Here’s a secret about me. I’m super out-going and passionate about meeting new people, chatting all night long and so on. But I absolutely hate phone calls or Skype meetings. Sounds familiar? I bet! There’s been like tons of questions on how do I chat with my clients when I actually try to avoid Skype. So here’s the thing. I do it anyways. So how to create a successful Skype meeting when you hate Skyping?
Only phone calls that I’m always picking up are from my parents or my boyfriend. Here, I said it.
I’m not so sure what is it that makes phone calls/Skype so irresistible for many of us. Even the most communicative persons sometimes really don’t feel like picking up that phone or sitting in front of a camera.
Is it fear from what’s on the other side (because you don’t really know your clients that good)? Does this count as something awkward? But really… why?!
I’ve been freelancing full-time for around 3 years now and I’ve lived through some trials and found out some tactics on how to make this process more enjoyable.
The essentials of a successful Skype meeting
THE ACTUAL REASONS WHY YOU HATE SKYPE
- You don’t like interaction with people you don’t know;
- You don’t really know what to say and how to act;
- There are way too many awkward silences;
- You like to show people your emotions which you can’t do that good in this case;
- You don’t like your voice or your look in a camera;
- You don’t have a place where you feel comfortable doing these things;
One of even few of these reasons kicks in almost every time I have to Skype. Although right now I actually enjoy the process, there are still some things haunting me… So I know how you feel! I bet you have experienced at least one of these situations! Maybe you’re even facing them on a daily basis… So how to build up to a successful Skype meeting? Let’s get to the case!
DO AS MANY TRYOUTS AS POSSIBLE
Most likely, you don’t like Skype because you haven’t really done Skyping that much. You’re not so sure who will be on the other side, you don’t know how you’ll sound or look or what’s the general etiquette for Skype meetings. Great way to deal with this – do as many tryouts as possible!
- Chat with your friends or family through Skype;
- Find people on Twitter or Facebook groups who’d love to chat with you about the topics you feel comfortable talking about and you don’t need to stress for;
- Do Periscope to get used to the audience watching how you talk;
- Join live-meetings on Skype or Google hangouts where you can be a part of a bigger community and other people will support you.
The preparation process is really crucial! Good thing: there are various ways you can prepare yourself for a successful conversation with your clients.
- Open all the websites that might be necessary for you to chat about so you don’t have to spend time waiting, you’ll be able to answer all of the questions right away. Especially, do this if your internet connection might be slow!
- Write down the most important numbers you might need to mention: price, hours, amount of… whatever!
- Get your pen and paper ready! You never know what you might need to write down. You can also write things down on a computer, which is a good alternative, but sometimes it’s just easier to use the good old ways.
- Write down the questions you want to ask. If they get answered within the conversation, scratch them out and write down the answers along with them.
- Write down some phrases you might want to use! Sometimes, in stressful situations, we forget the most common things. Feel free to write down things like “Thank you for chatting, it was a pleasure talking with you!“
CHOOSE A SAFE PLACE TO DO THAT
By safe, I mean a place that works for you! It doesn’t have to be an office space always. But you have to leave a decent impression AND you’ll feel better about yourself if you’ll feel good.
- Make sure that there are no dirty laundry piles behind your back.
- Don’t sit in a sunny place where you might not see your screen (if that will be necessary).
- Make sure you’re comfortable! If the conversation is supposed to be longer, choose a comfy chair and do it by the table to you can have a glass of water or tea by your side.
- Try to do it in a professional environment. There’s nothing bad about having a Skype call from your couch! But don’t let others bother you this time. Make sure that there’s no TV in the background or a child pooping, you know…
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
I don’t know a freelancer who hasn’t Skyped without his pants on or just out of the shower. It’s just part of the fun! But if you’re just exploring this Skype thing, always take care of yourself before starting it. Even if it’s just for a few minutes!
Create a feeling that you’re in a work, you shouldn’t wear pyjamas or have chocolate cake all over your face. If you’ll be confident about your looks, you’ll feel more confident in this conversation!
And confidence can be an important key to a successful Skype meeting.
START WITHOUT CAMERA
Here’s the trick I always use: I always call or pick-up without my camera turned on. First of all, you don’t know whether or not this person will want to actually video-chat with you (except for the times when that’s stated). So you might feel awkward being the only one with turned on camera while the other person is just talking with you. So – to make sure – start with your camera turned off!
If you’re not completely prepared, you’re really just out of the shower or any other reason – leave it that way! If there’s not request – I NEED TO SEE YOUR FACE!! – then the person will survive without seeing it. After all, it’s just a chat, there’s no need to prove your identity or anything…
Besides that, if your internet connection is slow or your computer lags a lot, this may be a great way to have a successful conversation without problems!
ALWAYS SAY YES TO SKYPE!
Face your biggest fear and be brave enough to always say yes to Skype. It’s definitely the most important part of a successful Skype meeting – practice, getting over your imaginary doubts.
What is the worst thing that can happen? And what is the best?
Compare these scenarios and you’ll lose your fear each time faster and faster. Initial 5-10 chats could be awkward. Next 10 will be okay. And from there on you’ll be fine with talking with whoever and wherever.
Now go ahead and have that successful Skype meeting of yours!