The Journey of the TV Phone Towards Perfection

The TV phone is a mobile phone that has the ability to receive TV signal and display the same on the screen. The TV phone receives the signal band allocated for the mobile phone as well as the signal band allocated for the TV. It has the required electronic circuitry which extracts video and audio signals from incoming radio signal and modulates the same to match the ability of a home TV. Television data are received either from a proprietary or a cellular network.

South Korea had launched the first television phone in 2002 using the standard mobile network. It was more of a slide show than a smooth video streaming. Visual data require far wider space. Vodafone and Samsung made TV phones that received analog broadcast. The streaming was better but choppy.

Video streaming required a faster transmission speed. This became possible with the introduction of 2G. It brought the delivery speed to 14 kilobyte per second. 2.5 G increased the speed to 100 kilobyte per second. It was only when faster 3G became a reality that a normal TV display became possible. Further improvement required a broader bandwidth. 3G multicasting allowed several subscribers to access the same broadcast simultaneously. It saved a lot of bandwidth.

Time slicing or in simpler words, transmission of data in predetermined space intervals quickened the data receipt. Finally, a stronger battery provided the much needed longer viewing time.

Some of the latest TV phones have a 2.4 inch 16 mega pixel color display. They cover a wide range of GSM frequencies. These phones have a heavy duty battery. They deliver more than 300 minutes of talk time.

One can get branded phones in between 300 to 400 USD range. Chinese manufacturers and distributors have introduced such phones with similar specifications at a far lower price. The market is rife with wide varieties of phones. The technology is also rapidly advancing. It has reduced the shelf life of electronic goods. You have to be judicious in selecting an appropriate gadget at the right price.

One can have an online preview for making a preliminary judgment. Sometimes experience shared by friends also helps in making a decision. The fact in favor of low priced products could be that manufacturers would like to remain and prosper in the existing global market. As such, quality has to be improved. Marketing management can never be a hit and run affair. As such, they shall strive hard to assert reliability by generating quality products.

Looking for Mass Marketing? Try Voice Broadcasting!

There are many different mass marketing techniques, but not all of them are effective. In fact, some of them can be downright expensive. Telemarketers are expensive and they do not always elicit results as people tend to be turned off by them. Additionally, direct mail can often fall short when it comes to marketing. Those postcards and flyers that you invest in may just end up in the trash can. If you have found these other mass marketing techniques falling short of your expectations you might want to give voice broadcasting a try.

Voice broadcasting is basically an automated system that allows you to make contact with a large group of people. When you are setting up a voice broadcasting system you need to prerecord a message. After you have recorded the message, you need to upload your contact list into the system. That contact list can be whatever you want it to be. You could create a list that consists of potential customers or you could create a list that consists of current customers. Whatever you want, you can do. From there with the press of a button you are able to send that message out to exactly who you want to hear it.

There are no real rules when it comes to the exact message that you are sending out. It can be about just about anything that you want it to be. In fact, you can have a different voice for each message, or you may want to choose someone to be the “voice” of your company. You want that “voice” to be accessible and trustworthy whether you change it out or stick with one for all communications.

Additionally, you will want to thoughtfully put together your voice broadcasting message. You only have a few seconds in the beginning to capture the listener’s attention so try to choose something that will spark their interest to start your message with. This could be a shocking statistic or an unbelievable offer. From there you want to move quickly to the details of the message, but be careful not to be too lengthy. Voice broadcasting messages are typically short, and if you can keep it under 30 seconds you will be in good shape. At the tail end of your message, you will want to finish it by calling the listener to action. See if you can get them to hang up the phone and take advantage of your offer. If you are successfully able to do this then your voice broadcasting message is a success.

Upgrade Your Phone Skills!

I can’t believe this is still happening. As sales professionals we spend a great deal of our time leaving messages for colleagues, clients and prospects yet the vast majority of sales people have terrible telephone phone skills. Thirty years ago, before I entered a career in sales, I worked as a radio broadcaster. What I learned in radio has played a key role in my presentation skills and sales success.

You may think the radio announcers you listen to on a daily basis are amazing at what is called the “Ad Lib” in the business. Most of them aren’t. What they are is professional, creative, funny and most importantly prepared. Many top morning shows have professional writers who are behind the scenes feeding material to the ‘on air talent’ as the show progresses. Others spend hours researching current events and planning what will be included in the daily show.

