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The right body language for Skype, FaceTime and video conferences

August 4, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Cam Weprin / The Fiscal Times

Most advisors would prefer to meet face-to-face with clients. Sometimes, that isn't an option. And that's OK. Video conferencing apps such as Skype and FaceTime have become so prevalent and reliable that they have become go-to tools when it's not possible for the financial advisor and client to be in the same room. "It's extremely easy, whether it's Skype, or for Apple people, FaceTime," said Sal Cocivera, a certified financial planner at Copper Beech in New Jersey. "We've found that the older clients embrace it more. They're used to it more, because they're always checking in with their kids and their grandkids."

Eighty one percent of adults with household income over $75,000 have a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center. With that number expected to grow in coming years, video conferencing will become even more commonplace.

Cocivera told us that he and his partners have used it with clients based in different cities or to eliminate long drives for quicker business meetings. He has found the most success using video conferencing with longstanding clients because a strong relationship has been established over the years. With newer clients, it may be difficult to read body language, pick up on nonverbal cues or see if the client is truly following the discussion.

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