I have a client who hosts up to 25 conference calls with clients…per month! The challenge, besides the sheer volume, is that his clients usually have four people on the call and so does he. Adding to the complexity is that each conference call participant is in a different part of the world! I am currently coaching him on how to manage this so that he gets the results he wants. But leading a conference call is a skill that, unfortunately, so many fall short of doing well.
How Strong is Your Conference Call Leadership?
How good are you and your team at leading effective conference calls with clients? Pay attention to the next call where the team is presenting their recommendations/solutions. Is there a plan? Does everyone know it? Are each person’s roles clearly defined? Do they fully understand what you want?
Without a plan for something as important as a client conference call, you are leaving yourself, and your team, vulnerable to someone, probably your weak link, taking control of the call and leading things in the wrong direction.
How To Conduct an Effective Conference Call
Follow all or most of these conference call tips and I am sure your client calls will be more effective, your team will be more engaged with their client and you will see positive results.
- Choose your conference call moderator/facilitator: who owns the process both internally and externally? Let them champion it all the way.
- Establish you and your team’s expectations of the call, know every one of them throughout your team, then determine the most important three.
- Create the agenda you and your team will follow to craft the content of the call.
- Set participant roles and responsibilities and rehearsal times (yes, times, not just one but two or three)
- Pinpoint client questions and concerns; task teammates with determining solutions.
- Send out the final conference call agenda, and ask your client what additional items they want covered. Make the additional items a priority.
- At the start of the call, get verbal agreement on the agenda from each client stakeholder (know everyone’s name, use it and know what’s important to each)
- Restate the client’s collective goal and challenges as previously synthesized.
- During the call explain how your content “LINKS” to your client’s desires (use the word “LINK” or say “What this means for you and your business is…”)
- Build in discussion time after each person’s portion of the presentation to understand what your client is thinking/perceiving (it’s a great way to cheat on the test!).
- Recap the To-Do’s from the call at the conclusion of the discussion.
- Send out the set of next steps the same day (it shows your responsibility and urgency).
Follow these tips and you’ll be building a strong team that can communicate effectively by following a process you put in place, giving them confidence in you as their leader. Let me know how it goes.