Remote meetings have been around for quite some time, but the pandemic made them a norm. While such interactions were necessary during lockdowns and travel restrictions, business owners and clients now consider them a way of life. After all, getting together for business virtually seems much simpler and cheaper than travelling across the country or overseas. While virtual technologies have immense upsides, you cannot just take them for granted.
You must ensure that the interaction is good enough to impress the client so that they seal the deal. Generating business requires more than wooing clients; it is also about building lasting professional relationships with them. They will likely stick only if you make a great first impression. But you need not stress about being miles apart during a virtual meeting because a little effort is enough to make the most out of it. Let us share some surefire ways to win clients during virtual meetings.
Whether you meet a potential client for the first time or interact down the line, ensure doing it only when necessary. Time is precious for everyone, and no one wants to spend it frivolously on a meeting that could have been covered in an email. Respecting your client's time is the key to maintaining a meaningful relationship. Time the virtual meeting right to ensure that the potential prospect is at a relevant stage down the conversion funnel. Step into their shoes to understand whether they will be happy to spend an hour understanding your offering and closing the deal. If the time is not ripe, skip the session for now and plan one for later when they are likely genuinely interested.
Not being with the client physically may relieve some of the pressure for the first time. But it does not justify diving in without adequate preparation. In fact, you must invest extra effort in virtual client meetings because wooing them through a screen is more challenging than impressing them in person. Ensure you are ready to answer all questions and address pain points during the discussion. You should be prepared to nail the value statements while giving a product demonstration. Also, be picky with your participant list because you need not bring every employee on board for the session. Decide the expected timeline of the virtual meeting, specifically when you are in varying time zones. Foreseeing potential technical issues you may encounter is equally crucial.
Technology is perhaps the most significant aspect of running a virtual meeting well enough to win the client over in the first interaction. Thankfully, you need not struggle to find an ideal online platform to meet the prospects because you can explore numerous video conferencing solutions. Consider features like video communication, chat boxes, screen sharing, and recording options to choose an apt one. You can go the extra mile with a screen mirror app that takes the session to a big screen. Besides implementing the right solution, you must test it beforehand to figure out all the kinks and prevent interruptions during the session. Running a test meeting with a coworker is a good idea. Be ready to deal with any tech glitch there and then. A flawless experience gets the client to trust the future business relationship.
A first-time virtual meeting is not only about introducing yourself and sharing your value proposition with the client. You must also prepare a memorable presentation to validate your words. Think of the prospect as a retail customer who is spoiled for choice. Most of them likely attend numerous virtual meetings each week. An unimpressive one is easy to forget as it will possibly blend in with all the others. Showcasing information as an engaging and interactive presentation can set the interaction apart. Encouraging client participation is even better as it keeps you on top of their mind.
Adhering to the most basic etiquette of client meetings makes a difference when it comes to winning over your clients during a virtual interaction. When you schedule a meeting, make sure the day and time work for you. Coordinating an appointment for commute hours is not a great idea, even if it seems like a time-saver. Also, avoid fitting it into a jam-packed schedule because you may end up messing up everything. Managing your online meeting schedule well makes the attendees feel welcomed and prioritised, so there are good chances of a healthy relationship with them.
You may need to get more participants involved down the line to make a virtual meeting effective. For example, bridging gaps during a sales conversation is easier by bringing a sales manager on board. Likewise, your IT specialist is in a better place to drive a discussion while selling a tech product to a client. Also, let the client bring additional attendees to the session if they need to, as they may want a specific team member to carry the discussion forward. Keeping the doors open shows your intention to help the client in every possible way.
The worst way to run a virtual meeting is by dragging it on because a useless interaction will definitely not impress the client. Even if your meeting seems great with the exchange of valuable information and strengthening rapport, know when to end it and wrap it up on time. Throwing off a client’s schedule is the last thing you want to do because it indicates that you hardly value their time. It can affect the credibility of your business and even turn them off, despite positive interactions.
Technology can make or break virtual meetings, so you must choose it wisely. Also, adhere to the etiquette and respect your client's time to make an excellent first impression and create a strong relationship for the long haul. Following these simple steps can help you cover all fronts of hosting a compelling first-time interaction with potential clients.