Photo by visuals on Unsplash
Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.
Like you, I’m doing a lot of webinars and video conferences. The most common question I get asked is: How do you market during a pandemic?
Here’s what you may find surprising. While in-person and video formats are different, the basic principles are unchanged. That said, there are three disastrous mistakes I see advisors make with Zoom calls.
While you may not be able to hold events or meet in person with prospects and clients, it should be comforting to know that there are opportunities to generate new business.
Investors find market uncertainty unsettling. DIY investors may no longer have confidence in their ability to go it alone.
Others may believe they weren’t well prepared by their current advisor for the black-swan event of a pandemic. They may be looking for alternatives.
In both situations, your initial communication will be via telephone or videoconference.
That’s where it gets tricky.
Different but the same
My approach to converting prospects into clients (The Solin Process) doesn’t depend on whether an interaction is in person, on the telephone or via videoconference.
The reason is simple: The human brain reacts the same regardless of format. Here’s what I mean.
When you empower someone to talk about themselves, “happiness hormones” (oxytocin and dopamine) flood into the pre-frontal cortex, creating feelings of warmth and trust towards the person who empowered this feeling. It doesn’t matter how the message is communicated.
When you communicate via Zoom, your goal is still to put your agenda aside and focus in a sincere way on the other person by asking questions and following up with appropriate inquiries.
I set forth the research supporting The Solin Process in my book, Ask: How to Relate to Anyone.
Common Zoom mistakes
Fundamental to the effective use of Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms is an understanding of the McGurk Effect.
Everything you need to know about the McGurk Effect you can learn by watching this brief video. You will see that, when what we see conflicts with what we hear, the visual trumps the auditory.
How does this apply to Zoom calls?
The way you dress
“I want my advisor to look professional, except when we are on a video call,” said no one ever.
The rule for dressing for these calls is simple. There should be no difference in how you dress for a video call from what you would wear if you were meeting in person.
Marketing Services For Evidence-Based Advisors...and a New Book!
We offer consulting services on how to convert more prospects into clients through Solin Consulting, a division of Solin Strategic, LLC.
We offer a full range of digital marketing services exclusively to evidence-based advisors through Evidence Based Advisor Marketing, LLC. You can see examples of our work here.
My new book:
How to Relate to Anyone
Is now available in all formats. For more information, click here.
Schedule a call with Dan here
Avoid virtual backgrounds
Even though you may be working from home, your background should be as professional looking as your office. If it isn’t, avoid the temptation to use virtual backgrounds, including those that “blur” the background.
There are a number of technical difficulties with virtual backgrounds. A particularly troublesome one I see often is that it distorts your image, particularly when you are moving.
Here’s a better option. It’s low tech and very effective.
Buy a customized webcam backdrop, complete with your logo and branding. It’s inexpensive, avoids technical issues and looks totally professional. I’ve had a good experience with this company, but I’m sure there are many others.
Lighting and audio
If videoconferencing is the new normal, don’t trigger the McGurk effect with poor lighting and audio that sounds like you’re in a long tunnel.
For a modest investment, you can purchase appropriate lighting and a third-party microphone that will greatly enhance the way you look and sound on camera.
While you’re at it, upgrade from the camera built into your computer. The difference is striking. At the top of the food chain is the Brio Ultra HD Webcam, which is unfortunately back ordered. There are many others if you don’t want to wait.
For more information about marketing and branding opportunities with Dan’s new book, Ask: How to Relate to Anyone, click here.
Read more articles by Dan Solin