Monday, 14 December 2020
At the start of the pandemic, it was perhaps easier to connect with people digitally, with a short-term focus on renewals and conducting meetings with a customer base with whom you already had a professional relationship. But now we see the effects of Covid having more of a long-term impact on the way we work. Moving forward you’ll now be looking to win new business with only virtual introductions and interactions.
For some of us, this shift will be natural and easy, but for others, this will pose more of a challenge.
With the last few months experience under our belts and some tips we have picked up at webinars, we have compiled our TEn top tips for creating a professional and personable virtual first impression.
As tempting as it might be to save time, purely connecting via email lacks a personal touch and a chance to build any rapport. Whilst your prospect might not ask for a video meeting, it’s a good idea to suggest one.
What’s more, further down your prospect to customer process, it can be easy to misinterpret tone in written communications. A lack of rapport can lead to a loss of business, so having an initial introductory call could help to minimise these potential issues.
Find a platform to host meetings on that you enjoy, fits your needs, and offers a great user experience for both you and your prospect/client.
Be willing to adapt and shift platforms. Whilst you may have found one platform that you are most comfortable with, this may not be the same for your clients. Be willing to adapt and shift platforms if that will better suit your prospect.
Even if it’s just a quick introductory call, let them put a face to a name, it’s a great idea to replace face to face meetings you can’t have with the closest alternative.
Think about what your prospect can see around you, whilst carrying out the meeting. Anything too busy may be distracting. Anything too stark may be quite harsh to the eye!
A few items that show your interests could act as conversation starters or help show your personality.
Ideally, you’ll want a natural light source in front of you, but of course, that’s not always possible. Think about the visibility of your face. The easier it is to see, the easier the prospect will be able to read your expressions and understand what you are communicating.
Whilst you cannot always control background noise, it’s a good idea to take all steps you can to minimise any disruption. If you do experience sound issues or noise interruption, be sure to mute yourself when not speaking. Whilst this might seem quite cumbersome when only talking to a small number of people, it can be helpful.
Before each meeting, it’s a good idea to do a quick check on the three previous tips. Better to catch any issues pre-meeting, rather than after it has started.
With the removal of visual cues and the more focused nature of virtual meetings, it is a good idea to keep the length of the introduction as short as possible. With physical cues removed and a lack of immediate sensory feedback, digital interactions can and do often prove to be more tiring due to the level of concentration needed.
By doing this, you will ensure you cover all you need to, whilst sticking to your pre-decided time fame. Sending this ahead of time will also allow your prospect or client to prepare any questions or information they need.
Whilst the way to best a virtual introduction differs for everyone, these tips above will help set you on the right path.
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