6 Signs That You Are Paying Too Much For Conference Calling

Managing your company’s budget can sometimes be a painful thing, specially if you are trying to manage a tight budget.  When it is your job to make sure the company invests in the best products and services and still stay on budget, it will take some research and some comparing. paying-too-much-for-conference-calling

Fortunately, we have some tips to help you out.

1. Paying too much for features that should already be included in your plan or package.

We all love paying for or subscribing to packages or plans that comes with freebies.  Well technically they aren’t “freebies” since we are actually paying for them but we can still call them freebies just to make ourselves feel better when we buy the package 😉   But lets face it….buying something that comes with a whole bunch of goodies is a whole lot better than buying individual goodies at a higher cost.

2. Paying for a non toll-free number.

Does your current conference calling package offer a regular business number or a toll-free number?  The difference can be huge on your bill.  Incurring charges on your bill can give you a heart attack real fast as the minutes pile up, while toll-free numbers can save you lots of money.  So instead of worrying about your minutes, consider paying for a service that gives you a toll-free number.

3. Paying someone to do your calls for you.

Having a middleman (or woman) do your calls can come at a hefty price.  Consider buying a package that allows you to choose whether or not you want operator assistance.  If you can do the work yourself using the tools provided, why pay extra for someone else to do it.  Do your research on what an operator can do for you if you really need assistance.

4. Paying for recordings.

Just like webinars, you can have the choice of recording your call for training and quality assurance purposes.  Though it may become challenging to actually create the recordings or even access the recordings.  Check to see if conference call recordings come with your plan or if there are any fees that come with it.

5. You are using slow network infrastructure.

Sometimes conference call providers come with really slow network infrastructure that you have to pay for at a high price.  Make sure you are using cloud services or a fast internet-based IP network infrastructure, which will provide a much better service and experience.

6. You are using only one kind of service.

If you are using a limited number of solutions for your business, you may be limiting yourself.  Consider choosing a solution that offers multiple services for a low rate.  More goodies for a low price.

 

Like these tips? Maybe it’s time for you to consider a better conference calling provider.  Contact us today and we’ll respond with the best solutions for your business.

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What People Are Really Doing When They’re on a Conference Call

I saw this article on Harvard Business Review through EpicBeat and it got my attention because you have to admit, you start to wonder sometimes…..what are people actually doing while they are on a conference call?  Some might be in the bathroom evacuating their bowels while others might be at the park sitting under the shade.

Here’s a what HBR had to say on what people are actually doing during a conference call:

whatelseareemployees

 

 

Here are actual things people admitted to doing:

  • “In the middle of the woods during a hiking trip”
  • “Outside while grilling and getting a tan”
  • “The tunnel leading to NYC”
  • “A truck stop bathroom”
  • “McDonald’s Playplace”
  • “Behind a church during a wedding rehearsal”
  • “The racetrack”
  • “DisneyWorld”
  • “At a pool in Las Vegas”
  • “Fitting room while trying on clothes”
  • “The closet of a friend’s house during a party”
  • “The beach…it was a video call so I kept my tablet up so that my bikini didn’t show”
  • “Hospital ER”
  • “Chasing my dog down the street because she got out of the house”

 

So the next time you get on a conference call, you may wonder what are these guys actually doing right now or more specifically, WHERE are they at?  The answers might surprise you.   Not everyone makes conference calls at the office.

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What To Do When Conference Calls Get Awkward

There was an article that I recently saw on Twitter called TROUBLESHOOTING ‘A CONFERENCE CALL IN REAL LIFE’.  It reminded me that…yes, a lot of us try and make conference calls go as smoothly as possible but sometimes we can mess up.

I’ll list some scenarios in which such awkwardness can occur.  Though, it really depends on each person.  Some of us can handle awkward situations like a pro.  Others….not so much. awkward-conf-call

Not knowing who the speaker is.

This is why you let someone else lead who DOES know who is speaking.  It would be very dumb to go into a call and start talking but have no idea who you are talking to.

Not knowing when the MUTE or OFF button……or ON button is.

