How to make the most out of online meetings

We’ve all been there. A networking partner calls you super excited. “I have a referral for you! It’s a sure win!” There is only one problem. The prospect is going to be a tiny sale, and it is hours away.

Services such as WebEx, GoToMeeting, and TeamViewer exist specifically to solve this problem. If you’re looking for a solution on the cheap, options such as or Google Hangouts may work in a pinch. Whatever solution you use, below are some best practices to keep in mind.

1. Always show your face

This is critical. It is tempting to present in the comfort of anonymity, but no one wants to buy from a faceless stranger. My closing percentage doubled overnight when I started enabling the webcam feature for prospects.

First and foremost, make sure the space behind your desk is presentable. A white wall is boring, but a messy room is distracting. I installed some simple shelves on the wall behind my desk just for this purpose. I recommend using a tool like to verify that everything looks correct before joining your session.

Test Webcam Screengrab2

When speaking to the prospect, look directly into your webcam as if the camera is their eyes. This may seem odd, but it will make the experience much more powerful for your prospect. If you do not have access to a webcam, an alternative would be to include a slide at the beginning of your presentation with a professional picture of yourself.

2. If using slides, keep it brief

The fastest way to make someone fall asleep durring a sales pitch is to read line-by-line from a busy PowerPoint. It is even easier for your prospect to get distracted with online meetings, and you would be none the wiser. If you are going to use slides, write as little as possible on each page. Use these as cues for yourself to go into your normal discussion. You want your prospect hanging on your every word – not reading ahead and waiting for you to catch-up.

Simple PPT ExampleA great example of how this works in action is to watch most any Ted Talk presentation. These are incredibly engaging presentations, and they all have one thing in common – lots of slides with very little text.

3. Doodle for the prospect

Just like in an in-person meeting, sometimes it is best to explain an idea by drawing a picture. I personally like to write down key talking points on the prospects’ dry-erase board as we go through the discussion. Ideally, this keeps the prospect engaged and the conversation on topic.

If you plan to translate this to an online experience, be prepared to doodle on your computer for the client to follow along. This can be as simple as opening a blank Word document, or even Paint. Many of the tools previously mentioned also have “marker” tools for doodling as well.

Sample Paint Doodle

I’d also highly recommend reading my earlier post highlighting keyboard tricks to enhance your demo.

Do you have additional tips or tricks for enhancing your online meetings? If so, let me know in the comments below.

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One Comment

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  1. As usual, good stuff….thanks John!!


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