It’s a mobile world out there. Now, you no longer have to be on the same state to meet and do business. You do not even have to be in the same continent to do business. Communication technology has come a long way that face-to-face meetings are no longer necessary to close a deal. And with the development of conference calls, business transactions over the phone can now involve multiple people instead of the usual one-on-one conversations.
Furthermore, conference calls are no longer exclusive to large corporations. With the rise of VoIP, small and medium scale businesses now have access to call conference capabilities, since VoIP service providers like RingCentral, Skype, GoToMeeting, WebEx, and Google Voice have more affordable plans compared to PSTN. However, whoever thinks that making a business pitch on a conference call is easier than making it in person is in for a rude awakening. Though you may not have to be nervous about how you look and about how much sweat you are accumulating as you make your presentation, you will also not have the benefit of body language and hand gestures to help you out.
So like making an in-person pitch, you have to be really prepared (even more so actually) if you plan to make a pitch in a conference call. To help you, here are some tips:
Before the pitch
The most important part in making a successful pitch is the preparation; if you do your homework fewer things can get awry in the conference call.
First, you have to brainstorm with your team to come up with how you want to conduct your presentation. Try to anticipate the questions that may be asked, so you can be prepared. Also, you should decide who in your team will be joining the conference call. You don’t want too many people presenting as this makes it challenging for the people listening to discern who’s who. You want to be remembered, and having to many people makes that difficult. The same goes for the other side; listeners appreciate recognition. Make an effort to know who you will be making a pitch to, so you can personally address them during the presentation.
And as they say, practice makes perfect. Conduct a practice conference call via an intra-office meeting. This way you can see where you need to improve before the actual pitch.
During the pitch, take note of the people attending the meeting. Are the people you researched there or not? This is important because you do not want to be calling out a name of someone who is not there.
Start off your pitch with a lively greeting. Speak deliberately and in moderate speed. You are on the phone, so the clarity of your voice may suffer and speaking to fast will make it doubly hard for them to understand you. Pause once in a while, so that they can process the information you are giving. Use first names of the listeners to make it more personal. Also remember to keep the focus on the objective. Make small talk if needed, but always bring the conversation back to your pitch.
Last, remember to smile. Even if they cannot see it, your smile translates in your voice and makes your pitch livelier and more positive.