This happens a lot.  Saying something when you THINK the call button is off when it is actually on and everything you say will be heard and you pray that you don’t make yourself look bad.  Saying something that you want to say in the call and then realizing the call was turned off for the 2 minutes that you were talking, therefore making the people on the other side of the call think you are doing something else…..not professional….and very awkward.  The mute button is pretty much the same as the off button.  You press it when you want to pause the call, not when you want the call to end, and you just want to take a break from the call.

Not having good equipment.

I bet many people have experienced this.  When your wires are acting up and you say something and bits and only pieces of what you said were heard.  You better hope those bits and pieces that were sent through the call were GOOD things….  Other things can occur but this is just a common one.

Not prepared for discussion.

Always plan out what you are going to say.  If you are asked a question, try not to stutter.  If you ask a question, make sure it is good.  A question answered by silence is just….weird.  Bullshitting an answer because you don’t actually know what to say makes you look bad and will leave you with a bad feeling.

Not paying attention

Like I said above, be prepared for conversation.  If you are asked a question or asked to add your thoughts to a conversation and your ADHD/ADD comes in and you have no idea what was just said, I hope you’re good at improvising.

 

Those are just some quick scenarios that most people have encountered during a conference call.  Have you encountered any of these?

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Face-to-Face Meetings vs Virtual Meetings

Face-to-Face meetings always beats virtual meetings for several reasons.  You get to see that person face-to-face.  Communication is instant.  No confusion.  No interruption.  What happens if the person you want to meet is on the other side of the country?  This is one of the reasons why virtual meetings exist. Ciscotelepresence_1

When you are unable to meet face-to-face, virtual meetings exist to allow you and the other person to meet online via web conferencing.  Not only are you able to have a greater reach via virtual conferencing but the fact that you get to use technology is amazing.   Now using technology has its limits.  Technology has its flaws and isn’t perfect.  Your meeting can be interrupted at anytime.  There are certain aspects of a person and their environment that you are limited from seeing unlike in a face-to-face meeting.  Most importantly, you can be easily distracted.

Putting these flaws, which can sometimes by minor, aside, virtual meetings are not that bad.  Reaching out to people beyond our local area is a great thing and can make your business grow and be more diverse.  Simply put, you just need to adapt to the technology, learn how to use it, and invest time into making it a great experience.

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Creating Visuals For Online Meetings and Web Conference Calls

When it comes to web conference calls, visuals are a huge must.  Not only do they illustrate the message you are trying to convey for the call but they also show data they might convince the person you are on the call with that you know what you are talking about.  Visuals might include social media data, infographs, or some charts found in a study.

Now the question comes up of not WHY do you need visuals for a web conference call or online meeting but HOW do you make those visuals.  Where do you get the images or what tools do you need to make such images? clip-art-super-mario-832109

Most people take screenshots of data they have to put in their presentation.  They might also use custom graphics or clipart.  There are dozens of sites online that give clipart images that you can use.  Canva is a great website to use for easy custom graphics.

Another way to get images is to create an infographic.  You can either use one that is already made or create your own which may take time.  You can use Easel.ly for easy templates to use.

You can use Photoshop to edit images you have or Paint or possibly even Powerpoint which lets you put text over images and you can just screenshot what you see and paste the screenshot into Paint or Photoshop.  Irfanview is another commonly used and very popular image editor and is free.

So there you have it.  Creating visuals is a great way to keep your call engaging and fun.

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Better Audio Leads to Better Sales

Ok, lets face it.  The small details count.  There are dozens of companies that make claims to being the “best” but it all comes down to the small details.  So when it comes down to doing a conference call with a potential business partner or investor and your audio sucks, what are you going to do about it?  Spend 10 minutes trying to shake up the wires and restart the phone?  Sometimes its your internet that can cause the audio to not transmit well but sometimes, and for the sake of this article, the audio is not affected by your internet but by the phone itself. audio_teleconference

Make sure you invest in a service that will provide you with top-of-the-line teleconference equipment.  Is the equipment branded? Does it have good reviews? Test it out.  Does it work well?

Charlotte Conferencing (as well as its other brands) guarantees decades of experience in providing world-class audio service with NO dropped calls and NO static.  Dropped calls and static annoys us and we want our customers to have the same enjoyable experience as we do.  Relax and focus on your presentation.  Let us give you the quality.

