I talk to a lot of people. It’s part of my work. Many of them are people I’ve never met before as we’ve connected on social media.

The meetings, usually virtual, fit into one of the following three categories:

– The person is talking at me. It’s tough for me to get a word in during the 30-minute call. It usually involves a sales pitch at the end that I may or not be expecting. The call will end promptly and I usually forget that it happened.

– People ask a lot of questions about what I do. I answer the questions, but they are evasive when I ask about their work. There’s no value-added here for me.

– There’s a mutual exchange of ideas. There’s usually a lot of talk about how we arrived at this point in our careers, what motivates us, and where there are common areas of interest.

The last category is my preferred type of meeting. There may be a follow-up call at some point down the road, but we’re both comfortable letting that develop organically.

Before you get on a call with someone to trade notes or share ideas, be sure to understand the purpose of the call and the potential outcomes. Even more helpful is to have an extended screening period over text or email. For a sales call, by the time I’m talking to them virtually, we’re usually close to closing the deal.

Happy meetings!

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