Nowadays, with the need to practice social distancing, in-person meetings with clients, prospects and co-workers may no longer be an option. As a result, many financial professionals are searching for alternative methods of communication.
One such method is Zoom, which allows users to videoconference with their clients and prospects. With Zoom, anyone who has an account can hold remote meetings.
To sign up, simply visit zoom.us and click the Sign Up, It’s Free button in the upper-right hand corner of the homepage. From there, you can enter your work or personal email address although you can sign in with Google or Facebook.
As part of this process, you have the option of inviting your colleagues and joining a “test meeting.” If you choose the test meeting option or if this is the first time you are opening a video meeting, Zoom will also ask you to download the Zoom Launcher to your computer. This is a desktop application that makes it easier to quickly host meetings from a particular PC.
After these steps, you can begin scheduling videoconferences. Here are a few options: • Send the link to your personal meeting ID (available under My Account) in a meeting invite to your clients. On zoom.us, you can click Host a meeting. Your clients can do the same thing, but they will click Join a meeting instead and enter the personal meeting ID you give them (also available under My Account). • Click into the Schedule a Meeting tab at the top of your Zoom account screen.
Once you’ve filled out all the information for your meeting (title, description, time and date, etc.), click the Save button at the bottom of the screen. Zoom will automatically generate a meeting invitation. This invitation can be copied and pasted into an email or a calendar reminder for your clients.
Zoom is user friendly and offers many valuable features, such as:
• You can host a meeting from any device that has a microphone and a camera—you shouldn’t need any additional hardware.
• It has many avenues of access, including your desktop computer (Windows and Mac OSX) and your smartphone (Android and iOS)
. • Zoom allows you to share your webcams and your computer screens. This means you can display information from PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, and Word documents.
• For clients who may not want to use their own webcams, opting out of this feature is allowed.
• Zoom provides a call-in number, which is useful for those who may want to join a group Zoom meeting but do not have access to a microphone or camera
Zoom is free for one-on-one meetings. Group meetings (of three or more participants) are also free (but only for up to 40 minutes). To learn more about exactly what you can and cannot do with each version, as well as the cost, visit Zoom’s Plans & Pricing page.