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How to not blow your Skype interviews.

Discussion in 'Advertising, Marketing, Social Media' started by Lex DeVille, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I closed $3000.00 of copywriting services this week. But this isn't about that. It's about what came before that. The part everyone blows. The Skype interview. How do I know you blow it? Because your clients come to me when they get sick of freelancers who "just weren't right." Those are literally the words they say.

    "I interviewed ten writers but they just weren't right."

    My guess is some of those writers were right. But it didn't come across that way. A client gets a bad feeling and suddenly disappears. They come to me, and even though I charge 10 times what you do, they pay it. What's the difference? Unless it's a text interview, I keep my mouth shut.

    Text to text you have lots of time. You get to read their words. You can figure out their problems and learn who they are and what they want and how you can deliver. But when it's voice to voice the world flips upside down. Suddenly you know your shit or you don't. Or maybe you know your shit, but you suck at getting it across so it seems like you don't.

    I suck at vocal interviews. Get me on the phone and I can't remember anything. I can't explain things well. I can't form thoughts. I can't guide you to the sell. At least not like with words. So how do I overcome this?

    I keep my mouth shut.

    Learn this one thing and you'll pick up a lot more clients. Just keep your mouth shut. Don't tell them all the things you do. Don't tell them what you can help with. Don't tell them anything at all. Just wait...silently.

    Only open your mouth to greet them, and ask them to tell you about their project. Then let em' vomit their thoughts while you sit in silence, take notes, and pay attention.

    Here's how your Voice Skype/Phone interview should go:


    Client: "Hi Bob, how's your day been?"

    You: "Hi Jim, it's been great, how about yours?"

    Client: "Mine's been fantastic!"

    ---Insert awkward silence here---

    You: "So, Jim, what can you tell me about your project?"

    Client: "Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
    Does that make sense so far?"

    You: "Sure"

    ---Return to silence---

    Client: "Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah

    Wow, sorry for talking so much.


    You: "It's no problem." casual chuckle

    ---Return to silence---

    Client: "So back to what I was saying...blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah
    So, what questions do you have for me and what can you tell me about you?


    You: [Insert relatable story about a similar project you've worked on. Then ask a question like, "So, which part of this project is your main focus? (Shift the talking back to them)

    ---Return to silence---

    Client: "Well my main concern is...blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah right? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

    And when I saw your
    credentials [profile, portfolio, feedback etc.] I just knew I wanted to work with you and here we are...

    You: "Excellent. So your main areas of focus are [blah, blah, and blah], [blah] and [blah] are most important to you, and you need [blah blah blah] by [blah blah blah]. Does that about cover it?

    ---Return to silence---

    Client: "Yep you got it!"


    You: "Great, and as we move forward I'll send any other questions to you by email. Based on what you've told me, you'll need my xx or xxx service. My rates are $xxxxx.xx for xxx or $xxxx.xx for xx. So, how do you want to start?

    ---Return to silence---

    Client: "Let's start with xx since I'm not sure if I need xxx yet.

    You: "Okay Jim, you got it! What email can I send the PayPal invoice to?"

    Client: "blahblah@blahblahblah.com"

    You: "Okay Jim, is there anything else before I let you go?"

    Client: "Nope, that does it. Thanks!"

    You: "Thanks Jim, talk to you later!"

    ---Return to silence. Listen for click.---



    [PRO TIP] Key phrases that let you know you're doing it right:

    "Sorry I talked so much."
    "Sorry for talking so much."
    "Wow I should shut up. I've talked too much."
    "Sorry I didn't let you speak much."

    Also, this phrase means it's time to close the sale:

    "I just knew I wanted to work with you."

    ---The End---
     
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  2. jon.a
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    bump...oh wait, this is already at the top of the feed.
     
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  4. Andy Black
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    Dammit... I'm screwed.
     
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  5. ApparentHorizon
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    ApparentHorizon Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    right right
    am i doing this right guys?
     
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  6. The-J
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    My Skype interviews:

    "Sorry, you're cutting out."

    "Oh, sorry, the Internet here is bad."

    "Can you repeat that?"

    "Your face is frozen, can you hear me?"

    I'm not cut out for this, am I? LMAOOOO
     
  7. SweetTooth
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    Wow you mean I've been doing it wrong this whole time by NOT being awkward and introverted over my calls? All the contracts I've gotten by actually talking and guiding the conversation must have been a fluke then.
     
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  8. Omega
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    Putting the awkward commentary you added aside, I assume you've How to Win Friends and Influence People because he stresses the point of becoming a good listener in any conversation and letting the other dictate it.Well, I said the other will dictate, but in reality you're the one guiding the conversation with subtle words and expressions.People don't understand how easy it is to just let someone else blabber on-and-on because usually they're the ones doing it!

    Being able to create friendships in the business world can be vital, and would certainly benefit all aspects of your business.

    If you haven't read How to Win Friends and Influence People, It's such a great book and I highly recommend reading it.

    EDIT:LOL I didn't even know it was you @SinisterLex because of your new profile picture.

    No hate intended by the way, just thought the some of the -- -- made me cringe a little, good post by the way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
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  9. DaRK9
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    Try being a bartender. That skill is just survival.
     
  10. jaypi
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    The example actually reminds me of The Secret of Selling Anything: figuring out the problem, restating the prospect's issues, telling him/her the service that will solve the problem, and asking questions afterwards.
     
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  11. TheGrind
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    I agree with OP, it's been my experience that people LOVE talking about themselves and their business. So let them. Ask them about why they started it and they'll go on forever while developing a relationship with you.

