B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 2 years ago

90: Building Relationships in a Virtual World w/ Deirdre McGinn


During the lockdown, it has been a challenge for most of us to build relationships with employees, clients, suppliers, and teams in our new virtual world.

That’s because most of us have yet to grasp that virtual presence is important — and trainable.

Recently on B2B Revenue Acceleration, we interviewed Dieirdre McGinn, Executive Coach and Founder at StepUpStepIn, about building relationships in a virtual world.

We talked about the 2 foundations of virtual presence, Deirdre’s virtual presence framework (See, Hear, & Feel), and how to deepen virtual relationships with trust.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executive stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's give him the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My name is Ohnim with you and I'm here today with day dream again, executive cush and founder at step up, step in. How are you today? Day Drenk, Good Morning Ray. Thank you. I'm great today. Actually, I'm in Dublin. It's a beautiful morning. It's very autumnal outside my window right now, so I'm looking at some beautiful colors on the tree. So happy, so good to day. The first question for you is I've been swimming in the city this morning on a tip. Today, not, not yet today, the tides are not working, but yesterday morning I was in the sea quite early and it was just beautiful, gorgeous. Very very brave of you, very braveful. So I'll discussion today is quite to be collectually and it's about building relationship in a virtual world. I'm very, very, very, very keen to have young today because I have found it myself relatively difficult to build relationship with employees, with clients, with sup players during the lockdown and I think we all getting a little bit better at it. But before we step into the conversation day, Drek, would you like to give us a bit more information as to know you are, where you come from, but also tell us a little bit more about step up step in your company? Sure. So, for the last twenty five years my career has been in the technology industry. So I've worked in sales roles and sales leadership roles in in arcle IBM and the most recent was with Linkedin. I was with Linkedin and four, four and a half years, okay, so very much a tech background and a sales background. About a year ago, Ray, I found myself. I probably did a bit burnt out, if I'm honest. I was just exhausted and tired. I was doing a an executive coaching course here in Dublin and as part of that you go through your own personal coaching journey and it as was, I realized that I wasn't as excited about working in the organization as I as I had once been.

So I left and I took a year off and I studied. I did two diplomas. I went swimming in the sea every day, I did lovely things. I traveled all over the world and then last year, are as this year, actually in February this year, I decided that I wasn't ready to go back into big corporates. So I started my own organization, which is step up step in which initially I was around. I'm a big I'm a huge advocate for women, especially women in sales organizations, just to help them yes up into bigger jobs, and a lot of the coaching that I had done over the years was a lot of it was around helping women see that they could help them, I supposed developed their confidence so that they could see that they had an opportunity to do something bigger within the organization. So that's what makes my heart saying if I can help a woman, and a woman specifically, do something amazing in her career, then that just makes me happy. Besides that, I do a lot of work with organizations around executive presence and virtual presence. So through one on one coaching, but also through working with sales teams, I help them understand why the virtual persons important and what are the elements of that that they need to really focus on. To help them present themselves and be heard and seeing on calls with clients and help build those relationships. Yeah, now, that makes perfect sense. So somethings for that. Yeah, as I was saying my introduction, I felt it myself. I feel it on the day to day basis, as I'm a usual advocate of face to face engagement. I don't know why, I always loved it. You know, some call me old school and lots of make California and clients I tually find a little bit bizarre when I could them and say hey, I will be in California, I'd love to have a coffee with you. Just a WHA, we can do a zoom. Even prepending it. I always value the lot the importance of meeting in person, looking at people in the eyes, and I think it is really important to build relationship but also to build trust. I needed to build trust, but in this new world and that we are just to it, there is no way around getting in front of people. You know, it's very difficulty. would be dangerous. You would been considerate and of cost. Real this theffing that that something at we can do. From your perspective, what is the importance...

