Meetings happen every day, whether with employees or clients. You need to make sure you know the right etiquette for answering your phone during a meeting. Here are some of the things you should be aware of with this issue.
How Important is the Call?
Most calls you will receive during a meeting should never be answered. They simply are not as important as the meeting you are attending.
When you look at the importance of the call, the only type of calls you should answer during a meeting are emergency calls. These include family matters (pregnant wife going into labor, potential death of family member, etc.) and that’s about it. There isn’t any other type of call that really is so important that it cannot wait until the meeting is over.
Is it Rude to Answer the Phone During a Meeting?
Simply put, yes, it’s very rude. The other person(s) in the meeting gave up time to handle whatever the meeting is about. You need to be on that same page. Answering your phone, stepping out of the meeting or any other unnecessary interruptions will only make the meeting take longer. This won’t help with the attitudes of the others, either.
The best way to avoid feeling like you are being rude is to leave your phone off during meetings. It may even be a good idea to not even take the phone into the meeting.
What’s the Solution?
You already know the chances of an important client or other type of caller leaving a message is very low. Most people don’t like to leave voicemails and they feel as if you’re neglecting them when you don’t answer the phone. It’s like being in between a rock and a hard place. However, there is a solution.
If you don’t take any of your business calls without the caller first talking with a receptionist, you won’t have to worry about missed calls or being rude during a meeting. You can let your receptionist know you are in a meeting and not to be disturbed unless it’s a family emergency.
Hiring a Virtual Receptionist Service
Maybe you don’t have a traditional receptionist or you don’t feel as if it’s necessary. You don’t have to hire a traditional receptionist to have somebody take your calls during meetings. Instead, you can use a virtual receptionist for a much lower cost.
This person can be turned on and off, as necessary. They can cover breaks, meetings, times away from the office or simply answer all of your incoming calls. Once clients and family get used to speaking with your virtual receptionist first, they will realize it’s just normal business. This gives you the buffer you need during meetings.
Make Meetings a No Phone Zone
Did you know many successful entrepreneurs don’t allow any phones in their meetings? This helps to keep the distractions of texting and phone calls, or even the possibility of the two, out of the meeting. If you want more productivity, make your meetings a no phone zone and let a virtual receptionist handle any incoming calls instead of sending callers to voicemail.