How do you suppose elite professional athletes prepare for their sport? Among other things, they watch film and get professional coaching. Even the superstars? Especially the superstars. Nobody is more motivated to look at themselves for ways to improve than the best.
Video and audio tape reveals the truth. It can’t lie, think or assume. It can only tell the truth.
We all can learn from the pros and achieve our next level of success by audio taping real client interviews/conversations/seminars, etc. If you play a sport or an instrument, audio/video taping can be a powerful learning experience. Here are a few steps to implement this powerful idea.
1. Make a real commitment to audio tape your client interviews/appointments/meetings. It is as much for their benefit as it is yours.
2. Buy a small, battery powered digital recorder. Preferably one where you can easily listen to the recordings in your car.
3. Prepare a simple monologue for explaining to your prospects and clients how audio taping the interview, appointment, and meeting benefits them. Here is an example.
“Mr./Ms. Prospect/Client the work we are beginning/doing today is very important. You see that in addition to my notepad, I use a digital recorder. The purpose of recording our meeting is to capture everything you share with me with complete accuracy. Although I take good notes, I will listen to this tape several times between now and the next time we meet. I find this helps me to be absolutely sure that the work I do for you is totally consistent with what you want to accomplish. I believe it helps me do a better job for you.”
Asking good questions in the beginning of the meeting will cause your prospect/client to very quickly forget about the recorder and focus on the process of helping them be even more successful. The recorder should be placed off to the side so it isn’t a consistent reminder.
4. Listen to the recordings! This, of course, is the most difficult part and the most helpful/powerful. You will soon become comfortable listening to your own voice and you will quickly discover ways to dramatically improve the results of the interview.
5. Sample self-evaluation questions:
- What are three things I did right in this meeting?
- What is the one biggest thing I could improve?
- What issues did my prospect/client seem to be most emotional about?
- Did I listen and go at my prospect’s/client’s pace?
- How many minutes did I talk?
- How many minutes did my prospect/client talk?
- Do I have all the information I need to create what I need to create for my prospect/client?
- What did my prospect/client make a commitment to do?
- Did I do a good job of getting a clear commitment from my prospect/client to achieve the desired outcome?
- Did the meeting flow according to my plan?
- How could I better stay on track or take fewer detours in my meetings?
6. Give a recording to a colleague or manager for review. Provide them with an evaluation form. Read their feedback carefully. Make adjustments accordingly.
It takes courage to do this and face the truth. There is always a gap between what we think occurs in the meeting and reality. If you can muster the courage to listen to the recording (or watch if a video) with a commitment to improvement versus the tendency to justify your actions, you will enjoy significant and immediate increase in your results.
Consider the benefits:
- The monologue explaining your purpose for recording the interview instantly builds credibility from the very beginning of the meeting. You don’t have to get their permission. If they have a problem with the recording, they will let you know.
- You will do a better job for your client as a result of listening to the recordings. Just like watching a movie previously seen often reveals what we missed the first time, you will discover things that you might have missed in your notes. Just the fact that you care enough to listen to the recording will cause you to be more effective at creating the best course of action for your new client.
- Hearing what you do well on the recordings (or seeing it on the video) will increase your confidence.
- Your relationship building skills will dramatically increase as a result of accurately identifying specific areas for improvement.
- The recordings will reveal wasted time. Eliminating superfluous events will shorten the time it takes to successfully complete the meeting. Often the interview can be more effective in less time.
You may not like everything you hear and see at first, but it won’t be long before you do! Get recording today and see those enhanced results.