by Carl Roberts
The pandemic has led to some advisers using video meeting software for the first time, as are their clients.
Since our business is very digital, we’ve always offered online meetings to our clients.
I estimate we conducted around 30% of our client meetings via video conferencing pre-pandemic. Our aim for client meeting remains the same whether they are in-person or remote. However, online meetings require some slightly different approaches.
Preparation Is Key
Some preparation for the meeting is the basically the same: you book the meeting into the diary and remind the client to turn up. However, you need to think of other measures, such the documents you’re showing.
An online meeting makes printing obsolete, so make sure you have the right documents available on screen. As a bonus, online meetings are much easier to record (with client permission). It’s very easy to prove which documents and information you showed and when.
Test the software you are using. Download the latest updates and make sure you are comfortable using their features, especially screen sharing.
Make sure you know what the client needs to do on their end. Do they need to download a file? Click a certain link? Pick software that doesn’t require clients to have an account like Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
Setting The Stage
Make sure your computer desktop is clear and anything on display is something you’re comfortable with. I find the plainer the background the better. Some of the software packages out there have fake background features but these can be more of a distraction than a help.
Sound quality is very important to get your message heard and to ensure you hear the clients. Use a headset and microphone for better quality sound and to block out background noise.
When this all over, I’m sure some businesses will use online video a lot more. However, we will certainly be looking forward to going back to in-person meetings. Having offered and used both types of meeting for some time I still prefer in-person meetings. I just think it’s much easier to build rapport.
That said, we will always be flexible for the client and give them what they want whether it’s online, in-person, at their home, in our office or theirs.
Carl Roberts is a Managing Director and Chartered Financial Planner at RTS Financial Planning. Read his full profile here.