So, was it just two weeks ago when you had that out-of-town meeting? Remember trudging to a remote city via a connecting flight, which was delayed by weather, only to arrive at an “anywhere” hotel with steal-proof hangars and one bar of soap designed for a midget. You slept poorly, had the meeting, and were exhausted by the time you got home.
Now it’s time for another chat to close the deal or enhance the relationship. Do you:
• Repeat above? Are you cringing, just at the thought? Does your back hurt, just from the memory of lifting the bag(s) numerous times?
• “Fly” Skype by arranging a time to see and resolve from your office computer?
Yes, it’s a no brainer. You can finish your conversation and still schedule a business luncheon. However, being as effective on Skype as you would be in person demands “in person” skills via technology. When you are meeting via Skype,
• Speak as though your audience is sitting across from you. Are you as comfortable looking at a screen and being conversational enough to achieve your objective? If you’re more stilted (in other words, “a stiff”), you need training. Some people might say “I’m good enough.” However, you must be at the top of your game in order to close sales.
• Look directly into the camera, but avoid the “deer in the headlights” stare by blinking and looking away occasionally. Also, if you look into your camera, the person on the other side feels the sense of being “eyeballed.” That’s the goal! Occasionally, look at his video to see his reaction.
• Place your notes beside or below the camera. If the camera is mounted in/on the computer, use your screen like a teleprompter.
• Watch where you do glance. Looking left and right makes you seem “shifty” or disorganized. That looking down at your desk pushes your head into the camera, and may well call attention to the bald spot or mashed hair you just spent 20 minutes trying to remedy. Looking up and down yells “I keep losing my place.” Glance away from the camera, but casually.
Ultimately, your goal is to create the same comfortable relationship you achieve when you are face-to-face. If the other executive is not smooth or relaxed, he will eventually catch on…or it doesn’t matter, as long as you “ace it.”
So it’s worth preparing yourself in exchange for fewer days of dragging your luggage through the airport. Once you’re ready it’s “Lights! Camera! Cue the executive!”