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Call on Teleconferencing
The business playing field is very expansive. So unless, you have Doc Brown on staff along with the DeLorean equipped with the flux capacitor, you will have to find an alternate means of communication than face-to-face contact. Today, with the Internet you can email business clients, but that can be a bit too impersonal or inconvenient if there is a good number of points of discussion to be made. Teleconferencing is both popular and well accepted in relation to business-to-business powwowing.
The Approach of Making the CallThere are currently three ways to teleconference: video, computer, and audio. The article will focus on video and audio because computer conferencing is discouraged due to the reasons stated in the introduction. It is less personable, and from both standpoints, there is less of a chance to pick up on 'verbal cues' that are relayed by others. You can tell a great deal about others by picking up on their approach and pattern of speech. So as a safeguard, having a 'live' discussion in matters involving business is the way to communicate.
Video conferencing involves having visual and audio opportunities in conducting relations with other people. There is either a television or computer monitor involved that enables a group of people to speak with others from virtually any place in the world. One particular advantage of video conferencing is that you can also detect non-verbal cues in conjunction with verbal cues.
Audio conferencing involves a group of business people conversing with others over a telephone line using a speaker so as all people involved are able to hear one another. You will not have the advantage of seeing non-verbal cues, but your detection of verbal cues can be taken advantage of. This is the most common form of teleconferencing and is more accommodating for smaller businesses that may not have the budget for face-to-face meeting taking place as a result of traveling involved.
Advantages of TeleconferencingOther than the obvious economical benefits to teleconferencing there are several other reasons that it is advantageous to businesses:
- People such as guest speakers can easily engage in the conference
- Meetings can be conducted more often due to the convenience
- Making meetings and relations more routine is enabled because of the ubiquitous nature of telephones with speakers
- The structure of the conference can be more succinct and business-like as not to spend the time it would take to conduct face-to-face meetings
- Away from the office hours can be taken advantage of in times of exigency or during times of inclement weather
- Much easier to forecast times of meetings
- Group member participate in a more equal fashion during teleconferencing
Possible DisadvantagesThe disadvantages are less prevalent in teleconferencing, but they can arise and it is good to know some of the possible sources:
- Technical failures can arise
- Not being able to evaluate all verbal and non-verbal cues
- Not as easy to build rapport as face-to-face meetings
- More preparation time needed so as there is no breaks in the tempo
- Unfamiliarity with the medium or equipment
ConclusionVideo and telephone conferences are two excellent means of facilitating business-to-business communications. It is just not always viable to have face-to-face conferences or to have them as often as a business relationship would warrant. The money and time saved can be devoted to augmenting the business elsewhere. As new technologies spawn new forms of communications, the options businesses can take advantage of will increase.