If you are a consultant, closing new contracts is probably the hardest part of your job. Organizations are always afraid of change, even if they know they need it.
Of course, one of the biggest fears clients must face is their misunderstanding that organizational development is a cuttable "cost", when it should be thought of as a vital investment. But it isn't just the fees that scare customers away, it is the perception that the consulting process will incur organizational costs by chewing up too much precious staff time.
Smart consultants mention the use of conference calls in quotes because offering powerful, efficient and flexible communication technology as part of your package can help overcome those fears and close the deal.
Respecting staff time
Offering to set up conference calls is a great way to demonstrate to your clients that you know how to respect employee time.
Teleconferencing completely eliminates hard travel costs for meetings, but it also eliminates wasted time for staff to get to meetings.
Savings are significant.
Even one conference call meeting between 15 employees in the same office building can save 2 person-hours of elevator travel time and disruption.
It is so much quicker for everyone to just pick up their phone at their own desk at the appointed time and start sharing information, but for a company with offices across a continent, outlining how much money they can save with teleconferencing will be crucial element of your quote.
Saving time wouldn't be worth it if there were a performance drop switching from a sit down meeting to a group call. Conference calls are powerful communication tools, because:
- You have the right people in the room, because getting together is so easy.
- Audio quality is high enough to hear subtle communication clues.
- Everyone can use Screen Sharing on their own large desktop monitors.
If you wish to add the power of "face to face," you can choose video conferencing, without all the expense of "legs to legs," or "cars to parking lots."
Versatility makes you look good
Another benefit of conference calls you want to outline to your clients is how versatile and flexible they are. Basic conference calls, even video conference calls are free, and it all comes packaged in your Personal Meeting Room. But no matter what your situation requires, you can upgrade to any feature you need with a few mouse clicks, without needing any special equipment, or even downloads.
Toll-free numbers are a great convenience to offer. Personalized greetings are always a nice touch. Call Record is a very important feature that records decisions, allowing you to mine the meeting for information later, as well as evaluate to your own performance.
Call Record will email you an MP3 record of any meeting within two hours. You can even have meetings transcribed into Word documents. Now you can dig out audio and video clips for newsletter use, Instagram posts, and final reports.
If one of their staff comes up with a brilliant idea under your mentor-ship as a consultant, what better way to satisfy your client than present them with a 3 minute video clip of the "Aha moment" for their AGM?
No overhead, no downtime
One of the reasons consultants use conference calls is because they need to bill for as many minutes as possible. Every minute spent "off the clock" is a lost percentage point of profit at year-end.
Many consultants work from a home office, and the last thing any consultant needs is more overhead.
Conference calls travel light. FreeConference.com is always waiting for you 24/7 in the Cloud.
You can access a phenomenal number of features without even signing up. You don't need to sign long-term contracts.
Quick set up
Your clients should also be made aware of how quick conference calls are to set up. You can connect a meeting up between 20 people in 10 cities in 5 minutes. You can sync group calls with Google Calendar, or send Personalized email Invitations with Toll Free sign up numbers. FreeConference.com will store all your contact info so you can use Quick Scheduler to perform Recurring Calls for free.
Give a person a fishing rod...
Suggesting the use of teleconferencing to assist organizational development is a great sales tool for consultants.
The primary reason consultants use conference calls is because they respect staff time, but conference calls can record meetings to add value. They are a powerful, versatile communication technology, and in this day and age, they are cheap and cheerful.
So when you, the "Agent of Change," are done, "Christmas is Saved," and you fly back to your "Fortress of Solitude," don't be surprised if your clients start using conference calls to save money themselves.
Just make sure you remind them where they got the idea!