An investment banker, a lawyer, and a consultant walk into a bar.
What do they all have in common?
They’re all client-facing positions that depend on building long-term relationships with customers. And for the past few years, they’ve all been working over Zoom.
While no physical travel means that client-facing professionals can squeeze more meetings into their day, it’s also led to a massive drop-off in client connections. We all know the ROI on client relationships is huge. Better relationships lead to increased customer satisfaction scores, which means more loyal clients who continue to buy your company’s services.
The biggest issue facing client-facing team executives is enforcing standardization. How can you coach professionals under you in the company’s way of doing business, while maintaining the individuality that helps the agent bond with clients?
Digital transformation poses a challenge, but also an opportunity. Warmly is working on tools that help executives managing investment bankers, consultants, and lawyers leverage brand logos and taglines, while also allowing creativity and nuance in forming connections.
Building Trust With Prospects Over Zoom
Creating trust is something our company has painstakingly dissected over several years of engaging and talking to thousands of business professionals. We’ve found that a sense of trust is broken down into three main factors.
1. Finding Commonality
People are naturally predisposed to run away. That’s because until very recently in our evolution, human beings were often prey. Our natural sense of distrust is what kept us alive. Research also shows that why we do trust hinges on another evolutionary trait: we are much more likely to trust people who are similar to us in some way.
While coaching enterprise clients on how to use our software with clients, we stress that users should display their city, the local weather, and idiosyncratic things about themselves in their Zoom name tag. That increases the chance that they will immediately find something in common on which to build that initial bond.
Maybe the consultant is Zooming in from Colorado, and the client just got back from Vail. The rapport generated by this insight tells the client: Hey, we’ve had shared experiences. I’m not going to hurt you, and helps the client let their guard down.
2. Establishing Credibility
Buyers want to know the seller knows what they’re doing. A professional who logs onto a meeting with the prospect’s logo incorporated into their Zoom background is demonstrating that they came to the meeting prepared. Having the meeting agenda hanging over their shoulder is another way to look professional.
The impression can fail, however, if the usage varies wildly across the company. Warmly’s enterprise license includes brand standardization tools so clients always feel like they’re getting the same caliber of professionalism, even if they’re dealing with someone new.
A local credit union that Warmly helped set up had never done virtual meetings with customers prior to the pandemic, and didn’t realize how they were coming across. Their customer satisfaction scores dropped dramatically—not because they suddenly weren’t good at what to do. It’s scary to put your life savings into an institution, and the representatives were used to building these connections in person. By implementing Warmly’s Zoom add-on, every banker showed up to client meetings with a fun and unique business card that matched their coworkers, along with a personal bio that resonates with the local customer. The standardization also creates continuity, even if a client is dealing with a different banker on any given day.
New clients also want to feel assured that the professional has a track record of success in their field. Social proof is a powerful driver of emotion, and there are multiple options in the Warmly add-on for Zoom to engender that trust.
Consulting clients have found success adding a QR code over their shoulder linking to prior case studies. You can also have the codes link to corporate social handles that showcase prior or current companies you have worked with. Why not run a ticker tape with the logos of your biggest clients or all the five-star reviews your company has had across the bottom?
Dissemination of these assets should also be easy and error-proof to avoid unnecessary slip-ups. We’ve coached an insurance company executive at a company where business was booming. They had recently hired hundreds of representatives, but many were not aware of all the valuable collateral they were able to offer clients. During a demonstration, Warmly helped them upload and instantly distribute customer presentation material that their salesmen can simply hover over their shoulders during Zoom calls whenever a customer asks for it.
3. Forge Authenticity
A common mistake service professionals make is that they immediately try to sell a service. Services are not sold, they’re bought. When you want to buy something, it’s because you have a sense of trust, you think they’re professional, that they have done this for other people. More importantly, it’s because they get you. People want to feel like others truly understands them and their problems.
As a client-facing professional, you are trying to identify their problems and whether you can help, not trying to force a solution down their throat that doesn’t fit. That means asking doing our pre-meeting prep on both the company and the individual you’re meeting. It also means asking questions with the intent of figuring out what problems the client has, and whether you can help—not forcing a solution down their throats if it doesn’t fit.
Spend time understanding the person you’re talking to, what they are working toward, and their goals for their business. Then see where you fit into helping them achieve those goals. Warmly also lets you take notes within Zoom, so you can stay focused on their needs.
We believe that a corporation should create a sense of uniformity, brand standardization, and professionalism across all their client-facing teams. Instantly matching backgrounds, coordinating release of company announcements at the same time, sharing tidbits and news about the company, creating a professional introductory experience shows the client that your company is a serious company worth working with.
We recently advised a law firm in Australia that had been struggling to create an air of professionalism in their meetings. They didn’t know who was calling in from where. They didn’t know what the right background or logo to use across the company. Everybody would use different things in all the wrong places. Warmly allowed them to instantly distribute the right business-branded collateral to ensure a consistent client-facing experience that led to increased customer satisfaction scores for all their legal teams and even the securing of new business because their clients enjoyed working with them virtually more so than competition.
Warmly is now working on a unique, branded in-meeting client experience to help companies recreate the professionalism of a physical board room during virtual meetings.