Expert Author Gihan Perera
There was a time when conference calls were only common for organisations - and large organisations at that - not individual business owners. But times have changed, and now it's vital for all business owners to learn and use this technology.
Here are ten reasons why...
1. The technology is far better than ever before.
Everybody 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. It's another way to deliver your material.
If you're a presenter, you can leverage this 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.
5. 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.
6. It increases everybody's productivity.
Although meetings are sometimes necessary, they can also be one of the biggest time-wasters in a business. A conference call doesn't eliminate meeting time altogether, but it does eliminate some of the wastage. If attendees have to travel to a meeting, there's a huge amount of lost productivity of taking people away from their desks for a conference or meeting. Conference calls eliminate travel time, parking time and dead time before and after your meeting. Anything that reduces that down time is worth it for you, your colleagues and your customers.
7. It's more and more common in a tough economy.
If your customers are canceling meetings because of the costs - particularly if the meeting involves travel - offer them the convenience and cost-effectiveness of conference calls instead.
8. Your clients expect you to lead the way.
If you're 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!
9. 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!
10. Your competitors are doing it already!
You might not be ready for tapping into the power of conference calls, but you can bet your competitors aren't sitting around waiting until you are! They are probably already using them to some extent. So if you don't start matching them, you'll soon be left behind.


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