Have you ever done an analysis of how much it cost to reign in that one customer that was going to boost sales, increase profits and get your business to that whole other level only to find that the ROI (Return on Investment) of acquiring this plum client really wasn’t worth the effort? For whatever reason, this client demanded many meetings to which key business development personnel had to travel
to and when the deal was done, it turned out that too much money was spent on travel which made this client an expensive acquisition.
While there is still nothing that can exactly replace the human eyeball to eyeball interaction and a handshake, some of today’s technology can get pretty close to establishing this type of customer intimacy at a fraction of the cost. A phone call or even a voice conference call among all of the key stakeholders can only do so much to create the trust and credibility that is needed.
Once a relationship has been established with a new client, a new vendor or even a new employee, a voice meeting may be good enough. It’s those first and very important set of interactions that are critical in establishing credibility.
Today’s business environment demands that we do more with less. This is why finding key technologies that can enable this type of practical operation are so important to becoming profitable and staying that way. It’s a two step process. The first
step is to find a suitable technology that helps to reduce the cost of the desired transaction. The second step is to modify existing business operations so that the new technology can be adopted and used instead.
Ultimately it’s a judgment call as to which face-to-face interaction(s) can be replaced with technology and the reality is that not every future customer, vendor or partner may be suitable for virtual communications. Ideally, the other party that you want to work with is also cost-conscious and recognizes that there are often virtual means by which business can be conducted that will accomplish the same goals and have an impactful outcome.
Some larger companies are outfitting their conference rooms with expensive video conferencing equipment in order to conduct meetings. This works very well only if every video conference participant can get to a location that is also outfitted with compatible video conferencing equipment. In some cases, not every meeting attendee is able to be present in a video conference location and is left with only the audio component of the meeting which can be frustrating.
There are two cost effective, what I like to call “virtual meeting” technologies that are worth exploring. The first is skype and the other is GoToMeeting.
Both technologies have a lot in common in that they are downloadable applications that are capable of running on a variety of operating systems for desktops and laptops. Either can be downloaded to run on a Windows or Mac OS computing device. They can also be downloaded onto Tablets, Phablets, and Smartphones. Both applications can run on Android and iOS devices.
They are both simple to install and use. The challenge of using these technologies is that everyone that will be interacting together virtually will need to have them installed on their computing or mobile device. This is seemingly an insignificant challenge because of the cost saving opportunities that using these technologies represents.
It is really the evolution of the current operations toward adopting and using this technology that is the more difficult to implement. A change of how, where and when these technologies are used requires a new mindset and a refreshed perspective of how business is conducted with potential clients, vendors, partners and employees.