Isolation is now central to survival; communication, to everything else. In a changing landscape, the reducing frequency of social interactions is influencing the way we communicate with each other. With that in mind, organizations have begun to refine their communication approaches by being more transparent, paying closer attention to non-verbal cues, and adopting new channels to maintain instant communications.
Also read: Planning Business Continuity for the Unknown
Sometime soon, staying indoors will be a matter of choice. But until then, we need to find ways to replicate, maybe even enhance, the intimacy, openness, and immediacy of in-person meetings. This requires a shift in perspective, which is the first step towards losing technology shyness and adopting novel, secure technologies.
the several structural differences between virtual and face-to-face meetings, the technologies employed need to be intelligently and creatively designed. Their ease-of-use and ability to enrich interactions could be the difference between you occupying client mind space and becoming part of the clutter once the meeting ends.
Communication is complex, and when it has to be performed in a non-contact environment, the rules of engagement regarding attention, non-verbal cues, and tone have to be reset. What makes this trickier than it sounds is that non-verbal cues are not fixed. They are influenced by culture, context, and personal mannerisms. To make sure they have not misunderstood any information conveyed by clients, communicators need to pay attention to every conscious and unconscious nod, shrug, eye movement, and facial expressions.
Fortunately, people can be trained to read the receptiveness to their sales pitch. Companies are increasingly upskilling their sales & marketing teams in presence management so they may avoid the common pitfalls of non-verbal communications. These skilling programs will also help them tweak their own body language, tone of voice, and content so they come off as more confident and genuine.
If these difficult times have taught us anything, it is the value of being authentic in our communication. How well we communicate during a crisis will have a big impact on our relations in the new normal.
Being trained in and adopting new technologies is just the beginning, even though it is a great beginning. Once you have these two steps down, your next area of focus has to be putting the learning into practice and going the extra mile to establish trust. After all, finding out the needs of your clients, addressing them, and building great relationships is the end game.