Doug Devitre, CSP, is a past Entrepreneur of the Year of the University of Missouri-Columbia, and was inducted into the National Association of REALTORS® Business Specialties Hall of Fame. His latest book, Screen to Screen Selling, helps professionals increase sales, productivity, and the customer experience using the latest technology.
Improve Your Video Conferencing Skills
It’s time to get off the phone and start preparing to lead screen-to-screen meetings.
March 24, 2016
I’ve heard many justifications from managing brokers, team leaders, and agents who are afraid to conduct meetings through video conferencing.
“I don’t like the way I look on camera.”
When you meet someone in person, do you wear a sheet over your head?
“I don’t know how to use the video camera.”
That excuse probably wouldn’t fly with your grandchild. Why not practice with your family or friends?
“It never seems to work right when I need it most.”
Neither does your car. Once you know what could go wrong, then you can determine whether to fix it yourself or call for help.
“Equipment is expensive, and we don’t have the funds to equip our meeting room with fancy technology.”
The price of audiovisual equipment, maintenance, and installation has come down significantly over the past 10 years.
If the concept of meeting screen-to-screen is new to you, don’t worry. Let me help you not only get the right equipment but also develop the skills that will improve your business.
Here are five reasons to meet screen-to-screen:
1. It improves communication for visual learners.
Collaborating over the phone is best suited for the auditory learners, which represents 30 percent of the population, according to the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Meanwhile, 65 percent of the population are considered visual learners (the remaining 5 percent are kinesthetic or tactile learners). That means the vast majority of people require visual stimulation or engagement with visuals to best understand a concept. Strictly using the phone for conference calls puts some team members at a disadvantage because they’re handicapped by the way they process information.
2. Team member intent is exposed.
The best gift one person can give another is his or her undivided attention. Over the phone, you never know if someone is either multitasking or listening intently to what you’re saying. But with a webcam, you can see facial expressions, body gestures, and eye movement, which can signal a person’s true intent.
3. You can build rapport more quickly.
You can make a better connection when you can see whom you are speaking with and notice little things about his or her environment you have in common, such as the art hanging on the wall behind their desk or a book on their shelf. These visual cues allow you to deliver compliments, demonstrate your interest, and relate to one another in a unique way that the phone cannot deliver.
4. Team productivity improves with visual frames.
Have you ever been on a teleconference call where similar ideas are regurgitated with no end in sight? If the team is not on the same page, that’s because they have no mental hook to hang their ideas on. That’s where visuals come in. Visual aids will frame an idea to allow the team to select or deselect alternatives quickly. You’ve heard a picture is worth a thousand words; well, a screen share is worth a million. Save the back-and-forth and add visuals to the conversation.
5. Mobile video conferencing equipment is now affordable.
Have you ever gathered everyone around the room to squeeze inside the camera view of your laptop? No wonder you’re avoiding screen-to-screen meetings. The good news is that nearly all smartphones, laptops, and tablets today have video conferencing and screen-sharing capabilities. If you have some people assembled as a group while others are afar, try the Logitech ConferenceCam Connect to capture a small group on video. Then, all you need is a HDMI cord to connect your laptop to a flat screen TV so that all participants are seen and heard.
To the screen-to-screen naysayers who are justifying their beliefs, behaviors, and budgets to protect their preferred way of doing business: I get it. Why fix something when it isn’t broken? But when I hear, “I’m overwhelmed. We can’t seem to get enough done in a day,” or “We did all this work to prepare and didn’t get the participation we expected,” then I challenge you to make the time to develop a more effective and efficient process with the tips I listed above.