I spend a lot of time coaching people to achieve a single outcome—more effective communication. “Effective” can mean concise, moving, convincing, reassuring, compelling…the specific outcome differs, but what everyone is looking for is to avoid miscommunication and to get to the desired result.
Many of our clients do almost all of their communication for work virtually. They may go to an in-person meeting now and then, but they are mostly on WebX or on conference calls. Over the last ten years, the proportion of our clients who need help communicating in the virtual realm has skyrocketed.
But here’s what’s interesting. In every case, our clients come to us for reason number 1, “we need to communicate more effectively,” with no realization that “we only communicate virtually,” is a contributing factor. It is only when we start talking about the circumstances of their work style and communication that this emerges.
As in other areas of our lives, this technology has taken over so quickly that we have not kept up with its potential downsides, seeing only its efficiencies.
Now our global team can meet every Monday via Zoom!
Now we don’t have to fly to meet these potential clients in person; we can demo our product via screen share!
Now I can load up my calendar with back-to-back meetings and never leave my desk!
Now I can check in with my team and monitor their progress on Slack!
Yes, you can. But should you? And more to the point, are you even asking the question about how you can best reach the results you want?
From the frontlines of my work in teaching people to talk to other people more effectively, I can tell you that we need to at least be asking the question. Let’s take this one: Now we don’t have to fly to meet these potential clients in person; we can demo our product via screen share!
A sales team can churn out more calls in a day if they are not meeting people in person. There’s no doubt about that. It saves time and money. But let’s say your goal is to shorten the sales cycle. We know that one thing that builds trust between strangers is when they can see each other as human, not a disembodied voice. In fact, one study showed that successful deals have a 41% higher rate of webcam usage. The salespeople who used their webcam, and showed their own face on it rather than simply sharing their screen, closed more deals. More than 71% of sales teams are regularly integrating video into their sales cycle.
When you choose to keep your camera off, when this becomes your habit, you have to acknowledge that you may be working harder and longer to achieve the same goal. Why not experiment? Turn that camera on. See what happens.
Ignite is coaching sales teams in the best practices of virtual communication. Read more here!