Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 .

At UberConference, I do a ton of calls – usually 1 or 2 every day. I’ve been doing conference calls since I was 21. I began my career in sales, selling hardware and software for a Fortune 500 Chicago tech company.

This was 1999, and one of the things that the company didn’t tell me, when they were recruiting me, was that I’d be spending 7 or 8 hours a day on sales calls, on the phone. (It was pretty naive of me to assume that being a corporate account manager meant something other than that, huh?). I really wish that before I’d taken that job, and before I’d started my own business, that I got a bit of sales advice about conference call outcomes.

Six weeks into the job, when I began taking my first sales phone calls, small business customers called in over what was called “the sequencer.” Essentially, it was the company’s 1-800 number; marketing then consisted of hundreds of thousands of computer hardware and software catalogs, mailed to pretty much every company in the USA with more than 5 employees.

Sometimes you got a great sales call off of the sequencer – perhaps you’d get a 5-laptop order, worth roughly $100 in commission.  Sometimes it was someone cold-calling from Miami trying to order 20 laptops – those deals were nearly always fraudulent.

The goal of these early calls was “sell something on every call.” What I didn’t realize, at the time, was that the goal of every sales call is definitely not “to sell something.” It’s to help the buyer make a yes-or-no decision that they feel really good about.

One thing I’ve learned in sales, especially from reading Skip Miller’s books, Proactive Selling and Proactive Sales Management, is that the sales process involves getting agreement from the buyer (and everyone that works with the buyer) on a series of intricate yes-or-no decisions. Yeses are great. No’s are pretty darn good, too. It’s the “maybes”, says Miller, that will kill you.

When a sales meeting results in a “no,” it means that the seller has encountered what’s called a “basic objection.” Usually, it’s one of 4 problems: buyer has no need, buyer has no budget, buyer has no authority, or buyer has no urgency. Most of the last three are linked to the first one – the fact that the buyer either has no genuine need, or the seller did a lousy job helping the buyer figure out if he had any need.

If the meeting doesn’t end in a “yes” or a “no” on the next buying action, then the meeting was not a successful meeting. The fancy name for maybes, in sales, are “continuances.” What they really are is a failure to accomplish anything substantial in the sales meeting.

When you’re planning a sales meeting, meeting objectives is much easier, if you think of everything from the buyer’s perspective, and the buyer’s objective. Here are four questions to ask yourself when doing your sales meeting prep:

  1. What qualifies as an advance to the next stage in the buying process on this call? How will I know when my buyer has advanced to that next stage?
  2. What critical yes/no decisions would my buyer need to make in this meeting?
  3. Have I communicated the meeting’s agenda to my buyer in advance, and adequately prepared the buyer for the meeting?
  4. Do I have validation from the buyer that the meeting’s agendas meet his buying objectives, business pain and need?

One other thing that I do after my calls – immediately after the end of the call – is allow an extra 10 minutes on my calendar to do a wrap-up. This is where I enter the necessary info into my CRM system (Salesforce), and plan what decisions I’d need to help my customer make on the next call. Give that a shot the next time you finish a sales UberConference – I think you’ll be pretty surprised by the results.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 .

We’re giving away 5 Evernote Moleskine notebooks + 3 months of Evernote premium with every notebook this week!

Tell your friends about ÜberConference on Facebook and Twitter from now through November 23 to get a month of ÜberConference Pro plus enter for your chance to win some other über cool stuff!

Prizes:

  • Automatically win a free month of ÜberConference Pro just for tweeting or sharing on Facebook.
  • Evernote Moleskine notebooks + 3 months of Evernote premium
  •  2 Jawbone headsets – Rock your conference calling experience with this uber cool Bluetooth tool.
  • iPad Mini – Want the hottest tech item of the moment? Of course you do. We are giving away one iPad Mini at the end of this giveaway. Now that is something to be thankful about.

How it works:

For Facebook – Go here for a chance to win. You get additional chances to win for each friend you get to sign up. Sign up here to get started.

For Twitter – Make sure to follow @uberconference and tweet about us using the hashtag #ubergiving. You must be following us and tweet #ubergiving to get the month of Pro free.

Here’s a sample tweet you can just copy and paste if you want:

Follow @uberconference and RT this to automagically get a month of @uberconference Pro free! bit.ly/RBoZGD #ubergiving.

Then, to enter to win one of the many great prizes, sign up here and then tweet about the prizes, your favorite ÜberConference feature, or whatever you want to share. Make sure to use the unique link you are given when signing up so you get credit for the followers you convert to sign up: Sign up here and then tweet to enter to win.

You will automatically get a month of ÜberConference Pro free just for sharing on Facebook and Twitter. However, the more you share your unique link you get when you sign up and then get others to sign up, the more chances you have to win the Evernote notebook, Jawbone headset or iPad Mini. We will be giving out all the prizes over the three weeks of this giveaway.

