Make virtual meetings more valuable

We’ve put together some advice that you can put into practice today.

Posted on 27th September 2021
Top tips to make virtual meetings more valuable

After what feels like a very long time of ‘working from home’ (WFH) guidance, it seems we’re finally returning slowly to ‘normal working’ – albeit in a post-covid world. The impact of the pandemic will be felt for years to come, but it’s safe to say virtual meetings have brought a new dimension to our professional lives.

As customers warm to the convenience of online advice, the new challenge is, how can we improve those appointments? What can we do to get more value from virtual meetings, and make them more beneficial for everyone involved? 

We’ve put together some top tips that you can put into practice today, read on to find out more.

Virtual meetings – better for everyone

Doing business via MS Teams, Zoom, WebEx etc, isn’t always easy. Learning how to use the technology; helping customers to log on or stay engaged; trying to read people’s body language and non-verbal cues, and so on. It’s been quite the change from face to face meetings. 

However, virtual meetings have helped us to overcome many challenges, so there’s certainly a role for them in the way we work in the future. Virtual meetings mean less travel time; greater convenience for you and your team; and a reduced carbon footprint – ever more important to customers, and vital for the planet. 

Some ‘tips’ are common sense – things like, make sure you know how to use your own laptop and get familiar with the video software – but there are other aspects that may not be as obvious (and yet might tip the balance). 

  1. Try to connect on every level
    Not everyone likes meeting online. The whole experience may be off-putting for someone who doesn’t often use a laptop, or a tablet, so don’t forget to reassure your customers if you sense they are lacking in confidence. Make sure you break the ice before you get down to business, don’t let technology get in the way of being sociable. Factor in a few minutes extra on either side of your meeting to ‘open up’ or ‘close down’, to allow for more relaxed conversation and to talk about the next steps, freely. 
  2. Be aware of body language
    Being well dressed is one thing, but be aware of how you’re engaged too. Think about how you’re sitting at your laptop, even if you have a virtual background. Your customers’ body language may tell you a lot about how they’re feeling, but they’ll be unconsciously looking for signals from you, too. Sit up, look ahead – set your webcam at eye level. You’ll look more natural, and your clients will feel more comfortable. You can read more on this here
  3. Offer reassurance
    Remind your customers, virtual conversations are just as private as a meeting in real life. There should be no need to worry about what happens to video recordings – let them know, you have personal data policies in place to protect their data. 
  4. Check your environment
    Virtual backgrounds are helpful, particularly if you are working from the spare room at home, but your background environment is still important. Dimly lit rooms feel dated, so make sure your workspace is well lit, by natural light if possible. Do what you can to prevent interruptions from dogs, children, and unexpected visitors, and choose somewhere that’s generally quiet to help you focus. 
  5. Make the right allowances for distractions
    If you do get distracted – by the previously mentioned dogs, children, unexpected visitors – apologise briefly and professionally, and then move on. But if your client is distracted, you have a responsibility to check that they are, in fact, happy to carry on, and their understanding hasn’t been hindered in any way. Prepare a note in advance, something you can refer to easily: “Are you okay to carry on? It’s okay if you’d like us to rearrange the rest of the meeting.” 
  6. Set a high standard
    Let your colleagues know you’re holding meetings online and shouldn’t be disturbed. Turn notifications off on your laptop, mute the incoming noises from your phone. Have a glass of water to hand, a pen and a piece of paper – it is always useful to make notes. In fact, it may help greatly to ask your clients if they’d like to make notes too, as the meeting progresses. 

Ageas Broker Connect

At Ageas, we’ve certainly taken on the challenge of this new way of working, and since the start of the pandemic have launched our Ageas Broker Connect Team, offering regional brokers access to a Video Account Executive, able to help you with everything from digital training to support growing your product portfolio. 

Director of Distribution, Russell White said, “Video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Teams are now a big part of our professional lives. People are a lot more comfortable having one-to-one conversations online, and we’re pleased to be able to offer the support of the Ageas Broker Connect Team to help brokers who want to work in that way.” 

If you'd like to get in touch with the Ageas Broker Connect Team, simply email them at connect@ageas.co.uk

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