Maximizing results while minimizing expenses is a great way to add value to your bottom line, without necessarily needing to increase sales in a tough economy. By using videoconferencing technology to reach individuals and groups of customers who are interested in your products, you can maximize your results on the sales while minimizing costly travel expenses that can end up taking a big piece of your pie at the same time.
Make Your Product the Star
Running a product demonstration through a multi-point videoconference could be one of the best things you could do for your business. Travel expenses such as airfare and lodging, gas and mileage, plus the added expense of per diem and meals can add up rapidly even if it’s just for one person. Calculating the expense based upon the number of demos you need to do in order to reach new customers, or familiarize existing customers with new or updated products, will show you that your bottom line and net profits can be severely eroded. Choosing where to effectively spend those travel dollars becomes much easier when you eliminate the necessity of frequent travel by using cloud-based teleconferencing technology such as Blue Jeans Virtual Meetings in order to reach or expand your existing customer base.
Getting Your Head in the Cloud
Cloud-based technology is revolutionizing the way that small businesses conduct business. By removing or moderating the expense of technology formerly out of reach, small businesses, including single proprietorships or partnerships, can play on the big league field as well. Inc. Magazine estimates that in just six years from now, 80 percent of small businesses will be using cloud-based technology in their everyday business practices. From productivity suites like Microsoft Office to teleconferencing apps, business increasingly works in the cloud, which can save businesses significant money on software, proprietary hardware, and the need for expensive servicing agreements. Cloud-based videoconferencing technology saves on both the travel and expense account front as well as in the technology budget.
Doing Demo Right
Doing your product demonstration the right way will take some preparation. You’ll need to set this up the way that you would any other large meeting. This means that you will need to set a date, define an agenda, and notify people who would like to participate. Make it clear that this will be a product demonstration, accompanied by a question and answer period. Then follow-up with individuals on a one-on-one basis after the meeting is over. Familiarizing yourself with the technology, or having a member of your staff who is will also help you to give a good presentation. You may want to rehearse this several times in order to settle on your method for giving the presentation. Filming yourself using the video function of a tablet, phone, or laptop can give you an idea of just how your presentation will appear to onlookers. You may even wish to give the presentation in video form, as you may wish to look around at the participants and judge how they are reacting and whether or not they are engaged with the presentation.
Make It Convincing
Key factors that promote the acceptance of videoconferencing depends on upper management, according to expert in all things mannerly Emily Post. The technology must be visibly embraced and used frequently by management, and in fact, one key person in management such as a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or Chief Communications Officer (COO) can promote the enthusiastic acceptance of videoconferencing technology. Reporting not only on the potential uses, but the actual accomplishments made possible via videoconferencing, will convince staff members to use the technology, and by use become more familiar and confident in doing so. You may even want to do “test drives” in order to familiarize yourself with the technology and to become more at ease in using it before your event.
The State of Maine’s guide to videoconferencing recommends appointing a meeting chair to control the flow of the meeting, make sure that the agenda is followed, and that etiquette is enforced. By keeping the meeting from being dominated by one person, or a group of people, everyone will have a chance to be heard and their questions answered or concerns addressed. Simple etiquette such as muting microphones when not speaking will eliminate noises from wrestling paper, air-conditioning, whispering and other conversations, and reduce distractions to other attendees. In addition, you may ask that participants also turn off their cell phones for the duration of the demonstration. You should also take attendance and ask each participant to introduce themselves, and to have a visible tag with their name and location. With just a few simple rules, you can make your product demonstration a successful and memorable experience that your customers will continue to value. Just remember to keep common courtesy in mind.