There really is nothing like being able to read social cues and body language in person. Face-to-face engagements will always be the gold standard of meetings and negotiations, which is why virtual meetings will never truly replace face-to-face interactions, but they have become a part of our daily lives as we move deeper into this virtual world.
Dr Lloyd Vogelman is a qualified clinical psychologist in the field of organizational psychology, and a recognised global expert in the realm of Complex Selling and has developed the Corteks Advance Business Adviser Methodology.
He shares some of his own virtual meeting tips, such as how to develop intimacy on a virtual business call, how virtual meetings and engagements affect our biases and the importance of volatility.
The Importance of Volatility
Volatility, when the world is fragile, such as during the COVID 19 pandemic, and particularly if you’re in any area of trade, has its advantages. You may think volatility is risky, but sometimes having no volatility is very risky.
Without it, you could be carrying a lot of risk as everything may seem perfect on the outside when it really isn’t. Volatility allows you to see those imperfections and allows space to deepen your connections with clients by sharpening your online communication skills in the workplace, or better yet, listening skills, which brings us to the L.U.N framework:
The L.U.N framework
Listen – There’s a difference between listening and understanding. Listening allows you to merely hear what the other person is saying, it’s just the starting point, but a strong online sales communication technique.
Understand – Understanding allows you to reflect the underlying feeling that lies beneath the other person’s statements. In order to do that, you have to stop yourself from giving advice, and allow the other person to speak.
Nurture – We nurture through reassurance. “Nurturing” is simply saying, for example, that you’re going to be there for your client but you also have to tell the truth about how far you’re able to go for them.
How to develop virtual intimacy on a business call
When you take the L.U.N framework into consideration, then virtual intimacy is in fact not much different to physical or face-to-face intimacy so developing intimacy in a virtual business call can be tricky, but it’s not impossible.
Smaller groups are obviously better than larger groups, it’s much easier to develop that intimacy in a group of 6 people in a virtual conference than it is in a group of 30.
Keep your Zoom calls as short as possible to keep your audience’s attention. A lot of our behaviour is based on obligation and when you have a client for example and you’ve reached that point of intimacy, they’ll feel more obligated to you, so it becomes more natural, whether it’s in a virtual meeting or face-to-face.
How virtual engagements affect our biases
We all have biases, let’s face it. Behavioural economics has taught us that we all have inherent biases that shape our decisions. Let’s say you’re 25 years old, and you’re working in a large corporate company like a bank, and your boss is in his/her 40’s.
Your boss has a big presence, he/she is a power dresser and speaks loudly and articulately. You may feel intimidated by this individual, so you actually end up emphasising their power. That would be considered a bias that shapes the way you think about people and the situations you ultimately find yourself in.
You could have biases about other individual’s positions, accents, nationalities or race. Whatever it is, we all have them. What makes virtual meetings and engagements great is the ability it has to actually level out the playing field in our biases, allowing individuals who perhaps previously in face-to-face meetings, felt stifled by their own biases, to now find themselves able to open up and speak freely.