Video conferencing has opened numerous opportunities for businesses. The New York Times reports that increasing numbers of service professionals like therapists and attorneys are beginning to rely on video conferencing to connect them to current and potential clients, allowing them to provide greater customer service and better meet their clients’ needs. For insurance professionals, the benefits are similar. If you’re already in the practice or considering opening one, here are some things you’ll want to know.

Greater Range and Flexibility

Unless you live in a highly populated city, you probably need to make connections outside your immediate sphere of influence. PBS reports that an estimated 38 million people are in need of better or more tailored insurance, but these individuals are scattered across the nation. You still have to find them. Even within a single state, particularly some of the western and Midwestern states, there can be hundreds of miles between you and prospective clients. Through services like Blue Jeans, you can actually connect to your clients and answer all of their questions without having to drive out to see them. If you have a website, they may even come to you.

Even if you can find enough work in your city of residence, you may still find that it’s beneficial to use video conferencing as it can save you commute times. In places such as Virginia Beach and D.C., traffic can make a trip of even a few miles take more than an hour. Because of the greater flexibility, you can schedule more meetings in with individuals, including repeat sessions if that is required. And your time will be spent more productively than it would have been on the road.

Face to Face Contact 

Whenever possible, it’s best to see your clients in person. It’s a more effective way to build rapport. “Five Things You Must Do in Every Sales Conversation” reports that friendly body language and the ability to respond to your customer’s immediate concerns will help you tailor your sales pitch, meet their concerns, and even pick up on additional issues. But seeing your clients in person does not mean that you have to actually be physically in the room with them. You can use video conferencing to connect with them and receive all the same benefits as a regular session.

When you’re talking with your clients, make sure that you follow all the same etiquette that you would in a normal sales conversation. A little congenial chit chat, for instance, or perhaps a compliment regarding the client’s home or office can help to break the ice. Just because you’re meeting over the Internet doesn’t mean you need to skip the niceties.

Bear these tips in mind for maximizing your time and preparing for the session.

  • Have a good Internet connection.
  • Consider setting up an agenda to keep yourself on track.
  • Make sure that the viewable meeting area is organized.
  • Check for harsh lighting that may make it hard to see you.
  • Have all your paperwork at hand. If you aren’t sure whether you’ll need it, just set it aside in an easy to access place.
  • Turn off all music, and make sure that the room is fairly quiet.
  • Test your microphone, headset, and camera to make sure everything is in working order before starting a session.

 Greater Trust

People are more inclined to distrust individuals when they’re communicating through emails because it’s easier to lie in print than it is in person. People tend to feel confident in their abilities to assess whether someone is lying if they can see that person’s face. Through video conferencing, you have greater opportunities to share how your service can help them while at the same time alleviating their fears.

Remember that classic body language signals still work whether you’re using Skype or a Blue Jean video conference.

  • Keep your posture open.
  • Smile with your eyes.
  • Listen carefully to what your client is saying.
  • Avoid crossing your arms or putting anything between you and the client.
  • Keep your hands away from your mouth.

These key points will help you maintain a friendly and conversational posture and image with your insurance customers. As you’re having the conversation with your customer, make sure you pay attention to questions that they have as well as their body language. Insurance matters can often be confusing. Use the enhanced opportunity for communication to answer those questions and resolve potential quandaries before they become an issue.

Video conferencing through companies like Blue Jeans offers many benefits for insurance professionals. Through these services, you can reach a greater number of potential clients and have greater flexibility for your meeting times. The face to face contact that video conferencing allows can create greater rapport and stronger connections with your customers, both current and potential. And more importantly, you will be able to establish a stronger trust with them.