...of building a virtual presence and how can people make sure that they continue building strong relationship, even if it's the actual so, like you, relationships, you know, I believe relationships are everything, especially in any organization. So what I've observed ray over the last six months, initially when we went into lock down, globally, a lot of organizations will really focus just on getting their teams set up at home. So, yeah, with the technology work, making sure that they were looking after their team's mental health, making sure that everybody was comfortable in the environment that they had found themselves in, and it's been really difficult. So what I'm seeing now is that organizations are starting to look and see that, okay, so we've done all that, this is here to stay. It's not going anywhere and we're going to be in this situation, I would say, for at least another twelve months. So now we need to focus on our teams and make sure that we're giving them their tools and techniques to start building those relationships and to build that trust, and I suppose that's a lot of the work that I do. So the virtual presence is about it's about inspiring confidence. That's how I describe it. So if I'm presenting myself in this small little box that we all find ourselves in. Yeah, in the best possible way, and it's inspiring confidence and building confidence in you as my client. That starts to build a relationship, it starts to build a trust and then you go deeper into what does that look like? So what do people see? Because you know, the minute you've seen me this morning, you created an impression of me, because we build judgments of people, yeah, in the first nanoseconds of meeting them. So there's an opportunity there, especially in the first engagement with a client, is to make sure that we're creating that first impression and the judgment that they're making is the judgment that you want them to make. So for me there's two things. I think in terms of virtual presence, there is intensions. What's my intention coming on this call this morning with you? How do I want to help you? How do I want to make you see you? And we forget about this because we think about ourselves when we're going on calls for clients. We think about what do I want to get out of it? Yeah, my intention is how do I want you to feel on this...

...call? How do I want you to perceive me on this call. And then the second bit is being present. I don't know, I see it all the time and I appreciate that. We're all zoom fatigue now at the stage and you could spend eight hours on zoom every day. So it's really easy to get distracted. And you know, I've got this beautiful view at my window, so it's very easy for me to just glance at there or my phone. I never have my phone on my desk when I want to call because it's just too easy. Yeah, and I'm not present and the minute my eyes go down, especially in this world, because we're seeing more in this environment than we're ever seen in an office or in a meeting room because it's so intense. Yeah, so if my eyes drift down to my phone, you know already that I'm gone. Like I'm not present on the call. So having sort of an intention in your mind and being present for me at the foundations of creating a good virtual presence now absolutely now compacting on the some that and I think it's kind of commen sense in a way, because you're right, you know, you may be in yourn living room, you may be in your own office. I think it's a main set as well. If you present well, I always been a big bivow that if you present well, you act well, and we always say to our team when they come in, when they used to come in the office. So we need to present well. We want we want people to our shots. We want people to look smart. We don't want people to come and, you know, wearing trainnails and chuggings and, you know, go on the office with hoodies and cap and flip flops and stuff like that. You know, it's with not between the right mindset technically, but also we've got clients coming all the time in the office and we want to show them that you are bullished, we all slick. You know that, all the sort of things. So that that makes topics as in, and of course we should take you to the the actual war, but it's come in sense, I agree. But what I've seen, Ray, is in the first six months a lot of things became acceptable. So yes, actually pants, the hoodies, the Jessy made doug children running in and I appreciate that all of that. Not all of us have offices, you know, we're all living at home in the one house, so it can be quite difficult, but I think as we move forward some of that's not just going to be acceptable anymore.

So we can't look like we just rolled out yet we can't look on shaven hair all over the place, you know, sitting there in a Hoodie in front of a client. For me, yes, it's not inappropriate way of presenting yourself now. Absolutely, I agree. So you developed a virtual presence framework. See here and feel. Can you please took us through the free stages of this from work? Sure so, the first agency and that's the appearance that you see on the screen. So it's how you groomed yourself, it's your background, it's the lighting. So we forget about the space around ourselves and lighting. The lighting is hugely important because if you've got lovely natural life spancing off your face, that creates energy in your fix. So you look more interested, you look more alive, you look more engaged when you're having conversation. If you've got like behind you, it can darken your face, if there's any sort of shading or darkness over your face, you can look a bit shady and you know into that's what the goods right now. My good the only yeah, so it's the most appropriate place for you is to be facing into the window. Yeah, you face into the window, you'll see a different light bounds off yourself there, you God. Yeah. So, and if you don't have that beautiful natural light that you have, then having some sort of a lamp, especially going into winter now, you need to have some really good lightings so people can see your face, because we don't have very much to work with. We've got our head, we've got our shoulders, we've got our hands, so all of that piece we need to present in the best possible way. It's our body posture, you know. Do we look relaxed? Are we slumped looking into the screen, or are we sitting up in a confident manner? Or shoulders showing that were relaxed? And there's all sorts of tips and techniques that you can use to demonstrate confidence in your body. So the second part is here, which is our communication. So it's how we communicate in this environment and I've been very lucky over the years to manage lots of virtual teams, so I've had lots of practice building relationships and communicating in this environment, which is fantastic.

