Videoconferencing is the future. Here's why we're so in love with it & how you can keep things personal when connecting virtually with prospects &...
How to Have Better Virtual Meetings
Virtual meetings have taken off like wild during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how to take your virtual meetings to the next level.
Getting Ahead of The Pack
There’s no question that virtual meetings have taken off like wild during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a case in point, the popular video conferencing software, Zoom, has exploded by nearly 354%. Analysts think that this growth in video conferencing is set to continue through and beyond the COVID crisis.
Top sales professionals are recognizing the key-value and making the most of this trend. If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, and I doubt you have, now is the time to jump into the water. If you’ve been embracing virtual meetings, you understand the value.
And, let’s face it. There’s always more to learn, more to improve, and more to use to take your virtual meetings to the next level.
From Good to Great
In Co-Selling, a few top performers go far. How do they do it? They make a person-to-person connection. The people I’m thinking about go the extra mile to personalize every contact. They don’t talk like an automaton. They don’t read from a script. They don’t allow their voice tone to go lack-luster.
And they don’t give in to Zoom fatigue.
If I was looking for a single thing that I see in top sales leaders, it is this: care. They care about the experience. They care about their co-selling partner. They care about ensuring that everyone achieves high value for their attention, energy, and time.
When we start to examine how to apply ‘care’ to the task of virtual meetings, things get interesting.
Namely, when we care, we take extra precautions. We do this on each level—preparation, execution, engagement, interactivity, personalization, and follow-up. Simply, every single aspect of our virtual meeting process will go under the microscope.
Let’s talk about a few ideas to get you heading in the direction of stellar virtual meetings.
Preparation is key for every type of professional presentation—including virtual meetings. Use these tips to hone your skills:
- Practice with all the equipment you plan to use
- Videotape yourself, and review before you go live
- Review your agenda, material, and insights about the client
- Practice your presentations with a timer
- Practice modulating your voice
To fully appreciate the value of virtual meetings, here are a few ways to expand your skills:
- Sit in on other virtual meetings
- Notice where you tend to get bored or distracted
- Notice what keeps you engaged and on point
- Do a trial run with a colleague and get personal feedback
- Create your virtual meeting strategy based on your experience
If you’re noticing Zoom fatigue, create opportunities for engagement. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Relate to individuals and build human-to-human connection
- Verify how attendees are doing
- Build in breaks in the meeting
- Change to a conference call to add variety
- Plan a stretch break without video
- Get a standing desk and use a larger monitor
One of the most engaging elements of virtual meetings is a lively dialogue. Here are a few ways to ignite this in your next meeting:
- Develop an engaging opening statement
- Define your key points and opportunities to ask for input
- Ask open-ended questions to invite participation
- Speak in terms that non-technical experts could easily understand
- Make use of options on your audio or videoconferences
Personalizing your content and delivery in each virtual meetings helps you plan for success:
- Do advance research to prepare for your call
- Coordinate time and date, giving times in the time zone of your caller
- Be up-to-date on news, developments, or legislation affecting your caller
- Avoid reading from a script with a monotone voice
- Tailor each virtual meeting to your client’s concerns, issues, and objectives
As in traditional in-person meetings, following up after your meeting is essential.
- Book the next meeting before closing out the current one
- Recap the key points and agreements
- Clarify next steps
- Send materials out as promised
- Follow up to thank for participation, and confirm receipt of materials
Practical Do’s and Don’ts
While current virtual meetings are delivered with video conferencing, there is still a big learning curve to do it professionally. Many sales organizations I speak with are still wrestling with practical issues. That’s why I think you’ll like this handy checklist.
- Create a professional, quiet environment
- Familiarize yourself with the video conferencing software
- Remove clutter for a plain and professional look
- Check your real-world background or create a virtual backdrop
Clothing & Appearance
- Wear professional solid coloured clothes
- Neutral tones without loud patterns work well on video
- Use Zoom’s “Improve My Appearance” to soften how you look
- Natural light works best to improve your online appearance
- If possible, face a window
- If possible, have a light or window at your side
- Position the camera at eye-level
Learn From Experts
- Watch news anchors for tips and techniques
- Look directly into the camera
- Have notes on a tablet or notepad
- Smiling is important
Little Things Make a Big Difference
With virtual meetings, it is easier to do our jobs from anywhere with Wi-Fi. As virtual meetings rely on audio and videoconferences, developing skills helps us become better equipped to succeed.
Some of the tips may seem like little details. Yet, although things may seem little, they have a big impact. Prospective clients and partners notice professional demeanor in every detail. This is why it helps to handle technical glitches, present a professional demeanor, and make a human-to-human connection.
This is why many organizations are taking an active role in building skills for virtual meetings. Some of the activities you may want to initiate and support in your organization are:
- Delivering training in virtual meeting effectiveness
- Sharing tools amongst your sales teams to prevent technology glitches
- Sharing communication and technology tips on how to recover from glitches
- Sharing best practices—formally and informally
- Designing an online resource for virtual meeting best practices
- Encouraging successful sales associates to share their tips
- Creating a neutral zone to ask questions about virtual meeting effectiveness
- Designing tip sheets for running collaborative virtual meetings
- Offering training for sales leaders to keep teams engaged and motivated
- Conducting surveys to determine top issues and training needs
- Regularly updating best practices to integrate new insights and new tools
Having a professional demeanor in a videoconference or audio conference says more than just being a good presenter. It conveys that you take the initiative to go the extra distance. It shows that you care about your client, partners, and peers. It shows that you are motivated to make all of your collaborative partnerships highly successful.
By identifying ways to improve your virtual meeting skills, you are creating the foundation for high-value partnerships. As you connect with more people online, you’ll gain skills in managing technology, giving effective presentations, and running engaging virtual meetings.
As many experts predict, virtual meetings are part of a trend that is set to only increase. By building your skills in running engaging virtual meetings, you’ll position yourself for success.
While you may not be meeting in person, at a conference, or on the golf course, meeting virtually has proven exceptionally valuable for sales professionals. It is the ideal place to increase the sharing of warm introductions.
Using a platform like CoSell.io is the simplest way to get your sales team on board. CoSell is a robust platform that makes it easy and fast to automate and scale collaborative co-selling across sales teams.
If you’d like to explore how partnership co-selling can help you and your team boost sales and win major clients fast - check out our selection of free eBooks.