March 16th was the epochal day when our governor, Governor Jay Inslee, decreed that non-essential workers were prohibited from working in an office setting. His decree offered few exceptions.
We finally hit the ominous crescendo. From a high of 60 employees in the office, to around 45 when the decree was ordered, suddenly our 10,000 sq. ft collaborative space stood in silence as a testament to the pernicious power of COVID-19.
But the show had to go on. Our colleagues and friends were counting on solutions to keep them gainfully employed during this time. Our clients needed to know we were moving at the speed of business and would deliver our industry leading service.
We all had to band together to make business work under severe duress.
Too close for missiles and switching to guns (any Top Gun fans out there?) we set our course, like so many other businesses, for virtual.
Now we are four months into quarantine and have learned many lessons from conducting our visits and collaborative sessions using Zoom. Many things; both good and bad.
But today we focus on one that must be addressed first because if present, it could be hurting your business prospects now and in the future.
Zoom Fatigue is being defined as “The emotional and physical strain that saps away our energy levels.” (The Enterprises Project, n.d.)
In other words, people are engaging at lower and lower rates on Zoom Meetings. While you are hitting on key differentiation points, they are on Reddit. You are asking discovery questions to a group and a key group member is not paying attention. The consequence? You missed out on valuable insights and opportunities.
Sounds bad and it is. So how do we get ahead of this problem and stay so energized we remove the specter of fatigue?
The 5 Step Rx to cure Zoom Fatigue:
- Partner with your IT resources whether in house or with your own ISP. Make sure your connection is fast and reliable. Lagging speeds and poor audio destroy the flow of the visit and take away your ability to maximize the visit’s value potential.
- Say hello to everyone! Yes, it is a virtual room, but we don’t become robots just because we have entered a virtual room. Welcome the folks you are speaking with and create a vibrant and happy atmosphere. These are difficult times so humanize the experience. It sets the tone for a successful visit.
- Don’t use pronouns! Keep people involved. If there is a question for someone, I always first say who I am, and the name of the person I am speaking to. People love to hear their name and if you have been using their name throughout a meeting, they will stay more engaged
- Have an objective. Every visit we have has a purpose. Listen, learn, share insights and get a commitment whether it be close the sale or a micro commitment to meet at a given day and time. Do not come with a nebulous, undefined agenda. Make sure the audience is invested in the visit because they know it is time well spent.
- If you think you are talking too little, talk even less! Yes, you read that correct. During these Zoom Visits I have noticed it is incredibly common for people to begin speaking at the same time. We don’t have the advantage of reading body language and sensing when their will be a pause from the other party. Listen, listen, listen. We subscribe to 90-10. 90 percent of our visit is listening. 10 percent is taking what we have learned to tailor our responses. It creates a flow and that in turn increases engagement.
We are in this virtual world for a while. The modern workplace that was being designed is likely going to undergo a major transformation and Zoom will be more prevalent going forward even with a successful COVID-19 inoculation.
Let’s all become Zoom experts and keep this economy going!
Yours in Success,
P.S. Many thanks to the folks at Fast Company for inspiring this copy. Please check out their website and article on this here.