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How to smash new business video calls now that we’re all WFH

The Drum 08 Apr 2020 02:22
By Alex Sibille-08 April 2020 15:22pm

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

How to smash new business video calls now that we’re all WFH

We’re a few weeks into handling the coronavirus in the UK, the new business pipeline is starting to slow, we’re still no closer to knowing how much longer this will go on for, and we’ve finally stopped misspelling WFH with WTF.

“I’m better at new business face-to-face” I hear you say.

“That’s great!” I say.

But while you sit and wait for the world to go back to normal, many brands are looking at the current situation and crying out for advice for the future. When the briefs do start flying around again, you need to be the one they throw them to, so start building a pipeline by video, and here’s our tips on how.

These are just essential WFH tips, but always make sure that you’re getting up early, have a normal morning routine before work and are taking lots of breaks. It’s good to have a fake commute, whether that be munching on some cereal or watching early daytime television (a forgotten routine that has filled me with immense childhood nostalgia these past two weeks.)

Technical difficulties

Ensure you’re sharing important presentations and docs before the call; if someone’s connection isn’t great, this can create an awkward break in the call.

Particularly for new business, always use video calling where possible. You need to take every opportunity that you can to build rapport, so make sure you throw in some extra energy along the way.

Don't lean on creds; use your head

Now, we appreciate that it’s hard to close your laptop when your laptop is the meeting. However, the same rules apply; this is a great chance to try not to lean on your Powerpoints too much. Focus more on clever questions, find more out about the brand, the contact and their challenges!

Be aware! As much as the other person can’t see what is on your screen, you need to be careful that a little notification from slack or an email from your colleague doesn’t sway your attention in mid-flow of the call. Over video, it’s harder to read people’s body language and reactions, so you need to pay extra attention to it. Close your emails and put other apps like slack on ‘do not disturb’, people are less likely to bother you then too.

It goes without saying that in the current climate, brands are going to reduce their buying commitments. Be sensitive to this, it may be that you will have to nurture the relationship with the long-term in mind.

When times are hard, clients’ priorities will be more focused towards campaigns which will have an immediate impact on sales so think about how you can help with this. It could also be worth developing a tailored tester project for some prospects and offering this to them over video call to gauge their reaction.

We’re social beings, and isolation is going to take its toll. Keep thinking of ways to keep in touch with your prospects as there’s lots of learnings to be shared in the current climate. No one knows what to expect, things are changing day by day and everyone just wants a bit of reassurance at the moment, so share positive news.

Alex Sibille is the managing director and co-founder of The Future Factory

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UKAlex SibilleThe Future Factory
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