Consultation Stations are coming to this year’s Marketplace & Academy and we want to share a few tips for how you can get the most out of your one-on-one time with an expert. This is your opportunity to get your most important questions answered. What’s the best way to use your 30 minutes – especially if you’ve got a lot of questions (or don’t even know what questions to ask)?

Complete Basic Research. Over the years, the people I’ve seen get the most out of their sessions often complete basic research before their scheduled consultation time. That way they don’t waste time asking questions that could be answered with a quick search of the internet.

Eliminate the Too-Complicated Questions. If you’ve got a monstrous challenge ahead of you and are feeling completely overwhelmed, you may be at risk of not maximizing your consultation time if you’ll struggle to articulate your question or if it’s just too complicated to properly explain. Consider what specific questions you have (and keep the first point in mind – when broken down, you may be able to answer some of the questions yourself).

Send Questions in Advance. In some cases, you can connect with an expert prior to your meeting via LinkedIn or email. While you don’t want to request time outside your consultation session, you could send your questions in advance. This may allow your consultant a little extra time to think about your questions or they may even ask you to clarify content. You want to be respectful of their time, and there’s no guarantee they’ll get the message, but it’s worth a shot (and some people appreciate the extra time to consider your topic).

Ask for (Simple) Materials as a Follow Up. If you’re talking to your consultant and it sounds like there is additional information available about an area of interest, ask for those recommendations. You may even discover you’re getting into more detail than you need – or can process well – and you’d be better off switching to a new topic, following up on the original information later. Whether it’s websites, books, articles, or videos, be sure to ask your customer where they recommend you get additional information.

Create a Schedule. When you narrow down your topics, can you estimate how much time you’ll need for each topic? And are you able to rank each topic by importance so you can cover the must-have information first? It can be tricky to predict these kinds of things, but just the process of planning can be helpful. If you have 15 questions for your 30 minute consultation, you know you need to cut back!

Be Prepared to Ignore Your Schedule. Before you think no one edited this blog because there is a huge discrepancy between this point and the previous one, let me tell you the contrast was intentional. It is as important to be prepared as it is to be flexible. If you prioritize your questions and an early question leads to a valuable unplanned conversation, follow that path. You can’t always predict what valuable information will come your way, but you can prepare yourself to look for it.

When you’re ready to sign up for the Consultation Stations, here’s what you need to do!

  • Click Register Now from the Consultation Stations page (and create an account if needed).
  • Choose a time. These are first-come, first-served, so don’t drag your feet!
  • Pay your one-time $79 fee.
  • Prepare in the way that is the best fit for you!

We’re excited to hear your questions and connect at ASTRA Marketplace & Academy 2018. See you in New Orleans!