So what does this all have to do with sales? It impacts a number of career critical elements. Every day I see sales people attempting to “wing-it” in front of customers, on the phone, or during demonstrations. This is a sure way to remain part of the 80 per cent of the sales representatives who are just getting by instead of joining the 20 per cent who are the top performers.

The telephone impacts our professional lives on a daily basis but for the sake of this article I am going to focus on the basics skills that every sales professional needs. If you have poor telephone skills you are going to suffer and never make it to the next stage in the customers buying cycle.

There are many good books on telephone manners so I am not going to go into information on smiling while talking, not chewing food or gum, keep a mirror in front of your phone or the best time to make those calls. I would rather address where the real problems lie.

Most sales people do a very good job of speaking directly with a customer or prospect, where they fall apart is when they encounter a gatekeeper or voice mail. Here is a list of never fail me tips.

o When you get a gatekeeper, never start a call by saying; “Hi Carol, how are you today?” I have spoken to so many executive assistants at the C-level who say the minute they hear those words they know a sales rep is making a prospecting call. If the person calling the C- executive knows the gatekeeper they are going to quickly identify themselves and ask for their associate. They know Carol is extremely busy and will not waste her time. However if she starts a conversation you can follow her lead. If you don’t know the executive or gatekeeper then simply say, “Hello Carol. Is Bill Smith available? It’s Bob Weese calling from B2B Sales Connections.” Simple direct and accurate. We can leave gatekeeper sales strategy for another time.

o Oops you’ve got voice mail! If this is not a prospecting call, if you have questions for your client, information or have agreed to follow-up on a specific point and they are not available then you must have a plan ready for voice mail. If you hum, haw and ramble you are most likely going to have your message deleted before they ever listen through to the painful end. You are lucky if you get 15 seconds before the delete key is pressed and you are left wondering why the client never called you back.

o The best format is to pre-plan your voice mail as a 15-second information package just like a commercial. Give your name and phone number off the top so they can write it down immediately. Secondly, use a little good news or a benefit statement to get them interested. Fred, its Bob Weese calling from B2B Sales Connections. My number is xxx-xxx-xx,xx. Great news. We have enough widgets in stock to fill your order if we get it in today. Give me a call and we can start the process. My number is XXX-XXX-XX,XX. Again, that’s XXX-XXX-XX,XX.”

o Now let’s take a moment and address the problem with sales people leaving phone messages. Speed, clarity, rhythm. I get too many messages on blurted out so fast I can’t understand the phone number even when I replay the message a few times. If that’s your prospect they have hit the delete key and are thinking you will call him back if it’s important. When it comes time to say your phone number pause for a beat or two and then slowly and clearly give your number and then just like those radio and TV announcers repeat the number again. To ensure you are saying the number slowly, write it down as you say it. I have listened to sales people ramble on for more than a minute in a disjointed uninteresting message only to fire out their phone number as quickly as humanly possible. Oops, I lost interest and hit the delete key before you finished.

o Regardless of how well you know the person at the other end, leave a call back phone number. I hear from sales rep’s all the time. They say; “I don’t need to leave a number they can see it on the phone display and just hit redial”. Sorry folks it doesn’t work that way. They may have pulled messages from a different phone, it may come in on VoIP, and your number may be buried on their desk, in a file or well out of reach. When this happens you have now dropped from an immediate action item to a “get around to it”. Make it easy for your clients and always leave a number.

o Here’s a real quick business killer. Empty your voice mailbox. Nothing will kill your sales momentum like a customer getting the message, “this mailbox is full, goodbye”.

o Finally I would like to address calling from your mobile to discuss a major issue. Face the facts landlines are almost 100 per cent crystal clear while mobile and portable phones can range from good to “I could do better with two tin cans and a string”. If you are calling to discuss an important issue or concern, don’t try and carry on the conversation while either you or your customer is in traffic heading home or to an appointment. Save the important calls for a time when you can focus 100 per cent on the customer and the message.

In broadcasting we used “talk tapes” which recorded everything you said on air. This was a quick way to find out how your presentations sounded. You can create your own “talk tapes” either by recording some of your calls or asking your manager or co-worker to listen in on a few of your telephone calls and provide you with feedback. You will be amazed at how you sounded versus how you thought you sounded.

Good Selling!

Voice Broadcasting Tactics for Business to Business Calls

Many businesses now use voice broadcasting to generate leads, sales, and get relevant information to their clients and customers in a simple, timely manner. In September 2010 the FTC enacted new regulations on business to consumer telemarketing, however the laws for business to business calls remained the same. Industries such as banks, hospitals, and non-profit organizations are also exempt from these new laws.

