Build Strong Relationships with
When it comes to building strong business relationships, it’s tempting to think that can only be accomplished with face-to-face interactions. True—coffee dates, in-person meetings, and networking events are great ways to forge new connections and make an impression. But, rest assured, those aren’t the only ways to expand your web of professional contacts. In today’s digital society, everything from social media to email is used to establish bonds with colleagues, clients, and prospects.
One method that you shouldn’t overlook? Audio conferencing. That’s right—conference calls can be just as (dare we say even more?) effective as those other methods. Here are a few reasons that audio conferencing can help you lay the foundation for solid business relationships.
Your days get busy and your to-do list fills up quickly. Sometimes, needing to press pause and take some time out to head to an in-person meeting or event can throw a wrench in your productivity.
This is one reason why audio conferencing is so impactful. You can engage in live conversations (just like you would at an in-person function!)—without anybody having to deal with travel or lost time. Whether you’re trying to sell to a prospect or simply connect with an industry peer, audio conferencing is a great way to forge a relationship—without needing to bite a major chunk out of everybody’s day.
Email is a preferred communication method for most people, thanks to its extreme efficiency and ease of use. But, there’s one major thing that’s missing from email—which is particularly important for establishing a lasting bond: a personal connection. In fact, email can be highly impersonal.
With those written messages, you’re missing nonverbal cues such as laughter or tone of voice. Email also doesn’t leave much space for small talk and the opportunity to connect on a more personal level. Audio conferencing, however, is much more natural and organic. You’ll be able to understand the context of situations with greater ease, while also having some time to chat about topics that aren’t all related to the business matter at hand. Of course, while you don’t want to waste hours on small talk, it’s still important for establishing a real bond with new contacts.
The average office worker receives 121 emails each and every day. So, if you think that your friendly message or request is standing out in your prospect’s inbox, think again. It’s hard to get noticed in a crowded inbox, a sea of social media notifications, or a pile of unanswered LinkedIn invitations.
In contrast, people have much fewer phone calls—which will naturally make a more memorable impression. Combine that with the fact that you’ll be able to forge a more personal connection (as mentioned above), and utilizing audio conferencing is sure to help you establish more powerful and meaningful relationships with everyone from potential customers to networking contacts.
It would seem odd to take detailed notes during an in-person networking event, wouldn’t it? But, during a conference call, that’s to be expected. In many ways, audio conferencing allows you to better understand the people that you’re connecting with. In addition to being able to maintain detailed records of what’s discussed and what questions are asked, you also have the added benefit of being able to record the call—which can be a helpful resource if you need to go back and gain some clarity on the conversation.
Audio conferencing is a powerful tool to have in your toolbox when it comes to building lasting business relationships. But, that doesn’t mean it will do all of the work for you. There are a few additional things you can do to best leverage these calls to your advantage.
First and foremost, approach conference calls as you would in-person meetings. While the main goal of those sitdowns is to get certain matters accomplished, they always start with a bit of small talk and personal chatter. Doing the same during your conference calls will help you to forge a more natural and lasting connection.
Secondly, it’s important to remember that audio conferencing is just one of many steps in fostering a relationship. It will help you to lay solid groundwork, but there are additional steps you’ll need to take in order to maintain that relationship.
Make sure that you follow-up on the conference call conversations that you have to avoid making a one-time connection and instead encourage a lasting bond.
Utilize audio conferencing along with these best practices, and you’re well on your way to establishing beneficial business relationships—no formal handshake required!