On Thursday I had the pleasure and benefit of attending a great (online of course!) event in the property sector organised by Katie White and the Profile Network. There were some great topics covered including a virtual environment for hosting events and exhibitions: Agora as well as hints and tips around shaping the architecture of online events.
The presentation that I was drawn to being in a commercial role, however, was delivered by Ruxandra Radulescu of Within International. It was all around how to pitch effectively in a virtual environment now that we can't do it in the old school face to face manner at present. Ruxandra broke it down into 3 top tips:
Tip #1 Know Your Stuff (Technology & Communication)
Technology: This was mainly common sense around being familiar with the tool you are using and making sure the link actually works and you have a good connection.
Communication: Encourage the use of cameras and focus on building a human element and rapport with participants. Trust-building is a big part of this both in the cognitive and benevolence sense.
Tip #2 Understand the advantages of virtual decision making
There are advantages to a virtual setting with the first being status and stature can often be removed as a barrier. Charisma is also not as influential as an idea in a virtual arena.
Interestingly there is research to show that virtual meetings are more conducive to faster decision making and more risk-taking. This can be caveated with a rise in conflict, however.
Tip #3 Create an environment conducive to win-win
Don't underestimate the lack of physical interaction and therefore there needs to be an emphasis on preparation.
Discuss the process before pitching if in a team but also with the recipient by taking time to set the scene.
Don't rush the opening. Always add the human element before rolling straight into a pitch.
Divide and conquer- work out potential roadblocks beforehand if possible to avoid fixed sum negotiations.
Build-in natural breaks. This happens in face to face meetings and can actually be really beneficial especially if you feel on the back foot or conversations get too heated.
I certainly will be taking this advice on board when I next pitch so watch out on our zoom call on Sunday mum!