In my last blog, I shared some thoughts on the evolving role of virtual meeting and tour technology during and after COVID-19. I also included some observations on the technology itself and how it is used.
While I was writing that blog, I happened to tune in to the Senate hearing on Coronavirus. A panel of experts was using Zoom virtual meeting technology to testify and share insight. While the subject matter was certainly important, I couldn’t help but notice several cringe-worthy video “don’ts” that I found distracting. The result was a detraction from the subject at hand, as well as the expertise of the participants. And it didn’t have to be that way!
I can’t help but wonder how many senior living sales professionals are making these same mistakes. With that in mind, here are 5 virtual meeting issues that are almost guaranteed to turn off (or tick off) your prospective residents and families. How many of these are you guilty of? (Be honest.)
- Not looking into the camera. It’s important to look up, not down. That’s why your camera should be located at the top of your screen. If you need to look down to take notes, inform your audience that you will be doing so in advance. Eye contact is so important, especially in senior living. Make sure you keep your eyes on your audience.
- Background noise. This can range from outside noises to that irritating clicking of your fingers on the keyboard as you take notes. Consider recording the meeting so that you can take your notes afterwards.
- Talking over others. Often a result of internet connection delays, one way to help avoid talk-over the other participants is to ask several questions and then wait quietly for your prospects to respond in full before interjecting. Keeping an organized, even pace helps keep talk-overs to a minimum.
- Unprofessional appearance. Recently, I attended an in-person meeting, neatly dressed in a button-down shirt. Immediately afterwards, I jumped on a virtual meeting call. Everyone commented on how nice I looked. Appearance matters, even in a virtual meeting. My advice? Dress as you would if you were meeting in person and you can’t go wrong.
- Messy (or just plain weird) backgrounds. Before your call, do a quick inspection. It’s better to have a plain wall behind you than a messy couch with random items sitting on it. If you opt for a virtual background, make sure you have a green screen behind you. One of the Senate panel members had this weird “glow” around his body, and his hands would fade out when he spoke. He would have done better with a plain wall!
There is another important thing to consider, and that is your ability to jump off script and share your screen to conduct a virtual tour. It’s becoming a common request these days. Are you prepared to do this without fumbling around? This is where a good CRM can make a big difference. It should be integrated with your virtual meeting and tour technology. That way you can launch a virtual meeting and/or virtual tour right from your CRM.
The bottom line is that virtual meetings are here to stay. And your prospects are going to want to do more of them, not less. If done right, they can have a powerful impact. I’m even hearing cases in which move-in decisions are being made without ever visiting the community in person. That should get you motivated to become familiar with virtual meeting tools and build your confidence in using them.
One final thought. While this technology will continue to improve, all the bells and whistles in the world can’t compensate for missteps in your personal behavior, appearance and all the other “human” elements that go into conducting a successful virtual meeting. So be sure to remove all the “don’ts” in advance. Then, put your game face on and show up ready to impress.
Give us a call at 800-570-6030 and see how Continuum CRM can improve your sales and marketing effectiveness without breaking the bank. Or, feel free to visit our website www.continuumcrm.com to learn more.