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To free-up time, think “pace not face”

Tags: Be interesting | Meetings | Impact | Save time | Do more | Influencing

28th March

Face-to-face meetings are better than telephone meetings.

Sometimes.

Yes, face-to-faces are better because they’re more intimate, you can see each other’s body language, you can often connect better with the other person, and so on.

But they also take much longer than Telephone Meetings:

  • Travel time, hassle and cost
  • Meeting duration – people often schedule an hour for a face-to-face, but less for a call
  • Diary delay. I can schedule a telephone call for today. But our busy diaries mean we can’t have a face-to-face for a few weeks

So, a question for you: when you’re organising meetings, do you think “pace” or “face”?

Because, if “pace” is more important, a call now trumps a face-to-face later.

I thought of this Tip yesterday when I received an email from a new customer – “We loved your proposal. Let’s get going. The first step is for us to have a face-to-face meeting”.

So a great email to get. A new customer. Obviously, I have to impress them. So I have to do exactly what they want, yes?

Well, no.

Much as I know they’ll be absolutely delighted when they see my face, in this case, pace was more important.

So I called her (by the way, it’s often better to reply to an email with a call – quicker than playing Email Tennis). I said the most important issue here was pace. And that, with our busy diaries, a face-to-face would needlessly delay our kick-off. So let’s agree immediate actions, and crack on.

She agreed. We got going. Even though I hadn’t done what she’d asked.

So remember: people are often more interested in pace. Don’t have an over-inflated opinion of your face, and think people simply must see it!

Action point

Review your diary for this week. Ask yourself, “Does every single face-to-face meeting need to happen? Or can I phone them instead?”

Then, if a phone call’s better, tell them in advance that you’re both better-off meeting by phone …unless, of course, they’re absolutely itching to see your face.

And if you do want to see my face (!) – because you prefer learning by watching instead of reading – check out this video – it’s a short video showing the simplest way to communicate better.