    My only issue with Skype interviews with clients is that I usually look like a hostage in Iraq.
     
  12. Fox
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    My funniest/worst Skype move was going to change the volume during a call and accidentally hitting umute.
    Starting blasting electronic music mid conversation. "Oh don't mind that, lets get back to talking about your business" :banghead:
     
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  13. Andy Black
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    Oh, I finally get it - you're keeping your mouth shut. T'was too subtle for me!
     
  14. devine
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    "I suck at vocal interviews. Get me on the phone and I can't remember anything. I can't explain things well. I can't form thoughts. I can't guide you to the sell. At least not like with words. So how do I overcome this?"
    I keep my mouth shut.
    - Develop your communication skills.

    I can't remember the last time when I haven't landed a project, just because a long time ago I decided to do exactly that: develop.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
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  15. LightHouse
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    This really is a great skill that, though it seems simple, is hard to master.

    It's not just being silent, but being silent then highly effective when talking. As pointed out by your last few bits.

    I think you missed emphasizing how important the delivery is in those close of the deal.
     
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  16. Jon L
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    Another key phrase: "Wow, you guys actually listen to what we need" (I almost feel like apologizing for the other developers in our industry when I hear that)
     
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    Mind the great and valuable post, are skype interviews phone calls or video calls?

    Rep++ to @SinisterLex for pro insights and tips :)
     
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  18. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I tend to think of them as phone/voice but Skype interviews can be video too. Most of the clients I get prefer voice only. That said, when I interviewed my accountant, she made herself available on video, while I was not. She also followed the template above and only spoke to clarify questions and to make it clear she's there to take as much off my hands as possible. Video can really put your clients at ease and make them feel comfortable if you're confident. It's easy to give off insecure vibes if you're not.
     
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  19. Andy Black
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    A Skype call for me means a phone call.

    Most people use Skype (I'm amazed Skype isn't a big social network tbh.)



    Anyway, I chatter away asking questions, telling stories, listening (and getting new stories).

    Something I incorporate if appropriate is a screen share dive into their AdWords account and point out what they are doing wrong, why, and how they can fix it.

    "Show, don't tell."


    Over time you get better at what you do regularly. I pretty much never miss an opportunity to have a chat with someone.

    However, even simple personality profiling tells me this is the way I communicate and sell best (off the cuff and unscripted).


    Know yourself. Focus on your strengths. Find strategies that work for your personality. Repeat until you perfect your craft.



    People will probably say I talk too much, but it works for me.

    Part of it could be that I genuinely don't care whether you become a client or not. I'm there to see what could be done to improve your performance, and to show you what you need to do.

    If you then want to DIY, then you're not a good fit for a done-for-you service anyway, but you may come back after trying to implement it yourself, or you may refer others to me.


    Thanks for an insightful and thought provoking thread @SinisterLex
     
  20. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    This is the bottom line. Every mind is not the same.

    Believing you can do a thing and doing it are very different even with motivation and practice. Not speaking isn't always easy, but it works...at least for me. I don't always do this. Sometimes I speak more. Sometimes less. Usually depends on the client. I use what works for me in the moment.

    This thread was aimed more toward newbies. Lots of guys hit the forum ready to get those first gigs - follow application best practices then blow it in the interview. The intent isn't to tell anyone they shouldn't talk at all or to suggest they shouldn't develop communication skills. It's just to offer an alternative.

    Developing communication skills doesn't just mean learning how to talk. Silence communicates plenty. Anyone who doesn't know that probably needs to develop their communication skills. (This isn't a poke at you, Andy)

    ---

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
    — Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain


    Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
    - The Bible

    ---

    For strong communicators talking more might be a good option. After a decade of practicing, I speak confidently saying practice doesn't make everyone a good communicator. This goes for many other skills too. My wife has been a typist as long as I have. She practices just as often. Her speed is 70wpm. Mine is 160. Things are rarely black and white.

    I agree with everything you said, Andy. To everyone else:

    Use what works for you!
     
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  21. Jon L
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    I'm probably a happy medium between SinisterLex and Andy. I used to be really shy and afraid of my own shadow, but have come into my own and can speak confidently to clients, most of the time. There have been a few times, though, that I wished I hadn't said what I was thinking. I recently offered to sign an NDA with a prospect. (They hadn't talked about it at all). That got them thinking in a legal/contracts mode, and the project has now been postponned. They were excited and ready to go up till that point. (oops)

    I think the main point, regardless of how much you talk, is to intensely focus on the client's *actual* needs ... not what you think those needs are/should be. This means that you have to ask a lot of good questions
     
  22. arfadugus
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    Will clients be willing to do a google hangout instead of Skype? I have a Chromebook lool
     
  23. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille Sweeping Shadows from Dreams Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    It's possible. If you don't ask you won't find out. If you work through UpWork you can chat through UpWork. I'm pretty sure they're trying to cut out Skype altogether so freelancers and clients don't make arrangements outside of their system. Personally, I'd never go through Google hangouts to meet a freelancer for 2 reasons:

    1. I use Skype and I'm the client.
    2. I use Skype and I'm the client.

    They're usually okay with phone calls. Do you have a phone?
     
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  24. arfadugus
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    arfadugus Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I do have a phone! haha Are you just freelancing right now and saving up $$$? Or do you have a Fastlane project going as well?
     
  25. calm
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    calm New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Laugh so hard. :rofl:
    This is so insightful.
     
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