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The Biggest Advantage of Virtual Meetings

5 January 2021

Historically speaking, receiving financial advice has mostly been delivered as a face-to-face experience. You attend a meeting, enjoy a coffee or tea, discuss issues, ask questions and formulate plans in the company of your adviser.

While breaking bread together is a valued sentiment, many people feel that they just don’t have the time anymore.

The truth is, given our increasingly digitally connected society, many client relationships, which may have started with meetings in person, have now migrated to contact through video meetings, telephone and internet-based services. This can be due to physical relocation, a reluctance to battle traffic or, most recently, a social distancing mandate.

Reasons aside, the upshot is that we have more communication channels available to us. Between phone calls, social media and email, you’re bound to find a flavour of communication that best suits your needs. However, we see the technology that best emulates a real-life meeting is the video call.

Digital collaboration environments and virtual meeting platforms, such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or Skype, have been on the rise for some years now. Recently we have seen rapid public endorsement for such technologies, and we are still coming to terms with how best to use these tools to get the most out of them without overplaying our hand.

Possibly the biggest advantage when it comes to virtual meetings is the ability to easily record the meeting. (You should, of course, ensure that you have consent from all of the attendees before hitting record.) This allows us to review what was said and even refresh our memories before the next meeting.

It is also a good idea to jot down time codes for any points of interest during the meeting. These points may be details that you need to consider before your next meeting or subjects that you feel you may want to investigate further at a later time. In any case, they make it easier than rewatching the entire video clip.

The benefit of recording the meeting also allows us to share the meeting with our partner or family members who weren’t able to make the meeting – especially when it comes to estate planning or decisions that involve multigenerational financial planning.

Luckily, we can take a hybrid approach to communication. A telephone call to touch base, emailing documents, social media posts, WhatsApp reminders and follow up questions, Zoom calls, snail mail, the list goes on and on. Although nothing comes close to the in-person meeting, having separate interaction functions on different platforms allows us to streamline our communications, stay in touch and explore new ways to experience value.

Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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