Take Your Virtual Meetings from Good to Great!

It’s safe to say that using virtual meetings to conduct business is a practice that’s here to stay. It’s no secret that mediocre virtual meetings produce mediocre results while great virtual meetings can lead to great results. There is tremendous value for those independent agents who sharpen their remote selling and presentation skills prior to the upcoming Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. Honing these skills can increase qualified leads, boost sales, and even create a higher rate of retention on current books of business. So, we’ve put together some tips for independent agents to help you take your virtual meetings from good to great.

Work Hard to Make It Easy. As the presenter or initiator of a virtual meeting or webinar, you’re responsible for making things as easy as possible for your audience. Take the initiative to set up the meeting, send calendar invites, send email reminders the day before, and schedule meeting times according to the audience’s time zone (not yours) when appropriate. If the prospect communicates that they’re comfortable using Facetime rather than Zoom, for example, take the extra time to learn a new platform; doing so will only make you more adept at accommodating future requests.

Audience Engagement. Engaging with an audience and keeping their attention can be challenging when using a new medium. However, there are some tactics that can help. For meetings with multiple people, try greeting each individual as they join. When appropriate, let attendees know at the beginning of a meeting that you’ll call on them periodically. Pause occasionally throughout your presentation to ask if there are any questions or to confirm everyone can hear you or view the screen you’re displaying. Tell a personal story that relates to one of the topics being discussed. Try creating a theme that makes your presentation feel like an event; many agents are seeing success holding virtual educational seminars that are based on an online game of bingo!

Act Like You’re Presenting In-Person. Though some of the following tips may appear fairly simple, you can use them as a checklist of sorts and collectively they can help you stand out in your market from other agents who take the “everyone is working from home, anyway” approach.

• Dress as you would for a business casual meeting to help communicate that you take your responsibilities and your audience’s time seriously.

• Make sure anything that appears in your background is kept clean and tidy. Most virtual meeting platforms also offer different and fun backgrounds you can experiment with should you decide to go the green screen route.

• Be sure to smile (you might be surprised how much that influences your tone of voice) and make a conscious effort to bring your energy level up one notch during your presentation.

• Look at the camera and not the computer screen to create the perception that you’re looking directly at the participant rather than viewing something else on your monitor.

• Avoid multi-tasking or eating during a presentation and try to minimize background distractions such as barking dogs, nosy family members or knocks from door-to-door salespeople (leave a sign!).

Quality Equipment Produces Quality Results. Just because your laptop has a built-in camera doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good one. Run through some practice sessions or invite friends & family to participate in a virtual happy hour to test your equipment. If you’re experiencing any quality or connectivity issues, you may want to look into purchasing an independent webcam, microphone or wi-fi signal booster.

In closing, here are few final notes to consider. Respect your audience’s time and stick to the schedule you’ve outlined. Ask open-ended questions to initiate real two-way conversations. Above all, have a little fun and let your personality shine through! It’s easy to let the fact that you’re speaking to a computer screen distract you from truly being yourself. You can overcome this by being present and continually reminding yourself that you’re quite literally in someone’s home at the moment. Virtual meetings take practice, and we all know practice makes perfect. These online, remote sessions may not be your ideal way to meet with clients and prospects, however they can be used effectively to communicate you are their ideal insurance agent.

As a National Marketing Organization that works with thousands of independent agents, we understand you must generate leads in order to grow your business. That’s why we work diligently to provide the resources necessary for successful marketing. If this information is valuable and you want to know more about the services we provide our agent partners, please contact us at marketing@berwickinsurance.com or 888-745-2320.

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