…or “What I Saw On Teams”. Yes, a horror story playing itself out all over the world, and a weird epidemic for which there is a simple cure.
New School needs to meet Old School. On this single strategy Old School has it right. When it comes to client (internal OR external) meetings, be they virtual or in person:
- Look up, not down.
- Put down your smart phones. Turn it face down if the temptation to look at it during a meeting is crack to you. If you’re looking at the smart phone during a meeting in progress you actually look stupid- not smart.
- Turn on your cameras. Teams, Zoom, Google, whatever platform you’re using, do NOT give the “grey head” of “initials”. **
**Caveat- sometimes we are unwell. Not able to look our best. The grey head or camera off is acceptable- but leads off with a simple apology and explanation.
Facial expression and demeanor are key to meetings. If you are in sales this is your lifeline. The expression on the prospects or client’s face should be important to you; YOUR facial expressions are important to THEM:
“Facial expressions of emotion are probably the most important signal of the face because they tell us about people’s personalities, emotions, motivations, or intent. They are not only signs of people’s internal states; they are also signals to others to act in certain ways, providing messages for social coordination.” https://www.humintell.com
What do we want to be aware of?
· Does the listener appear to understand the information we’re sharing?
· Do they seem engaged or disinterested? Do they look as though they are forming a question?
· Do they appear to believe our content? Do they look confused by it?
· Are we showing that we are listening? Engaged? Making notes about speaker’s content?
If you want to know if your points are landing with your audience, it’s imperative that you can see their reactions. If you want them to feel heard and see your enthusiasm in responding to them, they need to see you.
Or, put another way…do you WANT to close the sale?
Well, if you do and you’re a new schooler with a “person outline”, “initials”, or camera on but CLEARLY doing other tasks during the meeting, you might consider these simple Old School protocols.
I’m old but I don’t miss much!
VP IEC Chesapeake, Business Development