Who doesn’t like flexibility?  Charlotte Conferencing provides you with dozens of options to choose from mobile calling to operator assisted.

Moving around a lot? No problem!  Our services are everywhere.  You can do a conference call anywhere!  We love mobility!

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6 Tips On How To Use Social Media To Make Sales

When you are doing teleconference calls to a business partner or to your branch in another country or to a potential investor, you will want to utilize tools that will convince or persuade that person who is listening that you know what you are talking about.  In today’s modern tech world, social media plays a huge role in interaction, engagement, and communication.  It can be used to gauge just how good a product can potentially be.  Here are some tips on how to use social media to make a sale for your business. Social-Media-Sales

Tip #1 – Do people like me?

Use the data.  Does your product and services have social media pages on it such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google+?  If so, do you have a lot of followers and friends?  If so, you can use this data as a way to support your proposal on how well your product and services are doing.

Tip #2 – Best way to get leads?

We all know that getting leads is vital to getting clients and revenue.  Without leads, where will the revenue come from?  There has been a lot of controversy and speculation as to the exact method used in getting leads.  Some still vouch for cold calling while others vouch for social media.  Does social media work better than making a call?  Some say yes.  If you are a charismatic sales person who is good with talking to people and persuasion, then cold calling might work, but sometimes it can take time and most of the time, cold calling is reserved for those who actually have money.  In other words, you are targeting the wealthy.  Social media takes only minutes and you can do many things with it such as have a better reach, build your brand, connect to multiple people, and so on.

Tip #3 – Making a sale via social media?

This is more of a marketing tip but it can still help in making a sales.  Use social media as a way to leverage your company’s services and products.  Promote your content and create some noise.  Potential clients who come to you will know more about you than you know about them.

Tip #4 – How much does it cost?

Lower costs.  How much time and money does it take to make sales through cold calls? How about on social media?  On cold calls, you risk rejection targeting random business owners who hopefully will invest a lot of money into your products and services.  With social media, the cost per lead is significantly lower.  not only can you connect with more people quickly but the risk is much lower.

Tip #5 – Are you going too slow?

It’s all about competition.  The faster you go and the more you do, the better you will do.  Are you making more money and gaining new leads faster than your competitors via cold calling?  Better check your data.

Tip #6 – Building Influence?

Reiterating Tip #3, most of a company’s sales are influenced by influence and recommendation.  A business will invest in a service that their partner may have been investing in.  Build a community, maintain it, grow it, see the results.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Get Conference Calling For Your Business

Ok, this post basically reflects off of our When Should You Get Conference Calling For Your Business post.

So instead of telling you WHEN should you get conference calling, I’ll tell you WHY with 5 simple tips. conferencecalling-easy

Tip #1

Less hassle. More efficiency. Not strenuous.  Quick.  ‘Nuff said.  Emails can take time.  Phone calls aren’t good for multiple people.

Tip #2

Did I mention it is more productive?  Get 5 people in the room with your agenda.  Watch how easier it will be to discuss progress with your partners or your other team members in another part of the country.

Tip #3

When you are scaling and growing, you will want to be as productive as possible.  Time is money.

Tip #4 and #5

Just do it.  You won’t regret it.  Or you can just stick to your emails and phone calls.  Whatever makes you comfortable if you can figure out a way to make it as efficient and productive.

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When Should You Get Conference Calling For Your Business

I think business owners ask themselves this at least once or twice when running or managing a business.  When their business scales and grows, gets new partners, and hires more employees.  If your partners want to be updating on your progress and they are on the other side of the country, you will want an efficient way to communicate with them.  Normally you would think email would be great or a simple phone call.  Both methods would actually work most of the time.  But what if you’re a really big company growing big?  That’s when making emails starts becoming a hassle because there’s too many employees in the conversation and too many things to type.  You will also start getting unorganized in your phone calls. conference

This is where conference calls come in.  Conference calls are a great way to get all of your department heads together in one room and discuss with your partner what’s going in.  Not only will everyone be chimed in but it will be easier on you to go through what you have to talk about and everything gets done in a quicker and organized way.