If you have a business to businesses product or services, than automated phone calls is an essential part of your marketing budget. Not only can it connect you with potential customers very quickly, it has become a very cheap lead source for many b to b businesses who rely solely on it. In fact many companies are now dropping the more traditional marketing mediums in favor of their voice broadcasting campaigns.

It doesn’t really matter if you are looking to target down to a specific zip code, county, state, small businesses, large businesses, revenue level, years in business, or number of employees, there are many companies out there who have lists in the millions of compiled business databases that you can purchase from.

Using these targeted lists, you will be able to connect with your exact client target very quickly utilizing the voice broadcasting systems available. Getting setup is generally simple as well. Simply upload your list of targeted b to b leads, record your 30 or 60 second message, then design your campaign however you want.

For b to b calls, many companies choose to have their voice broadcasts designed so that a person on the other end can simply press 1 to connect with someone at your office or call center to discuss the message that you’ve just sent them. Business to business voice broadcasting has become increasingly effective over the past few years as software, lists, and marketers have become increasingly efficient in how to utilize them.

In Charge of an Event at Your Church? Use Voicent Broadcast by Phone Autodialer

When people hear words like “autodialer” or “automated telephony,” they tend to think that such products apply only to telemarketing firms or pushy fundraising organizations. This does not have to be the case. The truth is that automated telephony products have a broad range of functions and uses that can be employed by a multitude of organizations. One such product is Voicent Broadcast by Phone autodialer software, and one such use is notification of church events.

Using Broadcast by Phone to get the word out about your local church event is simple. First, download and install the software on your computer and attach a voice modem. Next, use your existing telephone to record a message which will be delivered to the people you will be calling. Alternatively, you could type a message and use Broadcast by Phone’s Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology to turn the text into a verbal greeting. Third, make a list of all the names and numbers of people who are going to be called and notified. Lastly, start the autodialer or configure it to start at a scheduled time. It will call down the list automatically, playing the message you made to each person.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, however. Using TTS, you can create messages with variables that can be replaced with actual values at the time of the call. This can be used to make custom, personalized messages. For instance, let’s say you want to remind everyone of what they are supposed to bring to the upcoming church bake sale. You could write a message that says something like, “Hello, [name]! This message is to remind you to bring your delicious, homemade [baked good] to the First Unity Church Bake Sale this Saturday at 11am. Be sure to bring your [wife/husband]; it’ll be fun for everyone!” You can write the script this way, but when the message plays, the variables in italics can actually be replaced with that person’s name, the dish they have agreed to bring for sale, and their spouse. The personal touch can make all the difference!

Broadcast by Phone is what is known as a smart autodialer, meaning it has the ability to interact with the respondent by understanding both verbal and keypad tone commands. Using this technology, you can allow your fellow churchgoers to confirm whether they will be attending the event in question. For example, record a notification message, and at the end give respondents the option of pushing 1 to indicate they will be there, 2 to say they cannot make it, or 3 if they aren’t sure yet. It’s like RSVPing, but instantaneous!

Now, of course, comes the perpetual question: cost. Unless you are lucky enough to belong to a very wealthy church – in which case you probably don’t need a lot of fundraising anyway – you probably don’t have a lot in the budget to spend on “frills” like autodialers. You’ll be relieved to know, then, that Broadcast by Phone is a very affordable solution, mostly because it doesn’t require you to be any expensive extra equipment. In fact, Voicent makes a trial edition of the software package that is available for use for free!

Now that you know the benefits of Voicent Broadcast by Phone, and the low cost at which these benefits can be made available to you, there’s no reason not to try it for your church’s next event!

How to Send Recorded Phone Messages

Sending recorded phone messages to a list of contacts is very easy. First you retain the services of a phone broadcasting company that can send out hundreds of calls a minute. Second, you prepare your phone list on an Excel spreadsheet making sure that you have the complete ten-digit phone number (including area code) for each person you want to reach. Those ten-digit numbers should be in one column. And then third, you record your message over the phone.

Once you have your phone list uploaded to your phone broadcasting provider, and are done recording your message, you’re pretty much all set. You only have to decide when you want your message sent.

While the set up to send recorded phone messages is rather straightforward and can be done in a relatively short time, there are many “tricks of the trade” you should understand before you undertake your project. Here is a list of some of the best practices in sending recorded phone messages.

