How to master video conferencing, part 1
Mastering video conferencing opens up all sorts of opportunities. It puts us ahead of those that only use the telephone. Indisputably ‘seeing’ a client makes it easier to build rapport, easier to engage eye-to-eye, ‘showcase’ our wares and gauge reactions. We have a heightened sense of awareness when interacting, meaning our ability to stay close and keep pace with the client is easier, as is guiding them along and ensuring we uncover all their needs.
We can see if they are excited, confused, worried, if they are nodding in
agreement or pondering a thought. We can read if they are processing. Silences are comfortable on video conferencing. In ‘real life’ being next to a client, there
is a natural ebb and flow in the conversation. There are natural pauses. On the telephone we may be less confident in reading any of this and the lack of visual cues can make some people uncomfortable, panicky and usually inclined to speak too much.
So, swapping the phone for the screen will be the best decision you’ll ever make.
These steps will set you up to ensure you enjoy and embrace video conferencing:
1. Get intimate
Intimate with a platform that is. Whether its Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, Cisco, Google Meet, or another – you need to know it really well. You need to be confident in knowing how to set up an appointment, how to share the screen, how to get it on gallery view and ‘manage’ the meeting.
Simply essential and yet so few people do it. You absolutely have to practice navigating yourself around the platform. Showcasing your solution. Look at the display, how are they viewing you in your setting? Are you clearly visible, well lit, do you need a background? Sharing a screen, is your desktop tidy? Is it easy to flip from you chatting to showing them something and back again? Is the sound OK? What distractions are there at your end and how can you manage them? Practice at least 3 times so that you can be confident.
3. Amend your intention
Up to now your intention may have been to get your client onto a phone call,
and now it’s to shift them onto video conferencing. There’s a reason I say do steps #1 and #2 first: it’s so that you are confident to transfer your client from phone
to video conferencing. If you skip the groundwork in #1 and #2 you will be less successful in persuading your client to jump on Video Conferencing as you yourself would be uncertain of your abilities. Set out with a clear intention that ‘face time’ is more beneficial.
4. When is the right time to use VC?
I would say almost all the time. Some people use it only at the ‘I’m showing you my solution’ stage but I think the most important message you want to give your client throughout is that you are the trusted advisor. You want them to feel that as soon as you can, therefore get ‘face time’ at least a few times during your exploration of their situation, and then absolutely again when you pitch how your solution will serve them.
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