When we told our Brainsy clients that we planned to release "SixFree Calling" - a new feature on the Expert Calling Network (ECN) platform to allow experts to make themselves available for short, time-limited, FREE phone calls, they applauded. What is SixFree calling you might ask and why would people who want to get paid for calls offer up their time for free?

A “SixFree” call is an unpaid 6 minute ECN call. Neither the expert nor the consumer have each other’s direct contact information because the call is conducted through the ECN platform. And a consumer can only complete one SixFree call with any particular Expert. After that, the consumer must pay for a call with the Expert at a rate pre-set by the Expert. The benefits of participating in a SixFree call? There are many -- here are five:

1. Rapid Fire Networking. For membership organizations like trade associations or professional societies that want to facilitate Member > Member or Member > Non-member knowledge-sharing, SixFree Calling can faciliate rapid fire networking so that members of the organization can get to know each other quickly. Peers want to talk with each other but not have to pay for privilege of doing so.

2. Expert Interviewing: When a consumer sees an expert’s availability for a paid call for 15, 30, or 60 minutes, then a free 6 minute call in advance of a paid call may be a good way for a consumer to survey an expert and ask “are you the right person to help me with the following issue…”

3. Call Prepping and Issue Definition: For experts that want to help set-up and define an issue with a prospective consumer, a 6 minute unpaid call in advance of a paid call may be a good way for an expert to prepare some material or research in advance of a longer call where the consumer pays the expert.

4. Lead Generation: Some experts use the ECN platform for lead-generation purposes — because they want to win a client for a large, longer term engagement. An ECN call 6 minutes in duration may be just enough to exchange direct contact information if the parties determine that a longer term engagement is feasible to explore.

5. Call Timekeeper: "Do you have a minute?” is a question frequently asked - but often the person asking doesn't intend to adhere to the 1 minute request. By using a SixFree call, one can offer up 6 minutes of time because the ECN timekeeper will promptly end the call when time is up. So when someone asks this question, you can be generous and answer “I’ve got six to give you.”

SixFree calling is yet another way to create an on-ramp of interaction between consumers and interested experts participating in an organization's branded Expert Calling Network (ECN). Read our press release on SixFree Calling or visit an ECN to conduct a SixFree call yourself.

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