Look Who’s Talking: The Power of Skype and Video Conferencing

Cell phones, email and texting have made it easy for people to communicate with each other from any place on the planet where they can get a signal. Telecommuters work from the comfort of their homes. Sales people close sales on the go. I now one real estate pro who consummated the sale on a new home from a hospital room, and no one was the wiser!

But as a sales manager, developer, or builder in need of a steady flow of sales, is this ease of telecommunication always a benefit? With the simplicity of Skype and other video conferencing tools, getting face to face with another person even in the one-dimensional world of your computer screen, has distinct advantages.

See what’s really going on – Do you have sales people who may not be where they’re supposed to be all the time? Maybe your sales model is opening late and closing early. Since this is a retail center, you can’t afford to compromise even a minute of this precious time. With the video feature, you can call your sales people daily, when they should be at the model. In this way, you coach those who are tempted to be late to be more conscious of their time.

Save travel time – I have some regional managers and developers with multiple projects complain that they can’t possibly visit all their sites in person. With Skype or videoconferencing, you don’t have to put the excess miles on a plane or in your automobile. Schedule these “personal” meetings at your convenience. Just remember that the goal with the video conference is not to supplant the on-site visit but to supplement it. You can’t ignore the power of personal contact but you can use this vital communication tool to fill in the gaps when you can’t be there in person.

It’s cost effective – For just a few dollars a month you can use Skype. Or, if you prefer to upgrade to real time with videoconferencing, the money you save on two or three airplane trips to visit key clients or prospects will pay for the cost of equipment to go  first-class. I’ve purchased the Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 for several clients in order to improve our communication. If you’re focused on selling resort property to million-dollar clients, imagine the impact of sending a webcam to your prospect? For less than $100, you make a small investment in a key relationship!

Eliminate multi-tasking and increase focus – Do you ever wonder what someone is doing on the other end of your phone call? Do you hear the keys tapping while they answer emails? Is the “bing” of texting audible in the background? It’s easy to multi-task on a phone call, but, in truth, when you are doing something other than listening to the person on the line, you’re not paying attention. With video, you eliminate all the distractions and can ensure that the other person is having a one-on-one conversation with you.

Enhance your coaching experience – As a leader and a mentor, you play a key role in developing the skills of your team. Coaching is an integral part of guiding your sales squad to the next level. Use the video tool to strengthen your conversations, utilizing eye contact and body language, in addition to your verbal skills, to motivate your team members.  When they can see your focus, commitment, energy, and drive, they absorb more from the time you invested in them.

Convey expediency – It is easy to make a call on your cell phone to connect a buyer with a lender, but when you add the visual component, you turn a call into a meeting. The productivity of the time and connection soars. You get an undistracted lender face-to-face with the buyer and communicate the importance of expediency in sealing the transaction.

I’m the first to admit that sitting behind a desk is not the best place to be. You don’t solve problems from this vantage point. However, with the advances of Skype and videoconferencing, you can do more than paperwork here. Use the camera as a closing tool as well as a communications advantage. I use it frequently with my clients and am experiencing a powerful ROI.

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