Jul
21
2010

michael framer

When was the last time you actually thought about your conference call service as a business tool or strategic asset? While you may enjoy the cost savings and convenience of conference calls, you might not have given much thought to how you can use the service strategically. Don’t let this oversight put you at a disadvantage. Instead, consider how you can put your existing tools to work for your organization.

A conference call can be used internally and externally. Three common ways that conference calls are used include: communicating within the organization, selling products and services to customers, and buying products and services from vendors. Within each area, opportunities to gain greater insight with your internal and external customers are vast. Rather than limiting your conference calls to the standard weekly status report, consider creating calling events.

Team Building
For example, schedule a conference call with your management team. Rather than discussing the day-to-day operations, plan a team building event or brainstorming session.

Building a culture of teamwork and creativity is essential to all organizations. However, when team members are scattered geographically, camaraderie and teamwork can suffer. By using your conference call service regularly and specifically for team building, your team can become less isolated and begin working together more effectively.

Sales and Outreach
Many organizations use a conference call service to connect customers with account executives for sales presentations. While this is an effective use of a conference call, it occurs on an as-needed basis. Why not take your sales and marketing efforts to the next level by scheduling regular conference calls that anyone can join? For example, you could host a monthly teleclass about a topic of interest to your customers or schedule regular customer focus groups to get feedback about your products and services.

Not only are teleclasses an inexpensive way to deliver your message, they are a terrific way to attract highly targeted new customers, generate buzz, establish yourself as an authority, and build brand awareness. Use social media, advertising campaigns, and other marketing methods to get the word out about your tele-class and provide attendees with the conference call details. After the class is over, your marketing efforts can continue to work for you as you can then make recordings of your teleclass available to future customers.

Negotiations
Another common reason that organizations use conference calls involves negotiations. For example, you may need to have several representatives on the line as you discuss the details of a contract and negotiate its terms. While this is also an effective way to use a conference call service, you could also schedule a conference call in conjunction with a request for bids or proposals. Rather than scheduling an in-person meeting and incurring costs associated with that meeting, schedule an informational conference call where contractors and vendors can get the information needed and have their questions answered.

These are but a few ideas for putting your conference call service to work for you. Rather than using conference calls as needed, think of how you can use teleconferences proactively.

About the Author: Michael Framer

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