With more financial advisors currently working remotely, meetings are also going remote. Just like you’d plan for an in-person meeting with clients in order to communicate effectively, you also need to do some planning for your virtual meetings.
The good news is advisors don’t need to meet with clients in-person to be successful. Thanks to today’s tech tools, it’s easy to connect with clients no matter where you are in the world. However, before you sign onto your next client call, pay attention to these tips for meeting virtually to keep things running smoothly.
organize your meetings
Before you begin, make sure you have a process for keeping your meetings organized. Just the same as in-person meetings, you want to ensure there are no conflicts or scheduling issues. If you’re currently transitioning to remote work, it could be helpful for you to stick with the same schedule as before. However, this might not be possible.
Start by sending out calendar invites to your clients in advance. Confirm that your clients can attend your meeting at the suggested time, and give them enough notice to plan their time. If you’re scheduling far in advance, notify clients or set reminders so everyone arrives on time. Most video conferencing tools like Zoom and Skype have a way to schedule meetings and reminders.
Create a meeting outline
You wouldn’t arrive at an in-person meeting without some idea of what you’re going to talk about, and the same is true for virtual meetings. Having a meeting outline, even if it’s just a few bullet points, is the best way to keep everything on track.
Your and your client’s time is valuable. Make sure there’s enough room within your meeting to talk about your key topics and allow time to ask questions. Setting a clear objective for each meeting is a great way to stay on task.
prepare your space
When possible, always use video with your virtual meetings. While you technically only need a microphone, putting a face to the person speaking builds trust.
If you don’t have a dedicated office space, you might not have given any thought to how you’re presented on camera. Make sure your background is professional and not distracting. While we can’t always help if kids run into the frame or if your dog barks in the background, you can do your best to prepare in advance.
Avoid cluttered or messy spaces. If you have a neutral wall, this is a great space to conduct video calls with clients. Finally, give some thought to your audio. If you don’t have any carpet, you’ll notice an echo during the call. Try to use a quiet, carpeted room if possible.
use your computer
It’s tempting to use your smartphone or tablet to complete your video meeting, especially with the rise of video applications. While this might be fine for casual calls, it’s not a good idea for a professional setting.
Use your computer for your virtual client meetings. Set your webcam or screen camera at eye-level so it feels more natural, and make sure you have everything you need already open on your screen before you begin.
Dress the part
With virtual meetings, it’s easy to stretch your dress code a bit. Either way, it’s a good idea to dress professionally. How would you dress if your client was with you in the room? This is how you should dress for your call.
Even if your entire outfit isn’t visible on the screen, how you dress affects how you feel. This is a smart habit to get into whenever working remotely.
Test your technology in advance
We’ve all experienced the frustration of technology not going our way. This is a natural part of using modern tools, and it’s nothing to feel embarrassed about if it happens. However, you can reduce tech issues by testing everything in advance.
Practice your video call set up with a friend, family member, or colleague. Make sure your microphone is good quality, and that your background is exactly how you want it. Remember to turn off screen and phone notifications so you can focus on staying in the moment. A bit of testing goes a long way.
Shine in virtual client meetings
Even if you’re social distancing, you can still meet with clients virtually. These digital meetings are the best opportunity for you to check in with clients and maintain these important relationships.
However, a video meeting is a lot different than calling family or friends. You’ll need to take extra things into consideration, and these tips above help you stay professional and prepared.