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Have you ever heard of the book called Death By Meeting?  When I first saw it I thought the cover picture was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen – a man sitting at a boardroom table with his head and hands flat down on the table as if he’d just keeled over!

Back in my non-virtual days as a software developer was when I saw this book, and boy was it true back then.  And, I want to try to remember that what it was talking about is still relevant in the virtual world today.

It can be easy to get caught up in an enjoyable conversation with a client or team member, but remember that they as a client are not paying for your wit and charm (although that can be an added bonus!), so try to keep the meeting on track.  As a VA it’s our job to try to help our clients, and steering them along during a meeting to keep it on track is one of those things we should be doing, as well as keeping our chit chat to a minimum.  By all means, if you and your client have a relationship that enjoys a bit of chatting then go for it – but make sure that the clock is turned off.  Why not keep the chatting to the end of meeting?  Then you’re not flipping your time clock on and off!

When we’re talking to our clients we should be asking them helpful questions to get the info that we need in order to get the job started, and finished for that matter.  I find that it’s a great idea to schedule weekly check-ins to make sure that all the tasks are covered and questions answered, and keep this check in to a half an hour at most.

That way you’ll have more time to spend actually doing the work instead of just talking about it!