time trade is important. What's also important is understanding the follow through in the warmth in your so that you don't seem curt. You show people that you value your time and their time; they take you way more seriously. You are the type of person that they want to be engaged with, because you're not messing around. You're not there to waste their time. They understand that they're not allowed to waste yours. You are the nicest person they've ever met, and you mean business, and you're there to do good things. Make sure you align that, and then what you're doing, if it's not aligned with where you want to go with your business, you say, "Hey, listen. Here's where we need to go. Here's where you're at. Can we meet somewhere here? If not, then great. It was great meeting you." You don't need to get involved with everybody that you talk to just because you talk to them. It doesn't mean that you can't be friends outside of there, it just means that you're staying focused on your personal, your life, your business interests, whatever it is. You're using that as the moniker to just be like, "Here's where you're at. Here's where I'm at. This is what we need. Do we have a 3
4 place where we overlap? Great. We got a deal. Fantastic. Here's some follow-up." Or, "Okay, so this is where we're at. It seems like we're not on page right now. I'm going to do a follow-up so that we can stay in touch, and then next year when that thing is done, let me know, and we'll take a look at." Or, "When I'm ready to meet you where you're at, I'll send you an . Great. Pleasure meeting you. Thank you so much for your time. I don't want to..." The implication is, "I don't want to waste any more of your time," and not my time, ever. It's always being respectful of their time. Get off, do a follow-up, go back in your calendar and say, "Follow-up with Bob on whatever date you say about program when it's done," so that, later on, in your calendar, you have a reminder. You put something into your calendar. I don't like reminders as appointments, so I'll go in, say, I'm going to follow up in a month, I'll go a month ahead in my calendar, find a 30 minute or a 15 minute spot, put in, "Follow up with Bob from so and so company about X, Y, and Z." Great. I don't have to have it here. It's on my calendar. I send my little nice followup . I just walked around. I've gotten my exercise. I met a person. I didn't waste their time. They didn't waste mine. Now I have the rest of my day to go to Disneyland, write a book, do whatever. Maximize your time efficiency on calls, and you're also going to realize this really important principle that I have to emphasize here for a quick second, is the literal translation of Genesis is, "As I speak, I create." Be mindful of how much energy you create, and dissipate your voice. Use economy of energy in your speech. Don't speak to fill the air, mean what you say, say what you mean, do what you say, follow through, and that is the code of honor. That's what lines you up between your thoughts, your words, and your actions to be an honorable person. People love working with honorable people. People will give business to honorable people. People respect honorable people, and the urban monk is honorable. Line up your thoughts, your intentions, and your words, and be that person on your phone calls. Be present on your phone calls. Get in, get out, be respectful, but be present, and it makes a huge difference in how people see you, how the calls go, and how you feel about how you interacted with people all day. If you feel like you're speaking too much, catch your breath. There's nothing like talking on the phone to remind you that you might be out of sync. I'll find that a lot. I do hundreds of hours of videos, and movies, and podcasts, and all this stuff. 4
5 It's a great moniker for me, because I spent my life learning how to breathe. I'll be like, "Hey, I'm a little short of breath. So, Bob, tell me about this thing real quick." As Bob's doing that, I'm catching my breath, recentering, listening, but recentering, and then coming back with something meaningful that shows that I listened, heard, digested, and here's what I have to say about what he just had to say, and I'm back. Use your calls as a time to practice always. Good luck with this one. 5
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