Last time out, I discussed the top trends in selling coming out of Covid-19. If you haven’t read that one, you should read it now. But, the #1 trend that I have identified, and that I think will be evergreen (meaning it will outlast Covid-19 and the aftermath) is the increasing use of video in selling.
With everyone working from home, more and more people have gotten comfortable with video conferencing, whether it’s a Zoom call or a different platform. And many of those people have found it to be a time-efficient way to have meetings. Those people may want to continue to use video conferencing when you are selling to them – so you might as well make it good. Here are five ways you can maximize video as a sales tool.
- Ask for the upgrade. I said before that video selling lies between two-dimensional (phone) and three-dimensional (in person) activity. So, when your contact wants to set a phone appointment up (you are making appointments for your phone calls, right?), ask for an upgrade. “I’d be happy to have a call with you at that time – but would you rather have a Zoom call?” Remember, more people are familiar with this technology than ever before. On video you can get more cues to and from your buyer – so the more calls you can upgrade from phone to video, the better off you’ll be.
- Respect the request. On the other hand, if your customer requests that you meet through video instead of in person, respect that. Right now, many people are still leery of face-to-face meetings, and if your customer is one of them, you could put them off by pushing for a face to face meeting. Accept the video call.
- Make sure your video is right. The great thing about video is that you have control over the visuals. Think through your equipment and your backdrop. Today’s laptops and phones have very high quality HD cameras on them, so that’s not a problem – but the camera lens should be at eye level (so you are making quality eye contact with your customer) and you should be looking AT THE LENS instead of at the screen. That one’s difficult. The backdrop should be interesting but free of anything off-color or distracting. The lighting should be at your front and not your back. You may want to get a good quality external microphone (mine is a Blue Yeti). The best way to ascertain all of this is to set up as you would for a call, and then shoot some video of you talking. Practice and get comfortable.
- Learn the technology. Right now, there are many different technologies out there. They all have their pluses and minuses. My best advice to you is to pick a technology that you like, get really comfortable with it, and then when you do schedule a video call, you be the person who does the inviting, rather than expect the customer to do so. I will freely admit that I myself have been a bit tardy on this one. That said – if your customer already has a preferred tech, go with it – which means you need to be conversant with many platforms and not just your own.
- Show up ten minutes early. The same rules apply for this as for a face to face call. If you’re going to participate in a video call, you should log on ten minutes early, whether it’s your tech and platform or theirs. If you’re on early, that means that when they log on they don’t have to wait for you; if it’s theirs, that means that if there are any technological hoops you didn’t know about (such as an app to download), you have time to do it before it’s meeting time.
Video calling is something we are going to be working with forever now, at least until someone invents a hologram so we can project ourselves into the customer’s office. Do these things and you’ll be very effective at it, and you’ll beat salespeople who aren’t.