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Online Meetings: How to Get People to Show Up and Be On Time

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Last Updated on September 10, 2020

Have you ever logged into an online meeting and then sat there and waited… and waited… and before you know it, you’ve been checking emails, snacking, and scrolling your social media feed aimlessly for the past 21 minutes!?

So, the other person is obviously not coming… or are they? 

The thing is, tardiness and no-shows happen 20% more often with online meetings versus face-to-face, and this really begins to pose a problem as so many of us become more reliant on digital communication methods to run our businesses. 

Why Are Online Meetings Different?

They aren’t. But basically, online meetings require very little time investment or travel from the organizers or attendees… another meeting is always easily rescheduled. As a result, there’s little to no reciprocity between parties, which is usually the key motivator required to get anyone to show up… to anything.

As a general rule, people feel more exposed in a face-to-face setting, so they’re more likely to prioritize getting to an in-person meeting versus an online meeting. There’s really not much you can do about this, but there are a few things you can do to get people to show up more often to your online meetings, and arrive on time.

Your Clients Will Follow Your Lead

If you want people to take your online meetings as seriously as they would a face to face interaction, just lead by example:

  1. Set the Scene: Treat this like any in-person meeting by having an agenda and explaining what will be covered in the meeting ahead of time. Having this structure will indicate the importance of the meeting to your attendees. 
  2. Assign Responsibility: Make a request of the attendees to think about something, or complete a task that they can report back to you about during the meeting. This engages them as active participants rather than spectators, making it more likely they will attend.
  3. Personally Confirm Meetings Beforehand: Send your attendees a quick note the day before your meeting (confirm Monday meetings on Fridays) letting them know you’re looking forward to connecting on the day and time.
  4. Always Log On Early: 10 to 15 minutes before the meeting is to start, be sure you are logged in. At this time, send your attendees a quick note making sure they have the meeting info easily accessible. This is usually the MOST helpful reminder because it gives anyone who is technically challenged an easy way to log in, plus it usually prompts those who have forgotten about the meeting all together!

Reciprocity Drives Client Engagement

At the core of it all, you can take all these steps, but reciprocity is what ultimately gets people to show up for your meetings. I know you’ve heard me talk about this before but it’s incredible how many applications it has. People take time out of their day when they believe they’ll get something of value from that meeting with you. If they see whatever else they’re doing as being more important than your meeting, it’s likely they won’t show.

To combat this, one of the best ways to ensure your audience shows up is to build your credibility and value over time through consistent connection. As a real estate agent, you probably have an arsenal of things that keep you “top of mind” with your sphere, but do any of those tools focus on the things that your audience finds valuable? 

Here’s a tip – don’t assume you know what your audience finds valuable, use something that’s already proven to drive engagement, bond relationships and generate reciprocity. If you’re not using the Service For Life!® system in your real estate practice, I highly recommend you check it out, and experience all the ways reciprocity can improve your business too!

Alex Camelio
Throughout his career, Alex has personally guided over 15,000 Agents and Brokers, including some of North America's top REALTORS®. With a deep passion for marketing, technology, and business development, Alex has spent more than a decade at the forefront of innovation in the real estate industry. As the CEO of Agent Inner Circle®, a thriving community of 40,000 real estate agents, Alex is dedicated to providing education and actionable strategies that help agents grow and optimize their businesses. His efforts have played a pivotal role in building some of the most successful careers in real estate today. An internationally recognized educator, Alex has delivered insightful and dynamic presentations to numerous National Associations and industry organizations. His enthusiasm for sharing knowledge and expertise continues to inspire and elevate professionals across the industry. Alex is always eager to help others achieve their full potential and is excited to share his insights with everyone.

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