People like to say „nothing beats a personal relationship!“ and of course this is true, but in globalized business the meaning of this term is significantly changing.
In the past, a personal meeting with a business partner abroad was synonymous with a huge waste of time and money. For a few-hours meeting people had to travel and to spend a significant amount for tickets, renting a car and accommodation expenses.
Obviously, these times are definitely over!
Today, modern tools allow for a close and personal communication, even at daily base, without losing time and money and more important, without any discount on quality and results.
It is the opposite: think of conference video calls with participants, which are sitting in different places and countries!
Though, many people still use to feel uncomfortable of applying digital communication in their daily work, claiming that “it is not the same” as a personal, face-to-face conversation.
In most cases, the reason for that is simple: digital communication, in order to be efficient and convenient respectively, requires a suitable setup and to become familiar with the tools and functions.
Basic use may appear to be very simple, but for professional communication there are some more requirements to consider on:
#1 Choose and install the right applications
There are plenty of applications, which support digital calls as whatsapp, viber, messenger, skype, zoom and many others. You have to choose the ones, fitting best to your needs and to the preferences of professionals you are talking to. There are differences in functionality and preferences depending on the country where your business partners are based. Most probably you will need to use different applications for the different business partners.
#2 Internal training
If you are not sufficiently experienced with these new communication tools, avoid to get trained on your business partners. Ask colleagues or family members instead to operate training calls with you and check all functions out until you feel confident about how to use them.
#3 Get the appropriate accessories
Depending on how and where you communicate, accessories like headsets and digital pens can make a huge difference the call to be convenient.
Digital communication can be carried out everywhere, even on your couch at home or sitting in a cafe. Though, it is an absolute no-go to stress your business partners with a high noise level or your kids shouting in the background. Of course, the same applies when you are in your company.
Secure that for the call you are sitting in a quiet place, which will help all participants to focus on the discussion.
What is in your business the expected dressing code for face-to-face meetings? The same dressing code applies to digital video calls! There is no space for any discount on that!
#6 Scheduling meetings
Like any other call you can start video calls by simply pushing a button, but of course you shouldn’t do it. Video meetings have to be scheduled properly, the same way you would schedule a personal meeting. Days, or sometimes weeks before. Best practice is to share a calendar invitation or a mail invitation, which some of the communication applications generate automatically.
Most probably you would use in a face-to-face meeting a presentation, documents or even show a product. You can (and should) do all this in a video call too! Most of communication tools provide functions for sharing presentations and documents on the screen and allow to make even written notes on the common screen.
Following these few basic rules and after having operated some calls to become familiar, you will become excited about the efficiency of digital communication and more important you will save a lot of time and money!
In the end you will push your business as within the same time, which you had spent in the past, you will be able to multiply your communication with current and new business partners.