1) The FTC has implemented new rules for phone broadcasting messages that took effect on September 1, 2009. In summary, you need written permission to call your contact lists, unless it is for “informational calls” such as appointment reminders, or school or airline cancellations. Political campaigns, surveys, charities, debt collectors, and health care providers are also exempt from the regulations, as are calls to businesses. In addition, calls from phone companies, insurers and banks are not covered by the new regulations either. The new federal regulations will supersede a slightly less restrictive law in the state of California. You can get detailed information on the new laws here: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/08/tsr.shtm

2) If you have determined you can legally sent out pre-recorded phone messages, you will want to think about when you are going to send them. This is very important. The best practice is to leave as many messages on answering machines as possible. That way you will not disturb people, especially during dinner time. Yes, advances in phone broadcasting technology will enable you to send your message to EITHER people who answer the calls live, or to answering machines. The system will know the difference, and when the system hears a voice greeting on an answering machine it will wait for the beep to leave a message. About 70% of the American population is not home during the day so starting your phone broadcasting job between the hours of 10am and 2pm is a good idea if you want to leave as many messages on answering machines as possible. Doing that will provide a convenience to your contacts since they will be able to listen to your message when they want to and on their schedule.

3) Make sure when you are recording your message over the phone that you do NOT call from a cell phone or cordless phone. You want to achieve the highest quality possible and an old fashioned landline phone is your best bet and offers the least distortion. Don’t worry, you can hear your message before it goes out, and if you make a mistake you can just do another take. Obviously, it’s best to have a script and be well rehearsed before you start recording.

4) Remember, the new laws require you to identify yourself and leave information where you can be reached. It’s best to know ahead of time what number you want to use for your Caller ID — in other words, what number do you want your contacts to see on their Caller ID when your message comes through.

In summary, sending recorded messages by phone is probably the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to contact a large number of people. Phone broadcasting technology can help you tremendously in improving your communications, but you always have to be mindful of the laws that regulate its usage. Mistakes can end up being very costly, so make sure you are dealing with professionals who can help you.

Voice Broadcasting Tactics for Business to Business Calls

Many businesses now use voice broadcasting to generate leads, sales, and get relevant information to their clients and customers in a simple, timely manner. In September 2010 the FTC enacted new regulations on business to consumer telemarketing, however the laws for business to business calls remained the same. Industries such as banks, hospitals, and non-profit organizations are also exempt from these new laws.

If you have a business to businesses product or services, than automated phone calls is an essential part of your marketing budget. Not only can it connect you with potential customers very quickly, it has become a very cheap lead source for many b to b businesses who rely solely on it. In fact many companies are now dropping the more traditional marketing mediums in favor of their voice broadcasting campaigns.

It doesn’t really matter if you are looking to target down to a specific zip code, county, state, small businesses, large businesses, revenue level, years in business, or number of employees, there are many companies out there who have lists in the millions of compiled business databases that you can purchase from.

Using these targeted lists, you will be able to connect with your exact client target very quickly utilizing the voice broadcasting systems available. Getting setup is generally simple as well. Simply upload your list of targeted b to b leads, record your 30 or 60 second message, then design your campaign however you want.

For b to b calls, many companies choose to have their voice broadcasts designed so that a person on the other end can simply press 1 to connect with someone at your office or call center to discuss the message that you’ve just sent them. Business to business voice broadcasting has become increasingly effective over the past few years as software, lists, and marketers have become increasingly efficient in how to utilize them.

In Charge of an Event at Your Church? Use Voicent Broadcast by Phone Autodialer

When people hear words like “autodialer” or “automated telephony,” they tend to think that such products apply only to telemarketing firms or pushy fundraising organizations. This does not have to be the case. The truth is that automated telephony products have a broad range of functions and uses that can be employed by a multitude of organizations. One such product is Voicent Broadcast by Phone autodialer software, and one such use is notification of church events.

