As a growing company, we have more vendors coming at us now than ever. They know we are expanding, they know we have funding, and they know we need resources. Now, I might sound totally biased when I tell you this; but I simply could not imagine vetting a vendor or maintaining a vendor partnership without the use of video. In a short amount of time, I need to identify the right product or skilled individual who can perform and deliver while minimizing business disruption. This person, or company, also needs to be aware of our brand guidelines and what makes Blue Jeans, well, Blue Jeans! We are an enterprise grade collaboration solution, with a big personality. Here are three places video is crucial for identifying value and maintaining vendor partnerships:
- Vetting and Purchasing - I need to find someone to solve a problem for me. This could either be outsourcing something I don’t have time for, or simply don’t have the skills for. When a vendor comes to me, I always insist we meet over video. How many boring sales demos have you sat on audio-only for? Just like you, I have probably muted, zoned out, or multi-tasked during these demos. From a buyer's perspective, I want to see my sales rep, and garner trust. From a sales perspective, wouldn’t you want to see if I was nodding off? Or maybe my eyes bulge out my head when you mention your pricing. It should be important to you, Mr./Ms. Sales, to see my non-verbal reactions. So, here we are on our call; I listen to your pitch, watch your demo and a catchy, HD-quality, marketing video you have shared over Blue Jeans. You send me a few case studies in the Blue Jeans chat and now I’m intrigued. Sure, you’re a little pricey, but I like you, and I can really see the value in the product and passion behind your pitch. We meet, we lock eyes, and I decide if I want to commit. The virtual handshake happens here, on video.
- Launching - Okay, I’ve committed to the contract. Now we need to kick this project off, and quick. Why don’t we meet over video? I guarantee we will get more done in less time, and nothing will be lost or misunderstood over an email string. I also need to send you booth graphic mockups. You laugh because my Crayola on construction paper is a sad attempt at design. You click the bright blue, “Share Screen,” button and delight me with your skills. You can see the relief on my face and the stress subside. I see a colorful, 20’x20’ booth design that is ready to go to show floor and be seen by 40,000 InfoComm attendees. You have exceeded my expectations and I’m ready for another project! We schedule a video meeting for next week via the Google Calendar integration and we’re off. This thing is looking good.
- Strategizing - Now, we have done a couple quick, life-saving, projects. You are more than a vendor to me, this is a partnership. We have met a few times over video which has allowed me to see your office space, and I even met your cat when you worked from home last week. “Let’s grow this thing together,” I say. I ask for help strategizing on the Blue Jeans brand. I bring in our VP of Marketing over mobile, I join from my laptop, and your agency logs in from your Polycom room system (you had no idea what that thing ever did!). Magic, we are all connected.
Let’s face it, the best brainstorming sessions come in the form of over caffeinated, face-to-face, meetings, whether we are 30, or 3,000 miles apart. There is no need to take what would be a 30 minute brainstorm and turn it into a three hour commute down Highway 101, or a six hour flight across the country. Save time, save money, meet me over video.