Has your business started utilizing video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Hangouts? If you haven’t already, it won’t be long before you do!
With a quick shift into virtual meetings due to COVID-19, we wanted to share some helpful tips to get you more comfortable with using this type of technology.
1. Find a Video Platform Right for You
With several video platforms available, take some time to test a few out to determine which is best for your business’s needs.
If you’re hosting a one-time meeting, there are several free platforms at your disposal.
However, if you’re incorporating virtual meetings in your strategy, do a pros and cons list before making a final decision (it can be confusing if you switch platforms multiple times).
Bonus tip: Don't forget to test your webcam and microphone before starting the meeting! There’s nothing worse than troubleshooting in front of your team or potential customers.
Sometimes, things are out of your control, such as the internet going out. If this happens, have a backup plan in place. Can someone else run the meeting? Is there a coffee shop nearby with wi-fi? Do you have a hot spot?
Regardless, take the time to think things through before you start having meetings. People are typically understanding if it’s a technology problem, but you want to put yourself in the best light possible.
2. Send out a Calendar Invitation
When planning a virtual meeting, be sure to set an exact date and time by sending a calendar invitation that includes a meeting link to your customer’s email address.
Not only will this help with your planning, but it will also remind the customer of their meeting with you!
A day before your meeting, be sure to send a follow-up email to remind them of your upcoming meeting and ask them if they have any questions.
Bonus tip: As you send the follow-up email, think about the outfit you want to wear for that meeting. First impressions mean a lot and you want to dress for success so you can seal the deal.
If you’re working from home, dress as if you’re going into the office. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can be any less professional.
3. Create an Agenda
To keep yourself on track, create an agenda with key points of what needs to be discussed. If the meeting is customer-focused, ask them for a list of action items so you know what to expect.
Going in without a plan can cause you to go off-topic and over the scheduled time if you’re not careful.
Bonus tip: Be sure to include the agenda in your follow-up email the day before your meeting. This allows you and the customer to be on the same page before the start of the meeting.
If the agenda isn’t finalized, send an additional email as soon as it’s complete or at the very beginning of the meeting.
4. Focus on Engagement
Unlike in-person meetings, video meetings can leave you feeling a little disconnected.
By using visual aids, sharing your screen or using other interactive tools, you can create an engaging experience for attendees.
Not only will these tools lead your meeting, but it will help attendees be more connected and engaged during the meeting.
Bonus tip: Tailor your engagement to your industry. For example, if you’re a realtor doing a virtual walkthrough of a home, ask your customers questions about the rooms, such as what they like, don’t like, what they would change, etc.
With the growth of video conferencing due to employees working from home and students learning virtually, it’s likely you’ll have to use this technology sooner rather than later.
Now’s the perfect time to learn which video platform is right for your business and be able to work out any kinks before your first meeting occurs.
Of course, things happen, and meetings don’t always go as planned. Don’t let this get you down! Use it as a learning opportunity to make your next meeting better.
Take the time to evaluate what happened during the meeting and address any hiccups that occurred. This will help you become more comfortable with virtual meetings which will give your customers a better experience.
If you’d like to learn more about utilizing video for your business, be sure to check out these additional resources: