Every now and then, we end up in a location that is far from perfect when taking a phone call or a virtual meeting. From the car, the airport, or from Starbuck’s. Sometimes it’s unavoidable.
Other times our location is the result of poor planning, trying to multitask (taking a meeting when you know you’ll be in the car), a previous engagement, or the result of already having a good relationship with the other party. There is no real right or wrong approach here if you don’t make those you meet with feel devalued.
If you’re in an unusual location, an apology right at the beginning of the virtual meeting will usually suffice. “I’m sorry about having to take this meeting outside of my doctor’s office as I didn’t want to reschedule our meeting. Do you mind if I take our meeting from here?”
Every situation is different so consider the scenario and the potential consequences. Yes, many of us have regular obligations that might include taking a child to school and if this is the case, simply be open about it at the beginning of the meeting and check to see if the timing and circumstance isn’t an issue with the other party.
It often comes down to how we own our calendars and prioritize our meetings.
If you were scheduled to meet online with a top prospect, would you take the virtual meeting on Zoom from the produce section of the supermarket?
While walking your dog?
What is the impression you want to leave?
If we’re helping them solve a key problem, I find they don’t really care if I’m testing the avocados in the produce section! : ) The key is — does it feel like I’m providing them my best attention and guidance for the situation at hand?