Why Aren't You Making More Conference Calls?
Whenever I travel, I've come to rely even more on the telephone. For example, in one two-week interval, I used it for one-to-one client calls, a three-way client strategy meeting, two webinars, hosting a panel interview, and of course for keeping in touch with friends and family.
It made me realise how important conference calls have become. At one time, these were only common for organisations, not individual business owners. But times have changed, and now it's vital for you to learn and use this technology.
Here are ten reasons why ...
The technology is far better than ever before.
Anybody now has access to high-quality conference call services that make teleconferencing viable, practical and easy to do. You no longer need to invest in advanced telephone systems, your own ISDN lines or special training.
It's more cost-effective now than ever before.
You don't have to sign up for long-term contracts; the calls themselves aren't expensive; you can choose options with or without operator assistance depending on your budget; and practically everybody now has a cheap long-distance telephone plan.
It's even cheaper when you use the Internet.
You can use Skype and it doesn't cost you a cent; you can share documents and materials easily; you can view participants' screens during the call; and you can conduct your calls from anywhere with Internet access.
It's another way to deliver your material.
You don't have to create a bunch of new material. Simply leverage your existing material into a webinar or teleseminar for delivering a training session, a conference call for facilitating a discussion, or a series of follow-up calls to reinforce the learning.
It creates new product and service opportunities.
You're not just replacing face-to-face sessions. You can also create new touchpoints, such as a series of follow-up calls after a workshop; facilitating meetings among participants who don't work in the same office; and running regular problem-solving sessions to help people implement your ideas.
It increases their productivity.
Remember that their biggest cost is not your speaking or training fee; it's the lost productivity of taking people away from their desks for a conference or training session. Conference calls eliminate travel time, parking time and dead time before and after your session. Anything that reduces that down time is worth it for your clients.
It's more and more common in a tough economy.
If your clients are cancelling conferences and slashing training budgets, offer them the convenience and cost-effectiveness of conference calls instead.
Your clients expect you to lead the way.
As a presenter, you're expected to be ahead of your clients when it comes to presentation technology. Some of your clients are already using conference calls. How embarrassing if you're not - or if you fumble and stumble your way through them!
Video conferencing still doesn't cut it.
Video conferencing is also advancing in leaps and bounds, but it's still not a mature technology for everybody. If you've ever been on a Skype video call over a standard Internet connection, you know exactly what I mean!
Your competitors are doing it already!
I've said this before, but it's worth repeating: Your competitors are not your mates in the speaking industry. They're people with the same message as you, delivering that message from anywhere in the world to your clients. You might be losing business without even knowing it.
So even if conference calls aren't on your radar right now, they should be!
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Gihan Perera is an Internet coach for speakers, trainers, consultants and other business professionals. He's the author of "Fast, Flat and Free: How the Internet Has Changed Your Business". Visit http://GihanPerera.com and get free e-books, webinars and more.
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