Tough Times

It was not an easy time in 2009, but even then a simple remote session could create emotions and overcome limits.

It was the time when my grandfather was dying and my mother – his daughter – could not take long car rides because she was recovering from a herpes virus that had raged in her brain. 

It was foreseeable that it would actually end very soon for my grandfather. So my two brothers and I decided to visit him one last time, while bringing my laptop along. Before leaving, Skype was installed on my parents‘ computer. 

When we arrived at my grandfather’s, I made contact with my parents via Skype video call. Although there were 400 kilometres between father and daughter, both could see and talk to each other, which at that moment was a blessing. It was an extraordinary and very emotional experience for everyone involved.

Looking back, this experience shows me how valuable technology can be and what – in this case very emotional – contribution it can make. 

Let’s talk business

In today’s business world, we have technology at our disposal that is functionally capable of achieving much more.

Let’s start with the basics: If beaming from Star Trek were available as a technology and free of charge, we would be able to do every business meeting on site – no question about it (COVID-19 aside). But it is not. Resources are scarce, but expectations are very high – scalability is important for successful and sustainable businesses.

The use of remote technology starts with the mindset. You can’t talk to your customer about digitization and ignore remote technology. I’m not talking about inviting several people to a conference call – I’m talking about making companies, products and added value tangible. Every touchpoint, even if it’s not on-site, should be a lasting experience for your customer.

Use remote as a tool to get together with your customers faster. When will we get all ten participants in Berlin together, sitting at one table in a meeting room? If things go well, maybe in three weeks. When will we find time to get together virtually? If it goes well, in three days. Most of the customers I know think it’s good if they are served earlier.

Create unforgettable moments

Let your customers get in the action – especially when you interact remotely. Here are three concrete tips for a better remote experience:

  1. On Air! – Please switch on the camera. Show yourself to your customers and add another dimension to your voice. 
    • Modern remote tools also offer you the possibility to change your virtual background – instead of the white office wall you can be seen e.g. in front of your customer’s office building, etc.  
    • In the best case, your counterpart will also switch on the camera and you will get completely different impressions and can read reactions better. 
  2. Sharing is Caring! – Share your screen. 
    • At the start of the meeting you can see e.g. a welcome slide tailored to the customer, and then switch to the agenda of the meeting. 
    • You document the meeting – collect important insights? Show your customer what you are writing down – if necessary directly in a predefined structure (e.g. a mind map) and ask the customer to actively participate. Afterwards you will have an asset that you can share with the customer. 
  3. Present Like a Boss! – Little things make the difference.
    • No matter if Powerpoint, PDF or your software solution – set to full screen to set the maximum focus
    • Enlarge / colorize your mouse pointer or use animated mouse clicks to make it easy for viewers to follow your actions

You will find, that the possibilities to create great emotional moments remotely for your customers are manyfold and varied – it is best to start right away and try out what works for your business. 

Would you like more thoughts on this topic and you are German speaking? Then listen to the Sales Excellence Podcast – Episode 17 – Inspiring customer communication: Onsite vs. Remote.