Extend the Impact of Your Leadership Effectively Screen to Screen
The cost of meeting in-person has gone up and at the same time the cost to get together with technology has significantly gone down. We now have options like webcam and screen share, live-streaming, videoconferencing and more.
The opportunity cost for not adapting to screen-to-screen tactics is NOT having a seat at the table both for the meeting host and the participant.
If you are serious about building your reputation as a business leader with your peers, connecting with your clients and community in a unique and authentic way, you MUST get comfortable with these five screen-to-screen selling tasks.
#1 Narrow down your technology options
Overwhelm is a self-inflicted condition caused when you allow an external circumstance to affect your inner-being. Put another way, you cause your own sense of overwhelm when thinking every technology is good for you, when in fact excess technology decreases productivity. Limit your online meeting options to a few like Zoom.us, Join.me, or whichever the customer is most familiar or host decides to use.
#2 Develop soft skills inside the software
On a phone call you are able to hide facial expressions, eye movement, or physical appearance, which in some cases might be a good idea. For most situations where the transparency of intent is immediate, the dialogue is diagnostic in delivery, and requires active participation from all members, there is no more cost-effective alternative than meeting screen-to-screen. Mute/unmute is easy to learn. Active listening, asking the right questions, and speaking when appropriate are all soft skills “not included” in the software itself you need to learn in addition to the keyboard shortcuts.
#3 Record conversations for brand awareness and marketing
Ask yourself this one question before or after your next meeting, “If we recorded this conversation would there be others in our organization or chapter that also might benefit by watching?” You might choose yes because you want to record for quality/training purposes, publish on YouTube, or share with participants not able to make the meeting. If yes, then use the meeting record feature in the videoconference software. If the answer is no there’s no need to record. The best part about this form of “conversational marketing” is that you don’t have to have all the answers or struggle to come up with them alone. By inviting others to join the video recorded conversation you get their expert feedback inside of your question similar to what a customer might want to know.
#4 Increase participation, attendance, and revenue with remote participants
A question I like to ask when conducting strategic work for organizations is, “How many strategic objectives can you accomplish with the fewest amount of tactics and resources?” If there were 100 seats in the room and 200 (attendance) would show up then the 100 who can’t be seated lose (participation) and the organization loses (revenue) from seats oversold. Live-streaming the existing event (resource) using the right-sized technology (resource) with a pre-determined process can recoup a lost opportunity without doing much more work.
#5 More and faster meetings
Face-to-face interactions involve round-trip transportation, which can significantly decrease the number of meetings in one day as opposed to over the phone. Teleconference calls typically last longer than they should because of unwanted distractions from participant environments, unfamiliarity of using meeting access code, participants talking over one another, uncomfortable silences, … the list goes on. When videoconference participants have rules about joining on time, a clear meeting agenda, and visual frames to guide the conversation, you can double if not triple meeting productivity in relation to time in round-trip transportation.
Screen-to-screen meetings are a supplement, not a replacement to in-person conversations. It’s important that the leadership look to which decisions, which meetings, and which channels are best suited for screen-to-screen to meet existing objectives on-time and within budget. It’s more about running your organization like a business and improving the experience with technology more than any bureaucratic structure.
Organizations hire Doug Devitre, Author of Screen to Screen Selling (McGraw Hill Education, October 2015) when they want to improve business performance using the latest technology. He has been inducted into the National Association of REALTORS® Business Specialties Hall of Fame and awarded the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association.
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