WEBCAMOPHOBIA

Webcamophobia wastes time and money… it’s time to get over it!

Webcamophobia!

If you’d have told me five years ago that, in the future 90% of the meetings I would have with customers would be virtual, then I would have told you politely, but confidently, that you were wrong… and yet today, 90% of the meetings I have with customers ARE virtual, and they seem to like it!

So what’s the deal with that? And, let’s think about this: all the technology needed to run high quality virtual customer meetings is free or low cost… so what stops people from using it?

Using even the simplest virtual meeting platforms like Skype or FaceTime, people react in the strangest way (even people who use it regularly to talk with friends and family). When you ask them, ‘why don’t you use this with customers?’ the reaction varies, but most often boils down to a version of ‘we couldn’t possibly do that!’ (The children… somebody think of the children!) I call it ‘webcamophobia’.

Here’s some advice that needs to be put plainly:

“GET OVER IT.”

Most of the barriers to doing this are in your head. If you want to find out if your customers are open to virtual meetings, ask them, positively; “How would you feel about using Skype for the call instead of a phone line?” They will tell you. You will be surprised how many people are open to it. And if they’re not, that’s fine: nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Why video calling?

And why is it a gain to get a customer on a video call rather than just audio? Let me give you an example: someone I met called Peter. Peter was a successful General Manager at a supply chain business. He was a driven, traditional guy in his mid-fifties. Prime target for a virtual meeting, right..?! Well, as it turns out, he was.

Peter’s assistant had organised a phone call for him and I to have an introductory meeting. A week before the call, I noticed that the number was linked to a FaceTime account, so I emailed Peter and asked him what he thought about using FaceTime for the call. His response: “Ok – I’ve never done that before”.

We had a great call and built rapport, fast. When I did eventually meet Peter face-to-face, it in no way felt like a ‘first meeting’: we recognised each other and had that feeling of ‘comrades reunited’. And you can’t get that from a phone call.

Virtual meetings enable fast rapport

The moral of the story?

Ask your customers and give it a go. If they don’t want to try it, they’ll tell you. If they do, you’ll build rapport faster, and save time and money in the process.

Webcamophobia wastes time and money… it’s time to get over it!

I would love to hear from you and your experiences. If you found this article interesting, please comment and/or share.

To find out more, you can reach me at nick@expressionforgrowth.com or have a browse of our website for inspiration.

Nick Todd

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