On Monday, August 10, 2020, on CNBC, Mohamed El-Eriean, Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz, a world leader in financial services, warns businesses that there is no magic bullet for doing business in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new normal is here now.
El-Eriean cites the current flu vaccine, approximately 50% effective in preventing influenza and anti-vaccine sentiment among 45% of Americans for his advice to business, adapt to doing business in the age of COVID.
In other words, COVID-19 will be with us for longer than we would hope, and things won’t get back to “normal” very soon. The new normal is learning how to conduct business as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, using the phone, emails, and other online tools was the ONLY way to communicate and sell. But as the virus continues to spread, it continues to force changes in our selling routines. Using technology in our selling efforts is becoming the best and most effective way to communicate and sell.
But given the current status of the coronavirus spread, it is time to recognize that doing business using virtual and online tools is going to be the new normal.
After participating in many online meetings over the past few months, it is apparent that many salespeople were unprepared for working from home as virtual salespeople. Specifically, they don’t have a good Internet connection.
Many home Internet connections have sufficient speeds for downloading content. But in some cases, the upload speeds may not be adequate for video conferencing and video demonstrations. When your upload speeds are slow, your video and audio will be choppy and break up on the receiver’s end.
You measure Internet speed in megabits per second (Mbps). Don’t confuse megabits per second (Mbps) with megabytes per second (MBps). Megabits are a unit of measure to describe the speed, and megabytes is a unit of measure to define file sizes.
Different internet providers may have different standards for upload versus download speeds. Download speeds tend to be higher, so that’s what you’ll see advertised. Research both download and upload speeds to ensure your connection will work for your business needs.
Sometimes your provider might quote their speed in kilobits per second (Kbps). It takes one thousand kilobits to make on megabit, so double-check. To convert kilobits to megabits, multiply the kilobits by 1,000 to get the megabit equivalent.
You can check the speed of your current Internet connection using speed checking websites. Just Google speed test and the Google speed test will come up. Another popular site is www.speedtest.net. You can also run the same tests on your mobile device. Just pull up your browser and use the same test sites.
There’s no such thing as one perfect internet speed, but in general, the higher your Mbps, the better off you are.
Google recommends a minimum upload speed of 3.2 Mbps for 1-to-1 video calls and 3.4 Mbps for video calls with six or more people.
Zoom recommends a minimum 2.0 Mbps upload speed, and a minimum of 6.0 Mbps download speed for Zoom meetings with multiple screens.
These are the minimum recommendations. You will do best by subscribing to a plan with more speed. Run the speed test and learn what you currently have.
Be aware that other simultaneous users in your household will use up some of the bandwidth you need for business use. If you have a wireless router in your home, you may see some speed loss using your WiFi system.
Make sure you have a good video camera and microphone. Test your equipment before your next video call and make any adjustments to create a professional impression. If you experience echo or feedback, consider using some earbuds for listening and your computer’s built-in microphone for speaking.