The value of video calls in building business relationships
Video calls are a popular way of holding a business meeting without requiring all participants to be in the same room. Recently, it has become more important than ever to have the setup for video conferences in place. With COVID-19 wreaking havoc, video calls are one of the few ways to achieve personal contact with employees, clients, and business partners alike.
But what makes these virtual meetings better than traditional phone calls? How can they help us maintain professional relationships? And how can they help us establish a great relationship with new clients?
How to build a business relationship through video conferences
A positive personal relationship is important for most successful business relationships. In fact, companies spend huge amounts of money on business trips aimed at relationship building. Thanks to the outbreak of COVID-19, this has come to a temporary halt. However, this limitation also has its benefits. Video conferences can be a much less expensive but equally efficient way of building a great relationship with your client. This is especially true if you’re interacting with them for the first time.
This is because both parties can hold the video call at a place they are accustomed to, such as their own house. The familiarity of the setting creates a comfortable atmosphere for you and your client. It also removes some potentially awkward social expectations, like how long you should shake someone’s hand. This can take a lot of stress off your and your client’s shoulders. The audio-visual nature of the video call has another perk: it allows you to share your presentation and work on it collaboratively. While the traditional approach to presentations includes a speaking party and a listening party, it often works better to have a hands-on approach. During a video call, you get to know your client’s way of speaking as well as their body language. These are both aspects that you should pay close attention to when it comes to the negotiation phase.
So why are video calls superior when it comes to building relationships remotely? Keep reading to find out!
Why video calls are preferable over phone calls
1) It creates a personal connection
By definition, a video conference is more personal than a phone call. While a phone call may be a good way to quickly confirm the time of a meeting, it lacks the visual aspect. This aspect is invaluable when talking to clients. It allows your conversation partner to remember you by face and voice, which makes you seem more “human”. Think about it, how many times have you called a company only to hear a recorded message? Or perhaps you’ve tried calling your bank, only to interact with an A.I. personal assistant? This means your personality has to shine through during the phone call in order to convince the caller that they’re not just talking to a robot. It also makes it easier for miscommunication to occur. The lack of visual feedback makes it difficult to determine how your conversation partner is interpreting what you’re saying.
It’s argued that our body language is more important to our message than our words. Adding the visual factor to your call adds a whole new layer of meaning to the conversation. It also decreases the probability of misunderstandings, and allowing you to interpret your conversation partner’s thoughts and feelings more accurately. This, in turn, allows you to react to your partner’s feedback before they actively express it, almost making it seem like you are reading their minds!
2) It reassures clients that they’re worth your time and attention
Taking the time to sit down in front of a camera and give your client your undivided attention sends a positive message. Of course, it is important to be aware of what your body, voice and background is communicating. You can practise your active listening skills to ensure that your body is sending the right message, but this is not the only thing that needs to be considered. When in a video meeting, it is also important to remove potential distractions. You want to convey that you’re actively listening to the person on the other end, and that their input is of value. A professional outfit and carefully chosen background should be a given. Additionally, thorough preparation is also a factor that will convey the message that this meeting, and thus the client, is of importance to you.
3) The visual conveying of information
Speaking of thorough preparation: another advantage of a video call is the possibility of instantly sharing visual information. Most applications allow you to share your screen or even offer a whiteboard option for collaborative brainstorming sessions. This shows that you have taken the time to plan the meeting in advance, instead of deciding to talk to them on the fly while quickly googling the most important information.
There is another advantage that comes with providing the client with visual information; you are increasing the probability that they are going to retain the information you’re giving them. Using multiple senses improves the learning experience. By also showing your conversation partner what you are talking about, you increase the likelihood that they are able to recall it correctly later on. This is important even if you also provide them with a digital handout.
Would you like to know more about the perks of video conferences, or are you interested in hearing more about our own best practices? Simply contact us, our team is happy to answer any questions you might have!
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