Quick question: Would you walk into a new prospect’s office with a wrinkled jacket, stained shirt or dirty shoes? Most would not because we know it would create a negative impression with this prospect, even with long-time clients.
In the virtual world, we have similar issues as it pertains to our virtual presence. Today, we have to pay attention to how we are perceived and the image we are projecting. It’s key that we communicate trust, reliability and expertise through our virtual interactions with prospects and clients.
Next time you are attending a Zoom, Team or other video conference, take note of the differences in the attendees’ production and the quality of that production. Is the video and audio quality clear and distinct? What about the lighting? You’ll notice that everyone has a different set up, background and home office appearance; many of which are not flattering.
These are just some of the key details that impact how you and your company are perceived in today’s virtual world, and will be so even more moving forward.
We are no longer able to walk into a prospect’s office to meet-and-greet or take a client to lunch as we once did. We will have fewer visitors to our office (if any at all) for sales presentations. As such, we need to rethink how we are going about presenting ourselves and the impression it is making.
To begin with, inspect and review your video call setup. Key equipment includes a good external microphone, webcam and lighting. The most expensive upgrade comes with using a DSLR or mirrorless camera as your webcam but is also the most impressive. For a great article on the specifics of a high quality video presence setup, I highly recommend this article from managedservicesplatform.com.
Next, sales presentations should be re-structured to fit the new paradigm of remote sales calls. And please, not just a PowerPoint presentation that makes it appear like a webinar. Think white-boarding and other interactive means to keep their attention. Pull in rich content like video snippets and graphics. A well-choreographed sales presentation will be a competitive advantage regardless of your size.
Leverage a collaboration platform for client meetings, such as Microsoft Teams or Google G-Suite. This provides an ability to share and workshop documents with clients in a secure and professional manner. Nothing impresses more than ‘eating your own dog food’ when presenting to a client.
Lastly, develop a standardized company virtual background for use in all video meetings. This is no different than standardizing on your corporate email signature and should be governed to ensure all employees use. This will be key to projecting and protecting your brand.
Make investments for improving your visual presence and pay close attention to the quality and workflow. These are investments that will provide your company with a competitive advantage and will level the playing field against larger players.
And while most people today are accepting and even forgiving of our virtual meetings, this will change quickly as the bar for visual presence will rise quickly.
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About the author: Tommy Wald is an MSP business consultant and author of “The MSP CEO: Your Guide to Building a Successful Business.” Tommy may be reached at Tommy@TWTechVentures.com, or go to www.mspceo.com.