Being a B2B sales consultant isn’t always easy, especially if you have clients spread out across the country or if you travel often. This is why mastering distance meetings can be absolutely critical to your success as a sales consultant and to the success of your clients.
This video that was floating around online earlier this year, is a perfect (and hilarious) depiction of a conference call gone wrong.
Most of us can relate to these common mishaps that happen on virtual calls, but in this article we’re going to dig a little deeper into how you can ensure your clients are getting the most out of your distance meetings… and that you are delivering value. If you are being consistent, organized, and prepared then you’ll be setting yourself up for ongoing results – regardless of where you or your clients are located.
1. Use the Same Scheduling System
If you’re going to use Outlook to send out calendar invites with your Go To Meeting log in in the message, then do that. Every. Single. Time. Consistency is key to ensuring that everyone is on the same page and don’t find themselves last minute trying to figure out how to log in or what number to call.
2. Educate New Clients
Don’t assume your clients have used Go To Meeting, Google Hangouts, or Skype before. Don’t assume they’ve even downloaded these apps or understand exactly how to share their screen or whether they should call in on their phone or use the Internet option.
If you plan to do distance meetings from time to time then I’d suggest creating a one-sheet instruction guide on how to download the app, access their account, and understand the primary uses of the software.
Just like point #1, this will help eliminate technological difficulties or delay your start time.
3. Send an Agenda
Both you and your client will benefit from creating an agenda and sending it out prior to calls. First off, it will allow you time to organize your thoughts, what you want to cover, and make sure you’re fully prepared on each of these topics. This will ensure that things run much smoother and you’ll save time.
Your client will benefit from all of the above, plus they have an opportunity to share with you if there’s anything else they’d like to add to the agenda. Maybe they have a burning question that just can’t wait, or maybe you forgot to include something. When you send out the agenda be sure to give them a chance to chime in if they’d like to be certain you cover anything else.
4. Always Arrive Early and End on Time
We all have busy schedules and there is nothing worse than waiting on a conference call line just waiting for the host to arrive. It’s unprofessional and even a little rude. Same goes for ending on time – make it clear how long the meeting will go and stick to it.
5. Take Notes and Deliver a Recap
The level of detail forthe notes you want to take is up to you, but delivering a simple recap after every distance meeting is great for many reasons including:
- It keeps everyone on track and organized
- It’s great to refer to down the road
- It is “proof” of your call and what you’ve discussed
When writing a recap, keep it simple and only cover the agenda and highlights of the call. This shouldn’t become a chore, but a great supplement to the B2B sales consulting services you are delivering. I also suggest you use this as a place to clearly outline action items and next steps that came out of this meeting – including who is responsible and due dates if applicable.
6. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Sometimes it might make sense to do a screen share. If you are more commonly doing regular phone calls with clients, think about how a screen share could complement your discussions. Could you be showing them a presentation to go along with what you’re talking about? Or maybe you could be sharing an example?
Also, most distance meeting software allows you to record the call. You might not need to record every call, but sometimes if you are giving a tutorial or talking about something very specific that could be beneficial for you or your client to refer to later, then think about hitting record and sharing that video with the recap.
7. Use the Right Technology
Finally, it’s absolutely critical that you are using the right technology to conduct your distance meetings in order to avoid disruptions.
Some things to make sure you have and are comfortable using:
- A great headset so you can be hands-free, comfortable, and easily heard
- A distance meeting software of your choice
- The ability to record is a huge plus
- A web cam so you can have that personal touch from time to time and they can actually see your face (and vice versa)
- A high speed internet connection
By perfecting your distance meetings you will not only increase the engagement and credibility you work so hard to build and maintain with your current clients, but you’ll open the door to being able to service clients from all around the country, or even the world.