Online meetings are becoming increasingly popular as people become increasingly comfortable with the technology, and for a good reason. They can be a great way to save time and money while still getting the face-to-face interaction you need.
But there are a few things to keep in mind when setting up and conducting online meetings with clients to ensure they go as smoothly as possible. This article will present some best practices you can implement to make the most of your online client meetings.
Zoom and Other Online Meeting Platforms
Several online meeting platforms are available, but Zoom is the most popular, with over 300 million users daily. Zoom is known for its ease of use and reliability, which are important factors when trying to close a deal. It also has several features that can be useful for client meetings, such as screen sharing, recording, and breakout rooms.
Screen sharing allows you to share your screen with your clients, which can be useful for presentations or demonstrations. Recording can be a valuable way to capture the meeting for future reference or to share with other team members. And breakout rooms allow you to split into smaller groups for more intimate discussion. All of these features can make online meetings more efficient.
Other popular online meeting platforms include Webex, Google Hangouts, and Skype. While each has its advantages, Zoom is generally considered the best option for business meetings.
Online Meeting Protocol: Look Professional
Even if the meeting is online, it’s important to remember that you’re still representing your company. That means you should dress and groom yourself as you would for an in-person meeting. This will help you project a professional image to your clients. You must pay particular attention to your face because the camera can show things you might not notice in a mirror.
For instance, make sure there’s no food stuck in your teeth. If you have dental problems, have these fixed by your dentist immediately because they can be distracting onscreen. These include gaps between your teeth, overlapping teeth, misaligned teeth, or chipped teeth. Your client may focus on how negligent you are with your self-care and conclude that you could be as negligent in business. This could make you lose a deal.
Be aware of your body language. Avoid crossing your arms or slouching, as this can come across as defensive or disinterested. Fix your setup so that your face is properly lighted and you can look straight at the camera. It’s important to appear interested and engaged throughout the meeting while looking your best.
It’s also important to make sure your environment is professional, and your surroundings are presentable. If you can, conduct the meeting in a quiet room with a door that you can close to reduce distractions. If you can’t control the environment, use headphones to reduce background noise. And be aware of what’s behind you. Make sure there’s nothing offensive or unprofessional in view of the camera.
Effective Communication in Zoom Meetings
There are some things you need to pay special attention to in order to make sure your message is getting across effectively in online meetings.
You need to be more explicit about your meaning. That means being clear and concise in your language. Avoid using jargon or acronyms that your clients might not understand. Use gestures and facial expressions deliberately to emphasize your points. Being concise will also ensure that the meeting will not take longer than it should. Respect your client’s time.
It’s also important to be aware of the tone of your voice. You might come across as more aggressive than you intend if you’re not careful. One way to avoid this is to smile when you speak. This will help put your clients at ease and make them more receptive to what you have to say.
You also need to be observant of the body language of your clients. If they’re crossing their arms or furrowing their brows, they may be communicating that they’re not interested or receptive to what you’re saying. In this case, you may need to change your approach.
Unfortunately, there are also some challenges that come with communicating online that you need to be aware of. One is that it can be easy to misread cues. For instance, someone might not be paying attention because they’re multitasking or because they’re experiencing technical difficulties. It’s important to give people the benefit of the doubt and to ask if there’s anything you can do to help them.
Be prepared for your meeting by ensuring that you have all the materials you need on hand. This includes your presentation, any handouts, and your notes. They must all be prepared for digital sharing. Ensure that the layout and fonts are easily readable onscreen, whether your client is using a desktop PC, a laptop, or even a mobile phone. Remember, you must adjust to the client and not the other way around.
In addition, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case there are technical difficulties. For instance, you might want to have a copy of your presentation saved on a USB drive. You should also have alternative internet connectivity.
Make Online Meetings Work For Your Business
Online meetings are a great way to save time and money while still providing your clients with the personal touch they need. By following the best practices outlined here, you can make sure that your online meetings are successful and productive.