Conference call is the best solution to the problem of holding business meetings with more than one partner at different locations.
In Africa, before the discovery of holding conference call with business partners or family members, who for a reason or two may need to talk collectively over a matter, people travel from wherever they may be to converge at an agreed location.
Such travels incurs travel cost, road risk, time dedication to such travel and lots more.
Philips a road safety officer: “The rate of road accident on the high way during high travel periods, is far less compared to what it is during less travel periods”.
As we go ahead to discuss the benefit of conference call we need recall that, during a conference call a matter can be started and concluded in minutes.
Issues receives instant solutions, knowing that the parties involved in the call may not have all the time to spend online.
As important as conference call is, not up to 50% of people using smart phones and other call devices have started it. Till date conference call is still not widely used/known in Africa.
Johnson a new school leaver admits that all through his 5 years in school, he never witnessed any conference call.
-Conference call is a lot easier to start-
When planning a conference call, it would be more meaningful if you’re to use a mobile phone with unlimited access to call card. You should also ensure that the phone battery is fully charged.
Not charging the phone fully can cause interruption abruptly. It’s also very important to inform everyone you need to engage with the call before hand, so they’ll also charge their phones before the call.
Making conference calls, require adequate preparation to avoid unnecessary distractions during the call.
Make sure the time for the call is agreed upon, and communicated, to avoid having some persons on the call while some other are yet to be reached.
“It can be most frustrating when everyone that should be part of a conference call are on board and one or two persons cannot be reached” Samson said.
“So most times I made sure the time for the call is agreed by everyone. And I communicate everyone without assuming that they should know or would rather be free by the time” he added.
Communicating the time early enough can make one clear the way even before the time for the call.
-When is the best time for a conference call?-
Fixing time for a conference call wrongly can ruin the call. Care should be taken that the call is not fixed at busy work hours, to avoid having excuse why some persons will not be on board.
It is best to schedule conference calls at the close of work. That notwithstanding, the time must be convenient for everyone who should be part of the call to be aware.
While on the conference call, avoid congestion. This simply means that one person should be allowed to talk at a time.
It’s also very necessary that everyone on the call listens very well, so as to avoid asking for a repetition of statement. It could be most absurd to call for a repeat of what someone has said, since other persons had heard it very well.
This call requires that people on the call go straight to the point. Endeavor to avoid beating around the bush.
Disconnecting oneself from the call, maybe, as a way to express anger over what someone have said that you’re not happy about is modern day malady.
You sure cannot disconnect until the end of the call.
–What subject matter can be discussed over a conference call?–
There’s no restrictions as to what kind of issues can be discussed over a conference call.
I would say any matter that requires the attention of more than two persons who are far apart from each other should be trashed over a conference call, instead of fixing a time to converge.
The topic could be work, family affairs, catching up with old school friends, meetings, relationships, planning business negotiations and settlement of disputes.
It can actually exceed the topic listed above.
So feel free to engage the people you need to trash issues with, and let the call begin.
Finally, it really cost nothing to launch your first conference call. The experience and benefit are worth it.
It is mostly common to see people engaging in conference calls in the western world more than it’s done in Africa.
The Experience is worth it.
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