About a month ago, a trusted advisor recommended that when we conduct online meetings—whether it’s with internal staff, clients, partners or prospects—that the medium should include a video link so that everyone can see everyone else on the call. We tested this out and found that once everyone gets over their initial (and natural) hesitation of being on-camera, the net effect is a feeling of trust and camaraderie that develops almost instantly. These positive feelings grow even deeper with all subsequent online meetings.
Even more recently, I had an opportunity to meet, in-person, with a client, his staff and the CEO at a tradeshow out of state. Although it involved a flight across the country and several days out of the office, the gains of meeting our client face-to-face far outweighed any passing inconvenience of the actual trip.
So, if an opportunity to meet face-to-face with a partner/stakeholder/client/prospect presents itself (or even if you have to engineer it yourself)—jump at the chance! In the meantime, consider updating your next teleconference to include a video link so you can see for yourself how easy and effective it is to look your counterparts in the eye when you have something important to share.