I am a true global business citizen. I’m English but I have created a company in Singapore and another in Hong Kong. My clients are from right across Asia Pacific and Europe.
I travel as much as possible to meet potential clients around Asia Pacific. I really enjoy meeting entrepreneurs and CEO’s both in Singapore and in other Asia Pacific cities, from Shanghai to Hong Kong, Sydney to Beijing, Phnom Penh to KL, Jakarta to Bangkok.
Sometimes it’s not possible to meet people, so Skype saves the day. I couldn’t maximise all the business possible if it wasn’t for Skype. Here are five reasons to use Skype to engage with potential partners and clients.
1) I find that professionals are generally very receptive to Skype. Some prefer Google Hangouts and some Zoom, but Skype tends to work across the board and across the countries of the world. The only potential country with a problem is China but then that’s the case for all Internet activities! That's not Skype, that's just their Internet.
2) There is no difference between large and small companies when it comes to Skype, senior executives find it very easy to use and some have the Skype for Business service which as an SME I don't have or in fact need. Skype is just as easy on mobile or laptop or tablet; it’s hard to say that you can’t do a Skype meeting when everything connects you with the platform.
3) I find all countries and cultures accepting of Skype. Everyone would rather meet you in person, as would I, but it’s not always possible. Therefore it's better to connect and meet on Skype than not to meet at all. Having a human face and voice makes relationship building in a professional context so much easier.
4) I don’t think it makes a difference at what stage you use Skype in a business relationship. Clearly it’s better to use Skype after you have met someone first in real life, as it’s always better to do anything with someone after you have met them physically first. However, first meetings also work on Skype. You can always arrange a follow-up call or meeting to enhance the relationship afterwards. It's all part of the building blocks to a positive professional relationship.
5) I also find the sharing screen functionality to be perfect for training, workshops, and demonstrating what people should be doing on social media that they are not and what is best practice. It’s like I was there showing them my screen. Coupled with my voice it enables me to present as if I am in the room.
Ultimately Skype is just another way of meeting someone, accentuating a business relationship and doing deals or forming partnerships or just sharing professional experiences. It’s universal and it allows you to do everything you can while in a meeting. Bottom line is it’s always better to communicate than not, and Skype enables you to do just that.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Chris Reed has 25 years of senior marketing experience on both the client and agency side in the UK and now in Asia Pacific. He is the CEO and founder of Black Marketing.