Review/Preview: The Conversation Bookend of Progress

  By Kathleen Kurke  |    Sunday November 12, 2018

Category: Columns, Expert Advice


Too often, we ghost out of conversation with clients or candidates. We end with lame, say-nothing phrases like “ok, we’ll talk soon” or “stay in touch” or “call with any updates” or “let me know” or “talk to you later”. These phrases fill the requirement of words coming out of our mouth, but they do nothing beyond that.

These phrases add no value to the conversation; they don’t set you apart from anybody else. In effect, they stall a relationship.

Ghosting out of conversations is a missed opportunity for effectiveness, differentiation and continued relationship. Ending your conversation with Review/Preview is a powerful tool for reinforcing the value you’ve added to the conversation and setting the stage for adding value in your next conversation. Ending every conversation with Review/Preview adds value to your relationship. When you have connected conversations, you have continuing relationships.

Here’s what it is:

Practicing Review/Preview means wrapping up every conversation with two components: the Review and the Preview. The Review is where you summarize what you’ve covered with the other person in the conversation; Preview is where you begin to set the stage for your next conversation.

Here’s how it works:

The Review statement summarizes what you’ve covered in the conversation and enables you to confirm you’ve both been in the same conversation. The Review statement might sound like:

• “OK, here’s what I’ve heard so far.”

• “OK, here’s where we are. “

• “We’ve covered a lot of ground in our conversation, so let me confirm that what I’ve heard matches what you said.”

The Preview statement sets the stage for your next conversation. It establishes permission and creates an invitation to talk again. It manages expectations. The Preview statement might sound like:

• “I recommend we leave it this way: I’ll call you as soon as I’m working with a client whose offering what you’re looking for.”

• “So here’s where we go from here.”

• “Let’s review what we’ve each agreed to do as next steps. You’ll get me your resume and I’ll see it in my in-box by 530p this afternoon. I’ll review the resume and call you on Tuesday at 10a so we can plan next step.”


Put the two together for a powerful Conversation Bookend that advances the relationship: Here’s a sample Review/Preview with both parts combined:

• Review: “Let’s agree on this: You’ve got an open need for an estimating engineer, but are feeling confident you’ll be able to fill the role internally. Did I get that right?”

• Preview: “When I’m working with a superstar, an overachiever that isn’t actively looking and wouldn’t otherwise know about what you’re offering, I’ll call you directly so we can decide at that time if it makes sense to find a way to connect the two of you. Make sense?”


Here’s why it matters:

Too often, we only add structure to our conversations when we’re taking an Assignment or a Candidate Data Form, because we act as though those conversations were the “important” ones. Instead, treat each of the conversations along the way with importance by ending them with Review/Preview, and those conversations along the way will get you to the ‘important” conversations more quickly.

Ending every conversation with a Review/Preview demonstrates an elevated level of professionalism and will set you apart from other recruiters calling your prospective clients and candidates. Once you add Review/Preview as standard in your conversation, you confirm yourself as a person of action. As a person pays attention to what’s been said and creates action by knowing where you’re going. Being known as a ‘person of action’ that ‘gets things done’ is a great reputation to have!

You. Are. A. Person. Who. Gets. Stuff. Done. And, a person that gets stuff done is the person clients and candidates want to have relationships with. End your next conversation with a Review/Preview.

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