Yesterday, I decribed how billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban closes deals and build stronger business relationships, even when he's force to meet with his colleagues online. Cuban's brilliant idea, however, likely fall flat unless you have your act together when it comes to meeting using Zoom or similar tools.

Since, however things play out in the long run, you'll definitely be doing more online meetings, I thought I'd provide the common sense rules for meeting online:

  1. Upgrade your equipment. Cheap microphones make you sound, well, cheap, while phone and computer cameras usually show you an unnatural angle. Upgrade to a Yeti microphone, a real Webcam, and a selfie ring light. Get tripods for all three.
  2. De-clutter your background. Having a mess visible in the background of your Zoom is like going into a face-to-face meeting with a briefcase full of trash. It makes you look disorganized and slovenly. You needn't go overboard, but think "TV studio."
  3. Dress casually but well. When you were selling face-to-face, you took the extra time to look your best, right? Well, selling on Zoom isn't any different, except that you'd look like an idiot if you wore formal business attire. Do a "casual Friday" look instead.
  4. Test your setup. Your customer's time is valuable, so don't spend any of it futzing around with your computer and audio/video hookup. Make sure everything is working perfectly well before you try to connect with your customer.
  5. Make eye contact. Look directly into the camera to make eye contact. Avoid looking down at people's pictures, because you'll actually be looking away from them. Worse, looking down makes you look a bit shifty.
  6. Smile, for heaven's sake. Bring the best of your personality to the meeting, just like you would would during a face-to-face meeting. Remember, you're building a relationship, not making a movie or a TikTok.
  7. Mute your notifications. When you're meeting face-to-face with a customer, you mute the ringer on your phone, right? Same thing here. The last thing you want is bleeps and dings in the background while you're trying to have a conversation.
  8. Have an agenda. Customers hate it when people waste their time, so much so that they'll end a meeting quickly if they think it's likely to run long. Set your customers' mind at rest by having a time-limited agenda.
  9. Record for re-watch. A video of the meeting lets you re-watch to remember key details needed to take the sale to the next step. You may even notice things you missed before, like the prospect's body language. Be sure to get permission, though.
  10. Get a transcript. This is the one area where a Zoom meeting is vastly superior to a face-to-face meeting. If you're recording a Zoom, you can get your meeting transcribed using Zoom's built-in tool.
  11. Avoid PowerPoint. PowerPoint sales presentations are inherently boring. No customer has ever viewed one remotely without constantly checking email, browsing news, watching videos, etc. So avoid PowerPoint, well... like the plague.

Note: A big thanks to Joanne Black of No More Cold Calling for items 5 and 6, and Showpad Sales VP Dustin Deno for items 7 thru 10.