One of the many benefits of holding regular conference calls in the United States or Canada is the opportunity to build stronger relationships with your contacts. By hosting frequent group audio calls with your group, people will become more familiar — even if you never actually meet in person.
Even if you’ll rarely interact, you can use conference calls to build rapport before digging into the matter at hand. Use the tips below to build rapport with others during your conference calls.
- Arrive a few minutes before the conference call’s start time and chat with other early arrivals. If you’re the moderator of the call, you should be the first one. Greet participants as they arrive, ideally by name. Our live conference viewer will display contact details as your attendees join the call. Because there’s always a chance that others will join the call in the midst of your conversation, make sure to keep the small talk focused on safe topics like the weather, sports, or your favorite local hikes.
- Start the conference call off with a short icebreaker or introductions. As the moderator of the call, ask each person by name to briefly introduce themselves, their position, and where they’re calling from. This can be fun, especially if your callers are from locations all over USA and Canada. If you have a larger group, this is less practical. However, you could still do quick group introductions. For example, you might say something like, “We have the human resources team from our Miami office on the line as well as team members from our Los Angeles, Cleveland, Montreal, and Toronto offices.
- Find common ground and neutral territory. For some of your more intense conference calls, such as contracts negotiations or a mediation, initial small talk can help you find some common ground, or at least neutral territory. For example, talks may become less adversarial if it turns out that you and the other party attended the same university or grew up in the same town.
- Keep small talk and introductions brief. While you can use conference calls to build rapport, do so in small doses. Keep your eye on the main purpose of the call and quickly get down to business.
- Build a Q&A session in each of your conference calls. Not only does this provide you with an opportunity to clarify earlier discussions and answer questions, people who were not formally slated on the agenda to speak will have the chance to talk.
- Ask questions of your own. If no one has questions or the few questions that do get asked are handled promptly, use the extra time to ask your own questions. Prepare a short list of questions you’d like to ask of each group on the call and then either ask a specific person by name what they think or refer to one of the sub-groups. For example, “Can someone from human resources explain this in layman’s terms?”
USA and Canada conference calls are ideal for connecting with others and building stronger relationships while also taking care of business thanks to their real-time nature.