New Zealanders might be at the “bottom” of the world, but with today’s technology, there is no longer reason to feel isolated. The Internet has given us the ability to communicate in so many more ways that even the bottom of the world can be connected. Conference calls allow for reliable, effective communication no matter where in the world you might be.
Conference Calls Bring Us Closer
Conference calls make it easy to conduct business over the telephone or the Internet. Now, Internet calling offers the best quality, and that is important, especially when there is a great distance between the people participating in the call. Internet conference calling, according to BioSci Consulting, allows individuals to work together to come up with innovative ideas to solve existing problems, and many, providers, such as Blue Jeans, offer conference call solutions for New Zealand businesses.
Participants in conference calls all have a role to play. Some are more outspoken, some are inquisitive, and others prefer to sit back and let others do the talking. The most important part of any conference call is to encourage everyone to make a contribution. If everyone contributes, the call is time well-spent, and everyone leaves with a sense of accomplishment.
A feeling of camaraderie on a call is especially important when the participants are not close together. In today’s global economy, we no longer want to be in the same room as our business partners because we want to expand our reach as far as possible. Conference calls allow us to work with our colleagues as if they were sitting right next to us, when in reality, they might be on the other side of the world. Moreover, regular voice communication allows us to get to know each other better. Hearing the tone of someone’s voice allows us to have more insight into their personality, so when we engage in non-verbal communication, we are more familiar with the people we work with.
Embrace the Medium
Former Wharton School of Business professor Butch Ward is an old hand at conference calling, and agrees that knowing the participants on a call is crucial to the success of doing business over the phone or Internet. He realizes that meeting in person isn’t always possible, but the better you interact, the more likely you are to accomplish the goals you want to achieve.
Set Your Agenda
It is important to have an agenda in place beforehand. E-mailing the participants to alert them to what will be discussed will give them the opportunity to prepare, and make significant contributions. Having a set agenda will allow those who aren’t as outspoken the opportunity to speak up, If they know what is going to be discussed. The worst possible outcome of a conference call is descending into a free-for-all, where participants all begin talking over each other, and there is no flow to the conversation.
Choose a Leader
One person should lead the conference call. Pick someone who is assertive enough to keep everyone in line, and outspoken enough to shut down anyone who tries to dominate the exchange. A leader should ensure that everyone remains cordial and respectful.
Moreover, the leader should make it clear that controversial topics and personal opinions could be counterproductive. The goal of a successful conference call is to address the issues at hand and find effective solutions. It is especially important for the leader to accomplish as much as possible when there might be a significant time change involved. If businesses in New Zealand are doing business in North America or Europe, the time difference might be as much as 18 hours.
Conference Calls Can Keep Your Business on Budget
While many of today’s businesses strive to compete in the global economy, those keeping an eye on expenses need to make sure the cost of doing business doesn’t eat into profits.
Conference calls help significantly curtail expenses because they cut down on travel. Video conference calls make it possible to meet prospective business partners from other parts of the world, while feeling like everyone is in the same room. This mode of communication can be just as effective as meeting in person, but it avoids the need for expensive air travel, especially from the South Pacific, where travel is not only costly, it is also time-consuming.
Forbes, in its Career Bootcamp series, reminds us that many business practices changed after the 2008 financial crisis, and stresses that we still need to be mindful of frivolous expenses. Hosting a successful conference call can certainly pinch-hit for expensive business trips if we stick to our agendas and make sure we communicate effectively with our partners. The world is still vast, but conference call makes us feel closer than ever.