Before the pandemic took over, Zoom reported around 10 million daily meeting participants in the month of December, 2019. When the world all but shut down only 3 months later, that number exploded to over 200 million. Now with more and more companies depending on video conferencing apps to host meetings and sales appointments, learning how to get the most out of these calls is invaluable.
Being a completely remote company ourselves, we have compiled a list of our top 8 tips for mastering virtual meetings!
1. Improve Your Image Quality
If you’re worried that a virtual meeting will not produce the same outcome you would
normally expect from an in-person meeting, this point is going to be key. The quality of your call can and will make all the difference, especially when it comes to sales. Here are some ways you can improve your image quality:
Good Lighting: If you don’t have a professional lighting set up, sit facing a window. This reduces the shadows on your face, making you appear more approachable. This is also essential to reducing grain (or “noise”) on the image.
Use an External Webcam: If you’re disappointed by the quality of your laptop camera, invest in a webcam. Not only will you be able to position it at a more flattering angle, the clarity of your picture will also improve. (TIP: This also applies to external microphones!)
2. Present Yourself Professionally
I know it’s tempting to stay in your pj’s and work in bed, but your customers expect more from you. Especially if they’re investing any amount of money in your product. These are some easy things you can do to appear more professional:
Get dressed - even if it’s just from the waist-up. And hey, while you’re at it, run a comb through your hair!
Choose a good background. If you don’t have a nicely designed office space, just choose something clean and simple. Avoid too much clutter, or a room where your kids will be running around. If this is unavoidable, use one of Zoom’s Virtual Backgrounds!
3. Utilize Screen Sharing
According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners. This is one aspect where virtual meetings have the upper-hand! You will have the option to screen share your presentation with coworkers and clients, keeping your meeting on track.
4. Set Expectations
By now, most of us are pretty familiar with virtual meetings. But there is still a little uncertainty when we meet with someone new, without having the comfort of a face-to-face. Once you’ve made the necessary introductions, you can ease into a Zoom call by setting an agenda for the meeting. This can be the first slide of your powerpoint, or just a quick run-down before you begin. Another advantage of doing this is getting to position yourself as the leader of the meeting.
5. Record Your Meetings
Good or bad, you can learn something from each meeting. Whether it’s a training call, an internal team meeting, or a demo for a client, you can add value to each call by archiving it for future reference.
6. Ask Good Questions
People like talking about themselves and their own needs. If you can get them talking, they will quickly become more comfortable with you. As a rule, you want to stick to open-ended questions, and have some valuable follow-up questions in your arsenal. Remember, you’re not selling a product, you’re selling a solution. Here are some examples:
What would you say is your biggest challenge that you’re looking to solve right now?
What have you tried/considered trying to solve this challenge?
What type of (the service you can provide them) are you specifically looking for?
Can you be more specific about _________?
7. Use Names
When on a video call, eye contact and body language are definitely less natural. If there is more than 1 other participant on the call, directing your questions to a specific person can be a little more difficult. So make sure you know everyone’s names, and use them whenever you can.
8. If You’re Not Home Alone, Mute Your Microphone!
This sounds like a silly thing to include, but unless you are speaking, there is no reason to have your mic on. Most of the time people are very understanding about background noise because they’re probably sharing a workspace with their family too. But to be courteous to the rest of the attendees, keep your mic on mute until you have to speak. The last thing anyone needs is to be distracted by your dog, or your email notifications going off.
Virtual meetings definitely have their benefits -- including sharing visual presentations, being able to record your meetings, and all the time you save travelling to and from clients or the office. While the world will return to face-to-face at some point, we know this is just the beginning of a new normal. Virtual selling is not going away any time soon, and learning how to get the best out of these online appointments is going to be essential to all sales professionals.
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