There are a lot of ways that you can make yourself more successful in the business world.
Choosing the right business card design, learning the proper way to tie a tie and mastering the art of negotiation will all take you far. There is one tool that can give you a distinct advantage that you might not have even thought of, though: Your smartphone.
Chances are you already use your smartphone for business calls and texts. You might even check your business email or take pictures of projects to send to partners. There’s a lot more that you could be doing, however. Here are just a few of the ways that you can power up your business savvy by harnessing the power of your smartphone.
Almost every smartphone has some form of voice recorder, even though it’s a feature that often goes unused.
If you really want to master your business phone etiquette, though, you should put it to use often. Stage practice calls, recording yourself as you converse with the imaginary person on the other end of the line. You can then replay the conversation, listening to how you talk and identifying vocal tics or filler words that make you sound less than professional.
With repeated phone recordings, you can clarify your business voice, making yourself sound much more professional and ensuring that you make a great first impression on people you talk to over the phone.
Note Your Talking Points
Before heading to a meeting, speech or other event where you’ll need to talk, make some notes on your phone that cover your main talking points.
Once you arrive, spend a few minutes looking over your notes while you sit in the waiting room. This won’t be nearly as obvious as note cards or other prep materials, especially since others who are waiting will likely have their phones out as well. You’ll be prepping for your meeting or interview, though, giving you a distinct advantage over those who are just looking at the latest on Facebook.
Harness the Internet
On a similar note, take a moment to pull up an individual’s or company’s website before you head in to a meeting. Look over the general information that’s available to make sure you know who you’re dealing with and what the history is.
You’ve likely already looked at some of this information, but a quick refresher just before you head back will make sure that all of the information is fresh in your mind.
Practice Your Calls
If you’re nervous about a call, go ahead and practice before you actually have to dial. This is similar to when you recorded your voice, but instead of listening for vocal issues you’ll be simulating the conversation you actually expect to have.
Hold your phone up to your ear just like you would if you were in a real call and you won’t even draw attention to yourself as you go through the possibilities of the real call.
Choose the Right Apps
The apps you can install on your phone may vary depending on whether you’re using a personal smartphone or a company phone that’s managed by your IT department. If you have access, though, installing common apps such as Facebook, LinkedIn and other social connection apps can be a great boon when meeting new business contacts.
Not only can you share business cards or contact info; you can add LinkedIn contacts or send a Friend Request from your business page to make digital connections on the fly. This not only helps you forge a stronger connection with new contacts, but can also put you ahead of the pack if that contact starts looking for someone with whom to work or collaborate.