Using Broadcast by Phone to get the word out about your local church event is simple. First, download and install the software on your computer and attach a voice modem. Next, use your existing telephone to record a message which will be delivered to the people you will be calling. Alternatively, you could type a message and use Broadcast by Phone’s Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology to turn the text into a verbal greeting. Third, make a list of all the names and numbers of people who are going to be called and notified. Lastly, start the autodialer or configure it to start at a scheduled time. It will call down the list automatically, playing the message you made to each person.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, however. Using TTS, you can create messages with variables that can be replaced with actual values at the time of the call. This can be used to make custom, personalized messages. For instance, let’s say you want to remind everyone of what they are supposed to bring to the upcoming church bake sale. You could write a message that says something like, “Hello, [name]! This message is to remind you to bring your delicious, homemade [baked good] to the First Unity Church Bake Sale this Saturday at 11am. Be sure to bring your [wife/husband]; it’ll be fun for everyone!” You can write the script this way, but when the message plays, the variables in italics can actually be replaced with that person’s name, the dish they have agreed to bring for sale, and their spouse. The personal touch can make all the difference!

Broadcast by Phone is what is known as a smart autodialer, meaning it has the ability to interact with the respondent by understanding both verbal and keypad tone commands. Using this technology, you can allow your fellow churchgoers to confirm whether they will be attending the event in question. For example, record a notification message, and at the end give respondents the option of pushing 1 to indicate they will be there, 2 to say they cannot make it, or 3 if they aren’t sure yet. It’s like RSVPing, but instantaneous!

Now, of course, comes the perpetual question: cost. Unless you are lucky enough to belong to a very wealthy church – in which case you probably don’t need a lot of fundraising anyway – you probably don’t have a lot in the budget to spend on “frills” like autodialers. You’ll be relieved to know, then, that Broadcast by Phone is a very affordable solution, mostly because it doesn’t require you to be any expensive extra equipment. In fact, Voicent makes a trial edition of the software package that is available for use for free!

Now that you know the benefits of Voicent Broadcast by Phone, and the low cost at which these benefits can be made available to you, there’s no reason not to try it for your church’s next event!

How to Send Recorded Phone Messages

Sending recorded phone messages to a list of contacts is very easy. First you retain the services of a phone broadcasting company that can send out hundreds of calls a minute. Second, you prepare your phone list on an Excel spreadsheet making sure that you have the complete ten-digit phone number (including area code) for each person you want to reach. Those ten-digit numbers should be in one column. And then third, you record your message over the phone.

Once you have your phone list uploaded to your phone broadcasting provider, and are done recording your message, you’re pretty much all set. You only have to decide when you want your message sent.

While the set up to send recorded phone messages is rather straightforward and can be done in a relatively short time, there are many “tricks of the trade” you should understand before you undertake your project. Here is a list of some of the best practices in sending recorded phone messages.

1) The FTC has implemented new rules for phone broadcasting messages that took effect on September 1, 2009. In summary, you need written permission to call your contact lists, unless it is for “informational calls” such as appointment reminders, or school or airline cancellations. Political campaigns, surveys, charities, debt collectors, and health care providers are also exempt from the regulations, as are calls to businesses. In addition, calls from phone companies, insurers and banks are not covered by the new regulations either. The new federal regulations will supersede a slightly less restrictive law in the state of California. You can get detailed information on the new laws here: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/08/tsr.shtm

2) If you have determined you can legally sent out pre-recorded phone messages, you will want to think about when you are going to send them. This is very important. The best practice is to leave as many messages on answering machines as possible. That way you will not disturb people, especially during dinner time. Yes, advances in phone broadcasting technology will enable you to send your message to EITHER people who answer the calls live, or to answering machines. The system will know the difference, and when the system hears a voice greeting on an answering machine it will wait for the beep to leave a message. About 70% of the American population is not home during the day so starting your phone broadcasting job between the hours of 10am and 2pm is a good idea if you want to leave as many messages on answering machines as possible. Doing that will provide a convenience to your contacts since they will be able to listen to your message when they want to and on their schedule.

3) Make sure when you are recording your message over the phone that you do NOT call from a cell phone or cordless phone. You want to achieve the highest quality possible and an old fashioned landline phone is your best bet and offers the least distortion. Don’t worry, you can hear your message before it goes out, and if you make a mistake you can just do another take. Obviously, it’s best to have a script and be well rehearsed before you start recording.

4) Remember, the new laws require you to identify yourself and leave information where you can be reached. It’s best to know ahead of time what number you want to use for your Caller ID — in other words, what number do you want your contacts to see on their Caller ID when your message comes through.

In summary, sending recorded messages by phone is probably the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to contact a large number of people. Phone broadcasting technology can help you tremendously in improving your communications, but you always have to be mindful of the laws that regulate its usage. Mistakes can end up being very costly, so make sure you are dealing with professionals who can help you.