In the blog 9 Habits to Stop Now Tim Ferris states letting people ramble, carrying a cell phone 24/7 and answering unrecognized calls are habits to break so that you can do more of what you want to be focusing on. Does that kind of freedom sound good to you? If so, read on for how to use your gatekeeper to add more freedom to your days.
- Stay in the driver’s seat of conversations to avoid rambling. Make sure both you and your gatekeeper are skilled at politely controlling conversations and steering them to completion. We train our virtual receptionists to address the need, tell the caller what we’ll do to help and then steer the call to completion. This keeps the gatekeeper in charge and saves time on unnecessary details. Avoid asking too many questions which can get a talker going on a tangent.
- By all means carry your cell phone everywhere you go, but turn it off now and again. Schedule blocks of time that will be 100% distraction free and turn the phone off. Tim Ferris recommends doing this once per week for a full day but perhaps an hour or two daily works better for you. This is a perfect opportunity for your gatekeeper to take calls, schedule times for a call back or appointment and take messages. If you truly have to leave your phone on for emergencies only answer for your gatekeeper and instruction them to call for emergencies only.
- Don’t answer for unknown callers. Many of our clients are attorney’s and I’d be willing to bet 50% or more of new clients want free advice on the spot. Our virtual receptionists are able to weed out those simply looking for free advice and those serious about retaining an attorney by scheduling a consultation. When a solicitor calls receptionists follow client instructions to either politely decline the call or send them to voicemail. Make sure your gatekeeper is aware of situational responses so that they can effectively weed out unwanted calls.
Once you’ve freed yourself from these three distractions you’ll find more time on your hands and a more productive business. What other ways do you use a gatekeeper to make your life easier?