So yes, to recap:

1. Emails can become long and complicated.

2. Phone calls can become a bit strenuous.

3. Your company is growing at a fast rate.

4. You wish you had a smoother way of doing things.

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How To Pick The Best Conference Call Service At The Lowest Price

There are dozens of conference call services out there.  You could run a google search and several websites will come up.  Each of them offers their own services at different rates.  Now the question is: which one is the most affordable and which one is the best?  Obviously there are quite a few which a solid reputation going around the web.  Does that makes them the best choice? Not really.  Any product can circulate around the web but that does not mean they are the best.  Here’s a list of services that you can choose from as well as a few tips on how to select which one to go with for your conference call needs.

conference

Tip #1 – Look at the rates.  Can your company afford it?

Tip #2 – Look at the small details.  Each service offers different features.  Does the service cater to your company’s needs?

Tip #3 – The Support.  How good is the support?  Does the company offer localized, nationwide, regional, or domestic support?  Is it 24/7 or do they have specific hours?  Do they have a direct support email?  How about social media?

Tip #4 – Lastly, look at the reviews.  Do people like the service?  It’s easy to say that a service with mostly 4/5 to 5/5 stars and positive reviews is the one to choose but don’t follow the crowd.  Your company is its own company and has its own needs.  Do what your company needs not what other companies need.  If a service has great reviews, nice.  Now go back to Tips 1, 2, and 3.  If a service is new, don’t panic. Look at who they are partnered up with.  Sometimes, new companies have something fresh and innovative to offer that other services don’t have.

 

1. Charlotte Conferencing (http://charlotteconferencing.com) – At a low rate of 1.9 cents toll-free, who wouldn’t want to consider us?  We are a reseller partnered up with some of the best conferencing services in the country and because of this, our rates are much lower than others guaranteed.  Backed by a staff with over 25 years of experience and all around customer service, it doesn’t take much to decide why you should choose us.  We cater to the Charlotte, NC area as well as companies outside the area.

2. SOHO Conferencing (http://sohoconferencing.com/) – Pretty much the same as Charlotte Conferencing but catering to everyone in the country, specifically Small Office Home Office business owners.  Offering No Contracts, No Set Up Fees, No Hidden Fees, and a lot of other “No’s” that will surely benefit any Small Office Home Office business.

3. PGi (http://www.pgi.com/) – An all around web and video conferencing call reseller agent that also offers webinar software, webcasting and other services.   Offering monthly and yearly plans for a limited number of participants.  You can contact them for more information on their website.

4. CONVERGED NETWORK SERVICES GROUP (CNSG) (http://www.cnsg-usa.com/) – Offering a full spectrum of services including Data, Voice, and Managed Services as well as Cloud and IT Solutions, CNSG is partnered up with many top conference call services all around the world.  You can contact them for a quote and more information on their website.

5. AVANT Communications (http://www.avantcommunications.net/) – Avant is a reseller that offers a whole range of services including Cloud, VOIP, Fiber, and Telecom solutions.

6. Intelisys (http://www.intelisys.com/) – A leading Technology Services Distributor offering a broad suite of telecom value-based solution. Intelisys services include a complete selection of carrier voice and data, cloud, cable, collaboration services, wireless and wired access, auxiliary services such as voice and web conferencing, and Intelisys’ proprietary telecom asset management tool, Audex.  offers Cloud Certification.

7. Microcorp (http://microcorp.com/) – Noted for being one of the top companies partnered up with some of the world’s top providers in telecom services, Microcorp offers solutions in Cloud, Networking, and Telecom.

8. PlanetOne Communications (http://www.planetone.net/) – Providing agents with a  full range of voice, data, conferencing, wireless, cloud services and hosted solutions.

9. WorldTelecomGroup (WTG) (http://www.worldtelecomgroup.com/) – A veteran Connectivity Services Distributor and one of the top Master Agents in the United States, WTG’s parent company, Commerce Consulting Corporation, offers the most diverse portfolio in the industry with over 100 Providers, including voice, data, managed services and cloud products and services.

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