Even when the pandemic is behind us, the use of video chat platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc. will continue to be an important tool for virtual selling and maintaining client relationships. And while all of these platforms are pretty easy to use, it’s also very easy to do a bad job while you’re broadcasting to a sales prospect or client.
To help, in this blog post (and next week’s, too), we’ll share a number of easy-to-implement actions you can employ to take advantage of video chat technology.
First, let’s start with the fundamentals…
Before your call
1. Clean up and straighten up your room. Whether you have a home office or broadcast from your bedroom, clean up, straighten up and make it look as professional as you can. When all else fails, simply find a nice white wall to broadcast in front of.
2. Just like you were preparing for an in-person meeting – a phrase I’ll repeat a few more times – clean up and straighten up yourself… fix your hair, put on ‘business casual’ clothes and remember, pants are not optional! 😉
3. Know the technology. While it’s easy to log in to participate in a call with all of these platforms, you need to make sure you’re familiar with all of the other features, too. For example, do you know how to share your screen, allow others to share theirs, use the whiteboard or chat features, mute participants, etc.? Nothing is worse than fumbling through one of these during a live call.
4. Check your lighting… light from behind your webcam, not behind yourself. Use a ring light, a table lamp or, better yet, just sit and face a large window when you broadcast. You want to make sure viewers clearly see your face and facial expressions… it’s important for building trust.
5. Just like you were going into an in-person meeting, silence your cell phone. And don’t forget about the other phones in your house. Got a dog? Put it outside. You want to eliminate all distracting noises.
6. Make sure everyone in your home knows you have a call scheduled and cannot be disturbed. Tell them ahead of time about the call and even put up a ‘do not disturb’ sign as the call is occurring.
During the call
7. Position yourself properly in front of the camera… don’t sit too close or too far away. Viewers should see you from the middle of your chest and up.
8. Here’s a common mistake… people broadcasting from their laptop webcam while it’s sitting on their desk. The webcam should be at eye-level. You don’t want clients looking up your nose or staring at your ceiling. It’s a simple fix… find a small cardboard box to put under your laptop.
9. No eating or chewing gum during a call… but just like it in-person meeting, sipping on water or coffee is fine.
10. When you are with a client online… be with them. Close all other computer programs and don’t multitask. Stay focused and give them 100% of your attention. Remember, even if you divert your eyes for just a few seconds to check email… they’ll see you! The camera is always watching.
11. Consider an external webcam and microphone. The audio and video capabilities built into your laptop are serviceable, but consider upgrading for a higher-quality experience.
Following these guidelines will help ensure a professional quality video chat. In our next blog post, we’ll explore ways to leverage this technology in the sales process.