So it's quite natural for me to use my voice and the human voice. There's all sorts of interesting things we can do with the human voice. So our pitch is really important. If we're pitching too high, it can come across as nervous. If we're to know, we could bore the pants off somebody. You know, our tone, so we can bring emotion into our voice. And again, all of this we don't have a lot to work with. So when we're communicating, so our voice becomes really important and building energy and expression into your voice and using your body to do that. So that's why it's so important to sit up when you're talking, because it opens your dire fragm and allows you to breathe right into your belly, which allows you to project your voice in a much better way. So communication is about how do we use our eye contact, how do we use voice, how do we use facial expressions and our body to communicate and energy and our message, and then feels about that emotional connection piece. It's about building those relationships and it's not about how you feel, it's about how you make other people feel. And so how do you build those relationships? How do you and for me, as I said, it's about intention, it's about presence and trust. It's all about trust and it's about really understand the dimensions of trust and what are the sort of the five different dimensions of trust and how do you work through those in a relationship, because the more trust you have, more influence you have and within a sales organization influences everything. Right, so absolutely a lot of time on that trust piece. Yeah, now, that makes perfect sense. Again, it's interesting because the way you phrame is so stress common sense. But again, I don't make we all think about it all the time, you know, and in fact I'm thinking about it because I moved. I used to have my yourmo FIS in. I just moved outs. In my previous House, my Om fist was literally in front of the window and I would love to have a little bit of certain in in the morning, you know, thirty ten o'clock at that sudden comes through and I always had lights. And now I moved to my new house where by your face is in front of the wall and the window. It's a little bit on the side of and I was I'm always trying to kind of move closer to the scream so I can use them the light of the scream.

Yeah, and I'M gonna change that. You say, so I'm going to. I'm going to make action from our conversation today, just from the lighting, because I agree with you so much. Important to have the right lighting. It's important for people to see you, because you can't feel the emotion that you would have in person. And I also hundred person agree with you. I think it's something sad to say, but as human being, within the first few seconds of seeing someone we make an opinion of that someone. That opinion can be changed, but you would take much more time to change, you know, an opinion rather than creating a good one, a good impression to start with. So, yeah, absolute common sense. Can I suggest you by yourself a ring life? So there're about twenty bucks, not expense what I was thinking. I was thinking about this. You know, I don't call them ring later. I think what you're speaking about that it's like instagram light, when you see people doing like a yeah, they've got a little light in the eyes. I'M gonna get one for the stuff of them. I'm gonna get one for everyone. I'm going to buy your bulk bring like. I think. I think, I think that makes sense. We should have that and you know, I have had some group session with the team recently because, again, we want to try new things and I can't walk in the office anymore. I can't take a plan to go to Dallas California anymore to meet the people at work for us. So we are doing it online now and I find it very, very, very difficult, even you know, I'm gonna wait that a little bit, but even to it'll be true, when I do a session and people don't put that camera on because I don't think and then you mentioned something. Is Not about how you feel, this about how you make the other people feel and I just feel bad that people don't want to help me in that session. You know, if you do a training session with someone, we cannot want to eld the gays weeks with training. If you were got on training, you know how difficult it is your training and to keep people on Gage. And I find it's a borderline rod really when people don't thund that camera, because I cannot need that energy to get my energy up Indus training session. So a way around that rays just to you know, set the parameters before you even go on the calls. Just say I have tried that. I'm gonna do it again. I'm gonna do it again and again and again. Yeah, now, okay, so give people plenty of advance because you don't know what's...

