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October 07, 2008

Conference Calls – Why Bother?

Oct7confcallswhybother_2You are on conference calls almost every day.  Giving status updates, meeting with potential clients and collaborating with team members can now be done over the phone or web.  But you notice that some times your team isn’t really listening and your potential client requests an in-person meeting after the teleconference.  So, why bother with conference calls at all?

There are tons of advantages to using conference calls and you can use teleconferencing to effectively keep in touch regardless of your industry.  But first, let’s go over a few advantages of conference calls.

Time saver
Instead of having your team drive to one central office, they can simply jump on the phone.  Asking questions and calling on specific people will keep everyone much more focused.

Money saver
Almost all of us are on a tighter budget these days and conference calls help you save money that you would normally spend traveling.

Technology guru
In today’s world of mobile internet and email that talks to you, there are tons of tools to help you communicate.  Using updated conference call technology shows that you are “with the times” and knowledgeable about the tools at your disposal.

Team building
When you have an interactive conference call instead of a one-way communication that dictates company strategy, employees feel more like a team.  People love for their ideas to be heard.  By encouraging brainstorming and open communication you are fostering an environment where your team can flourish.

So, now that you know how conference calls can benefit you, let’s go over some actual applications.  If you are just beginning a leadership role it is important to understand the “how-to” of conference calls.  Here are a few examples.

Sales

  • Product training
    Have an expert from your operations team on a conference call to explain a product or service that your team is selling.  A refresher is always a good way to keep a profitable product “top of mind” for your sales people.  It’s a good idea to have a few questions about the product ready to ask.
  • Motivation Meetings
    Is it near the end of the quarter? Do your numbers need a little push?  A daily motivational meeting is a great way to pump up your sales people, especially if you are managing remote teams.  Read a quick quote or recognize last week’s top performers.
  • Strategy Swaps
    All sales people handle their territories a little differently.  So, have 4 or 5 members of your team come to the conference call prepared to share their #1 tip for getting new business.  Your newer reps will benefit from the veterans’ experience and your veterans might learn a thing or two.

Operations Meetings

  • Project Updates
    Set up periodic conference calls so that your project team can discuss potential obstacles and available resources affecting their time line.  A project manager is a great person to lead this type of call and will benefit greatly from the entire team hearing how the other members are progressing.
  • Safety Guidelines
    New safety rules should always be communicated to employees clearly.  Before new guidelines are implemented, have your operations managers on a conference call.  Make sure they understand the changes so they can clearly communicate them to employees.  This is also a great time to decide how the new rules will be communicated to the rest of the company.
  • Disaster Recovery
    All teams should be prepared for the worst.  In preparation for a disaster, have conference call phone numbers and codes ready at a moment’s notice.  Give this information to designated disaster recovery personnel and do a quarterly drill to make sure everyone clearly understands their role.

These are just a few ideas of how conference calls can be used.  If you are using your conference call in a unique way, share it with us in the comments section.  Or, if you are in another industry and need some ideas on how conference calls can benefit you, leave a question in the comments and we’ll get back to you right away!

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Comments

Conference calls are really time saver and money saver which is becoming inevitable in today's business.

Anyway It was very good to go through your post. As educational as actually. I thank you to guide doing individuals much more mindful of achievable challenges. Fantastic stuff as typical.

This post is really helpful. You have given simple tips about conference calls. Planning and strategic are really important, too.

The post shows important details about conference calls and I'm glad I had encountered again. Thanks a lot!

Very informative read with a lot of stuff I didn't realize before.

Business meetings with different numerous global partners requires one to travel for the meeting and this of course requires a large amount of money, if there is no available conference room it becomes difficult to schedule a meeting at a convenient time for everyone to attend. Therefore the need to incorporate business conference calling in your business, it is the best way of making professional meetings easier.

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