These days it seems business is becoming more and more complex and globalized.
We are doing business with people everywhere in the US and in many instances, people in other countries. Due to the wide use of the Internet, the words “foreign country” doesn’t even seem to apply anymore.
The Internet has brought us all closer together in one aspect, but how does that affect investor relations, sales pitches, meetings, and group sessions? A lot of people now work closer with their computers than they do with co-workers and because of the Internet, many companies have people working for them from different parts of the world who have never even met each other.
Never before has conference calling been a more popular solution to the communication needs of companies and individuals all over the world. Conference calls are becoming increasingly popular as a method of bringing people together for meetings and discussions.
In this article, I will do my best to explain the advantages of conference calling for your business communication needs. Whether you are talking about meetings with investors, conference calls with your employees, making your sales presentation to groups, or simply needing several people in on the same discussion, conference calling is the most useful tool there is.
Chat rooms and message boards just don’t cut it. Message boards are impersonal, not real-time, and tend to get filled with useless information that isn’t directly related to your topic. Chat rooms are just that, chatty. You type in messages in real-time so it is better than a message board, but it again lacks the personal touches and insights conference calling provides.
Voice inflection, as many of you know is a great way to tell how someone feels about what you are saying. Simple typed messages do not give you that same advantage. When we hear our counterparts speak, we can tell how enthusiastic, positive, negative, or apathetic they are about what you say.
Conference calling is relational, while message boards and chat rooms are merely informational. That is the great difference in those options. You don’t make sales through information alone. You make sales by creating relationships.
You don’t encourage or motivate your employees or partners through information alone, you do it by creating relationships. You don’t instill confidence to your investors through providing just information, you do it by letting them hear how enthusiastic and positive you are about your proposal.
Only conference calling can provide the relationship solution when working with people who are too far away to physically attend meetings.
A simple search on your favorite search engine or just following the links in the footer of this article can provide you with many options for your specific conference calling needs.
What are some of the things that separate good conference calling services and bad ones? That is the question I get asked the most when discussing this topic. Here are some of the features you should look for;
High sound quality; The last thing you want to do is try to hold an important meeting through static, interrupted service, and low quality sound. The sound quality of your conference calls is far more important than the price or other features. If they cannot hear you speak clearly and you cannot hear them clearly, what is the use of a conference call at all?
Operators: While an operator assisted call is not necessary, having someone from your conference call service provider greeting each person as they are connected is a valuable service. They can tell the participants what to expect better than your own staff can, since they are familiar with the conference call software and service. In addition to that, the operator can and should monitor the entire call to make sure the sound quality maintains a high level of clarity. They will know what to do to fix it if a problem arises.
Recordings and Copies: If your conference call provider has the ability to record and provide playback of your conference call sessions, then you will want to take advantage of that feature. Some conference call providers can even provide it to you on CD afterwards. This is enormously helpful for you to be able to review your conference call sessions later. It may also serve as a record of agreements made during the conference call session.
Price: Last, but certainly not least, you have to consider price. You may be able to choose a conference call provider that gives you all of the features I mentioned above and more, or you may be on a tight budget and have to settle for less service. Whichever conference call service you use, do not sacrifice sound quality for price. That is the one feature you cannot afford to do without, no matter what the cost.
I hope this article on conference calling has been helpful to you. It was my goal to share with you what features I consider the most helpful to me in my business meetings.