But make no mistake, conference calls only work if you do. How many times have you attended an awesome sales presentation only to think to yourself on the way home, “If I’d known it was going to be that good, I would have brought someone with me!” The same holds true with conference calls. Let’s face it, you’re already sold on USANA. In order for the conference call to benefit your business, you must have prospective partners on the line with you.
Ideally, they are just that…on the line with you. In other words, you have called them and then after visiting with them for a few minutes, you three-way them into the conference call. In this way, you’ve insured that they’ll “show up” for the call and the call is on your dime.
On most corporate sponsored conference calls, there is a moderator line and guests are in a “listening only” mode. In such cases, the following rules of etiquette aren’t quite so important. However, there are many smaller, more intimate calls that are interactive. Everyone can hear everything that is going on. I love these calls because they’re exciting, spontaneous and fun. I also dread these calls because I never know what’s going to happen – whose dog it is that is barking in the background, whose child is practicing the violin, who it is that keeps saying, “Are you there, Joe?” or “can you hear me?” I’ve been on a few conference calls that gave me nightmares!
Following these simple guidelines will help make your conference calling experience a positive one for both you and your guest:
1. Invite your prospective business partner on the call several days in advance. Your prospect is probably very busy so it’s important to let him know how much you appreciate his time and how much you’ll value his feedback.
2. Edify the guest speaker and explain why he or she has earned the right to be on the call. Ideally, you will want to invite people on the call that you believe will relate to the guest speaker and if possible, explain your connection to him or her. Maybe you’re in his downline organization or maybe she spoke at the very first business opportunity you attended. Connect yourself to the guest in some way.
3. Suggest that your potential business partner take some time to read the material you’ve sent him or do some of his own research on your website or USANA’s corporate website prior to the conference call. Encourage him to make a list of questions and to have a pen and paper handy in order to take notes or to write down his impressions during the call.
4. If your potential business partner is married or has a live-in partner, encourage them both to be on the line. It will save you time later on and you never know which one will have the most interest in your products or business.
5. Make a quick reminder call to your prospective guest either the evening before or the day of the conference call. Tell him that you’ll be calling him just a few minutes prior to the actual call so you’ll have plenty of time to get connected before the call begins. Explain that because the call is live, it is important he be in a quiet room. If there’s no such thing as a quiet room in your prospect’s home (or yours), explain the “mute” feature (generally you hit *6 to go in and out of the call) and tell him you’ll use it if necessary as a courtesy to the guest speaker and to the others on the line.
6. Don’t use cell phones for conference calls. There is invariably interference.
7. Prior to calling your guest, hit *70 to disengage call-waiting on your phone. Check with your local phone company to determine if this is what you do to disengage the call-waiting feature in your area of the country. You don’t want that annoying beep to distract you and others during the conference call.
8. Connect with your guest five to ten minutes before the conference call is scheduled to start. Again express your appreciation, share your excitement and make certain there is no background noise. Take a minute to plant a seed of possibility with your guest: “Thanks again, Bob, it means a lot to me that you’re joining me on this call. You’ll relate to Jeremy’s story. The first time I heard him I thought of you. He’s so down to earth – just a great guy. I think by the time the call is over you’ll know if USANA would be a good fit for you. Be sure to jot down any questions that pop into your mind, okay?”
9. Three-way into the conference call.
10. If a roll call is being taken or people are introducing themselves, you take the lead. Introduce yourself and then your guest: “Hello, this is Ryan Kaltenbach from San Diego and I have Bob Owens from Chicago on the line with me.”
11. The host of the call will acknowledge and welcome the distributors and guests. Curb the urge to acknowledge people you might recognize as they introduce themselves.
One of the distinct advantages of having your guest on the line with you is that once the call is over and you disconnect with the conference call, you’re still on the line with your guest. Ask questions, get impressions, resolve concerns and go from there. Your potential business partner will fit into one of three categories: 1. I can’t wait to sign up, here’s my credit card! 2. That was interesting. I’ve got some questions and I want to think about it. 3. I’m really not interested. You should be just fine with any of the three answers. Most people I have done conference calls with fit into category 2 and with time and information generally become team members or preferred customers. But even those who tell me they’re not interested will often become preferred customers or even refer me to others. I appreciate their honesty and the time they save me. Remember to keep the conversation friendly and professional.