You will recognise the problem. You’ve carefully set up a video meeting with a client or customer; you stick to the timings, have worked out a plan for the meeting, checked your “Zoom Zone” or “Teams Terrain” camera and audio and are pumped up and ready.
They appear online with just their name written across where their image should be. “Sorry I can’t do webcam, you don’t mind do you?”
Taken aback and not wishing to upset or challenge them, you continue the meeting when you might as well have picked up the phone.
Here are eight techniques to handle this issue, so it doesn’t become a problem for you.
- When confirming the Video Zoom or Teams meeting, do send a separate email, don’t just rely on the calendar invitation, as often people ignore all the messages you’ve steadfastly included. Many people only confirm or reject the meeting without even noting the type of arrangement.
- Send your confirmation email just before the meeting and mention that “our meeting is on video, I look forward to putting a face with your name…”
- In the same email, send them the link where they can test their webcam. Teams has an in-built test function; Zoom uses www.zoom.us/test
- Also, suggest nearer the time that you meet five or so minutes before the start time so you can test the cameras and check the bandwidth is OK.
- Be camera-ready yourself before you go online. Check everything is sparkling and suitable to go as soon as you arrive at the meeting. First impressions are so important and lead the client to do the same.
- If they are not on camera when the meeting is about to start, casually announce that you’re ok to hold on a few moments, whilst they get the camera going at their end. Don’t ask, make this happen.
- Use the compliant trigger “because” when giving them the reason for the camera. Good connection helps communication, builds a rapport, helps with chatting.
- Finally, beware of your own internal bias which may well lead the client to appear without a camera. If you’re camera shy yourself, this action or feeling may lead to the meeting being without a camera. If that’s the case, you might as well do it on the phone.
Remember the phone; it still works. You can always have a meeting on the phone, this technology may be over 100 years’ old, and we don’t have cords anymore, but it still works.