...going on and people's homes right it could be like yourself today having the cleaner hoovering behind you. So you know, there might be a reason, but I would, I would if you're going and you and you're making the effort to bring that energy to that training and you're dead rights. It's about respect, but make sure that you give people plenty of warning and advance. That camera is a necessity. Okay, yeah, make sense. Let's quish that. I've got for you is, could you suggest how we can connect emotionally with our clients to enns engagement and different relationship? Virtually sure. So, as I mentioned earlier, there's five dimpensions to building trust for me, and their credibility, reliability, respect, vulnerable and empathy. So they're the five. The first credibility is you know, you know your stuff. You're in the job because you've got there for a reason. You either have the qualifications or the experience to do your job, and that's the starting point of creating trust. Is I know what I'm doing you can you can trust me that I will deliver a service to you. The second is reliability, and I think this is hugely important and we don't we underestimate the power of reliability and this is the one thing that can really a road trust. And it's the say do gap. That's what I call it, and it's you say you're going to do something and then you don't do it because like gets in the way. So, and it might be the smallest little thing, like I'll send you that report that I spoke about and I'll send it to you by this evening, and then you come off this zoon call, you go straight onto the next one. You forgot to take a note of it and it's lost. So then, yesterm are the client comes chasing you to have that report and that's not good. So I would say don't say it if you're not going to do it. I would say, what's that expression? Under deliver and although promise, beliey promise and under deliver in terms of I've got the leadership position, which is the team about exactly that today. Brilliant. But yeah, I think it's messy if, you know, not meeting expectations or promoting something to someone. I think to be chased by your client is my Watt Mat now worst nightmare. I would absolutely do with it. It's...

...heard. For me is respect, so that's, you know, respect to me is trying to up on time, presenting yourself in the right way, making sure that your tune into the needs of the individual. You've got your present and your intentional on the call. Then we've got vulnerability, and that, for me, is just it's about authenticity. It's about, if I'm not being real with you today, Ray your feet through me in a nanosecond. Right. So it's about not putting on a persona to get something off somebody. It's about showing up for you, because I think you're in that job for a reason. Your personality will take you to the place that you need to go with Ye, and so I think authenticity is usually important. And then the last and the most important empathy. And I think for salespeople, when we're talking to clients and we hear a client talk about a problem, will jump in straight because we love problems, because we're problem solvers. If I'm talking to you and I hear something about okay, I'm just going to get in there now, because I know exactly how I'm going to solve raise problem and we miss the nuance of the conversation because we're not listening. So for me empathy is about listening and it's about not jumping in, not trying to solve problems, but it's really listening to what's going on and it's about understanding the impact on the individual. So if your client is coming and, like you said earlier, you know you're performing at eighty percent but they're not happy that you're not at a hundred percent, there's something behind that and it's not about a hundred percent, because they recognize that nobody will ever get to a hundred percent. But there's something going on behind it for them and if you're listening, you'll find out what that impact is on the individual and on their organization. And I think if you can figure that out, then you start to create empathy with that person and you sit on the other side of the table with them, not opposite to them, and that's what you want to do. You Watch the same side of the table as the client. So I think for me a relationships is that trust bit and empathy. Empathy and reliability probably the most two most important element of building trust and once you have trust, you have that relationship and you'll be able to influence. Yeah, so nicely put Dadaab that music to my hears. You know,...

...again, very common sense way to put it together and very illow quents and in the delivery. So now I think, I think that that's that's wonderful. Really appreciate that. Look becoming to the NFL session today, which is a little bit unfortunate because I think, you know, it's we could have probably gone on far it a longer. Very excited about the conversation, Whiley so far, but if any of our audience would let to engage Reasu or engage with step up step in post through the conversation, what is the best way to get old of you? So linkedin is the best way to contact me. So it's deered on again and cut a name. Step up step in, as you said, if you could direct messagely on Linkedin, that would be perfect. I'm still in the process of building a website, so not quite there yet and my email address is dear draft as step up Stependu ie on the F one. Many things once again, lots of great and say to them it was great to have under show my pleasure. Thank you, Ray. You've been listening to BEDB revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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