ÖOne of the more difficult adjustments over the past year has been the way wealth managers communicate with clients and prospects. In 2020, wealth managers had to adapt to a world where social gatherings were limited. Face-to-face meetings were not an option. Once a technological curiosity, zoom has become an indispensable means of communication.
This year, many customers will prefer to stay online. The most successful money managers have recognized this and are using Zoom for video conferencing. Some of these companies even get it right. Many are not. In this article, we’re going to point out the most common mistakes Asset Managers make when calling Zoom and how to avoid them.
Adapting your appearance to the target group
For this exercise, open Zoom on your computer and click New Meeting. You will be rewarded with a picture of yourself in front of the camera that has the same background and lighting that your audience will see when you hold a real Zoom meeting. First, let’s review this picture and go through ways to improve it.
- Head and upper body position: If you have a professional headshot on your website, you may notice the emphasis on the head and torso. This is done for the purpose of scaling. Your image on the screen should be similar. Aim the camera and zoom in, if your camera allows, so that your head and shoulders take up a good portion of the picture.
- Camera angle: Nobody wants to look in the nose or on the head. Position the camera so that you are looking directly at it, not from an upward or downward angle. This will be more flattering to you and will give your audience the impression that you are looking them in the eye as they speak. This helps build trust and confidence.
- Portrait versus landscape: It doesn’t matter if you’re using a laptop or desktop for your Zoom meeting. However, mobile devices can be positioned in portrait or landscape format. Most money managers prefer the landscape as it has more of a background image. If you are using a mobile phone, place the phone on a tripod so that it remains stable and use a landscape view.
Customize the camera, sound, lighting, and background
There’s nothing like natural light and a neat, professional background. If you have that in your office, stick with it. Take another look at the image on your screen and see if it meets the criteria. If not, you’ll have to rely on extra lighting and possibly a virtual background. Troubleshoot this category in the following order:
- Camera: The best lighting and the sharpest background will not improve anything if you have a poor quality camera. Built-in laptop cameras are notoriously bad, so it’s best not to rely on any of them. You can find a list of decent alternatives in Wired Magazine Top five webcams Our personal favorite is the Logitech Brio 4K.
- Sound: Similar to the cameras, the microphones on laptops and phones aren’t exactly top-notch either. Those on a Mac are decent, but not for professional presentations. If you’re presenting to a large audience or planning to record your Zoom session, invest in a decent microphone.
- Lighting: Lume Cubes have consistently been rated as one of the top zoom call lighting options, but they’re not the only choice. If you are using a desk lamp, buy LED lamps and point the desk lamp at the wall in front of you. The light is reflected from the wall and creates a natural light simulation. You can also try a flesh-colored ring light.
- Background: Virtual backgrounds are peculiar and their resolution often breaks down when movements of any kind occur. If you have to, stay away from bridge and ocean scenes. You’re stealing attention and customers know you’re not really there. It is best to decorate the wall behind you with a bookshelf or a high-quality work of art.
Recall the purpose of the zoom
When you’re not using Zoom’s video capabilities, you’re just making one glorified call. Customers and prospects cannot see you. And you won’t be able to see them, which is limiting the way you can read their body language. Asset managers need to be seen and heard clearly. Set up the right combination of audio and video to achieve this.
Return to the zoomed image on your screen. You will notice a name in the lower left corner of the picture. Is it your full name Most people these days don’t just use their Zoom account for business calls, so there might be a nickname or group name there. Make sure you change this before making a customer or prospect call. You want to display your full name.
It’s also a good idea to upload a headshot or company logo. This is especially important for group calls as it will show up in the Participants and Chat boxes for everyone to see. Take the guesswork out of other callers to make it easier for them to communicate with you. The picture also makes your presentation more professional.
Go beyond the call
Note that all Zoom calls can be recorded. This is valuable for your company for archival purposes to train new team members and to remember what was said. Uploading this call to transcription software such as Trint You will receive a written transcript of the call that can be used to highlight certain important points. You will also receive written documentation of the call.
Now that you’ve verified all of this, it is time to spend some time familiarizing yourself with how to use Zoom. Asset managers sometimes neglect this step and get stuck on a video call to find mute, screen sharing, and chat capabilities. The software isn’t difficult to use, but can be challenging if not familiar. Do some self-training, adjust the lights, images, and sound, and you’ll be fine.
Dan Sondhelm is CEO of Sondhelm Partners, a company that helps wealth managers, mutual funds, ETFs, asset managers and fintech companies grow marketing, public relation and Sales programs. Click here to read Dan’s latest version Insight article and plan a free advice.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.