Friday, February 14th, 2014 .

You know how every so often you get roped into dealing with something that you really don’t want to be involved with?  I’m not talking something life-threatening like the Ebola Virus or listening to your uncle from Wisconsin lecture you about religion while you’re stuck in a car with him going to a funeral.

No, I’m talking about the modest little peeves of modern life, the ones that really get under your skin.

For instance, you’re sitting in the cafeteria at work, and a nice conversation is going on about the Academy Awards or the California drought or something interesting like that and then some wisenheimer in the group says this: “Hey, did you see that Justin Bieber got arrested?”

Oh, boy, here we go.  Next thing you know all ten of you are talking about Justin Bieber.  Including you.  You’re stuck.  Everyone has their views and all of a sudden you find yourself  saying you blame his father because you were reading on TMZ.com that he was there in the nightclub that night and also was involved in setting up blocking off the street so that Justin and his friend could have their idiotic drag race and then somebody says, ‘well, that’s not what I heard’ and then you have defend your sources on this topic and bam!  Fifteen minutes have gone by and it’s time to return to your desk.  As you sit down you realize that the fifteen minutes you spent talking about Justin Bieber makes your teeth hurt.

And don’t think you’re alone.  Look what happened to esteemed broadcast journalist Andrea Mitchell during a discussion the other day on the NSA.  There was breaking Justin Bieber news.  Look at the pain on her face.  It’s heartbreaking, and it’s happened to you, too.

This is roughly where I rank teleconference PINs: right up there with a group discussion of Justin Bieber.  They’re both just hellishly painful, unnecessarily pointless, and yet, somehow completely inescapable.

You’re part of a design team that has several remote participants (including you) and it’s time for the weekly teleconference.  You dial into the teleconference system and they give you a PIN number you have to use to participate.  The computer-generated voice rattles off twelve completely random digits.  You’re writing them down:

8-9-5-8-1-3… oh, man, your pen stopped working.

Try it again.

8-9-5-8-1-3-8-9… the woman at the desk next to you just got a delivery of a dozen roses from her new boyfriend and she is squealing with happiness.

All right, let’s give this one more try.

Okay, you write: 8-9-5-8-1-3-8-9-4-9-7-5

Whew.  Got it.  That only took six hours.

Time to key it into your phone.  8-9-5-8-1-… wait, is that a 3 or a 5 I wrote down?  Call back and get the PIN all over again.  Yes, it was a 3.

And on it goes.

That’s why UberConference doesn’t use PINs.  You go to the website, log in, find your conference and click.  Voila.  Everyone’s there, you can see who’s there, and you’re ready to go.  It’s beautiful.  This is gonna go great, you think to yourself.

And then the person running the conference call says: “Hey, everybody, welcome to the call.  Before we get started, did you see that Justin Bieber was arrested?”

ARRRGGHH.

Monday, October 15th, 2012 .

Spreading your nasty germs around the office is a great way to upset your coworkers. But for some reason people still come into work when sick. They may just not have the time off, feel obligated to be there for the big meeting or perhaps just can’t get enough of their cubicle?…Whatever the reason, don’t be that guy/gal!

Seriously, stay home.

You can still get your work done, rock the big meeting and keep everyone else happy with the mighty power of today’s conference calling technology.

Here are 3 tools we recommend:

  1. ÜberConference (obvi) – our free conference call tool provides the audio solution for your meeting as well as the visuals so you know who’s saying what on the call.
  2. GoogleDocs or Box.net both let you share your PowerPoint or other presentation documents with your coworkers.
  3. For note-taking and audio-saving capabilities, well, we DO integrate with Evernote so that one is an obvious choice.

What we’re saying here is that there is ZERO need to come in. So stay home, rest up, take some zinc and still get your work done.

Talk it over with your boss or coworkers if you have to, but if they care anything about their own health, they’ll likely thank you forconferencing it in.

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 .

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We are excited to announce that we are one of the first Google Apps Premier Technology Partners. This builds upon our existing integrations with document sharing in Google Drive, integrating video conferencing through Google Hangouts, and in-browser calls through Google Chrome. The program will offer our team additional product, technical, marketing, sales, program, relationship, and support benefits to bring UberConference to more people.

 

Our team is excited to build even more integrated solutions with Google Apps services. Our customer base has been integral in utilizing the tools we have built to work seamlessly with Google Apps. The Weather Company uses our Google Drive integration daily. Ferrazzi Greenlight saves 15 minutes every meeting by driving more productive calls through Google Hangouts. The Chrome and Gmail integrations make it easy for AdRoll advertisers to click on any email or phone number and initiate a conference call.
We are looking forward to offering new product features in the Google Apps Marketplace and continuing to work with Google to bring richer solutions to more users everywhere.