The Dos and Don’ts of Virtual Client Meetings for Your Advisory Practice

Posted by Freedom Advisors on Jul 24, 2020 6:15:00 AM

As firms and clients increasingly move to remote working, following these simple steps can help you thrive.

Test your technology beforehand

Nothing is more annoying and counterproductive than a tech failure in the middle of a call. Test your screen share tools, any software that will be needed, sound and video quality, and group messaging tools.

Set an agenda and distribute it in advance

This allows participants to adequately prepare for the meeting with relevant information or questions.

Pay attention to timing

Be respectful of different time zones. A meeting that begins at 9 am ET may be fine for clients on the East Coast, but that is 6 am for clients on the West Coast, who will likely not appreciate such an early start.

Request video participation

It can be tempting to try to get a few extra things done while on a phone call, but this pulls focus from the topic at hand and can undermine your best efforts to conduct a successful meeting. When people know they are visible to the group, it is much less likely that they will be paying attention to anything else. However, make sure that phone-in conferencing is still an option. With internet bandwidth usage at an all-time high, connections can be spotty. If someone’s video connection is poor, allow them to phone in.

Assign a moderator

To keep the conversation on track and help increase participation, a moderator can ask direct questions to individuals. Additionally, at the start of all meetings, the moderator can mute the group so that background noise is eliminated. When individuals need to speak, they can un-mute themselves, keeping noises to a minimum.

Eliminate distractions

Turn off notifications and alarms. They aren’t just distracting - they might be accidentally broadcast to the entire group if you are sharing your screen.

Put your best foot forward

For video conferences, use your desktop or laptop rather than your phone. Test your camera on yourself prior to the meeting. Make sure your camera is raised to eye-level and there is adequate lighting. Don’t wear a distracting print or small stripes, which can appear to shimmy on screen. Take note of everything visible in the camera’s view. Remove clutter from your background and conduct your meeting in a quiet place. Although an outdoor setting may look nice, ambient noises from wind or nearby vehicles may interfere with your meeting. It may help to keep a glass of water handy during you meeting in case your throat gets dry.

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Advisory services offered through Freedom Investment Management, Inc. ("Freedom"), a registered investment adviser. Freedom does not provide tax or legal advice.

Topics: Practice Support, Virtual Business

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