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Reinventing the wheel: How to deploy video conferencing tools to be an effective salesperson?

Reinventing the wheel: How to deploy video conferencing tools to be an effective salesperson?

In times of social distancing, video conferencing tools are the next best thing for building rapport without human contact

Not a single salesperson will remain unaffected by the current, worldwide pandemic. Introduce a pending global recession and there will be far fewer people willing to spend.

Salespeople can no longer rely on face-to-face meetings, practical demonstrations, or that very “personal touch” that made them so successful previously.

Our product offerings have become more limited, or prospects more selective, and there are fewer sales opportunities. So, I’ll say it: sales will suffer.

In light of this unprecedented disruption of life, business – of normality – how do we, as salespeople and business owners, stay in the game?

By reinventing the new normal.

There is an incredible opportunity for salespeople to push video conferencing tools to new heights to close as many deals as possible. Nothing will ever replace face to face meetings, in my opinion, but video conferencing applications are the next best thing for building rapport without human contact.

I read recently that face-to-face meetings are up to 34 times more effective than emails, and I think the same can be said for video sales. With the added benefit of accessing global prospects, a wider variety of multimedia for practical demonstrations, and being much more personal than sending an email, video conferencing in sales is here to stay.

Therefore, I have compiled the following five checks you should pass for effective video sales.

1. Be prepared:

You MUST be properly prepared for your prospect. Firstly, you need to have the right tools, including a relatively modern laptop, tablet, or desktop computer that can operate without hiccups when running multiple applications. Ensuring that you have a stable internet connection is optimal – how many times have you grown impatient on a video call when the signal continually drops? You don’t want your prospect to grow frustrated whilst speaking to you!

You may also need to splurge on a business or professional licence for the video conferencing platform to avoid software limitations that could hinder a deal from being closed.

Zoom offers free video calls up to 40 minutes but what happens when you’re about to close a deal and the app starts its dreaded countdown? You don’t want to be that salesperson, scrambling to upgrade your account before the call drops. Become familiar with the popular video conferencing apps and be prepared and willing to adjust to your prospect’s needs. Do not expect them to download and create new accounts for software they are not familiar with!

The second part of preparation is preparing the information available to you. In addition to your information being easily accessible, invest time into researching your prospect. How is their business doing? How is their country faring during the pandemic? Who are their main competitors? What product or market offerings are available to them? What is your prospect’s vision or mission? Other than impressing your prospect with your knowledge of their business, you will also use this information to better position yourself or your products as relevant to them. A good salesperson should be able to anticipate a prospect’s triumphs, struggles, and questions.

2. Remember your trousers:

I have seen far too many examples of people who are without trousers or go to the washroom, not realising they are on camera! You will be on camera. Unlike face-to-face meetings, your prospects have little else to be distracted by. This means they will spend the sales-call focused almost exclusively on you, how you’re dressed, and by extension, how you are presenting your brand to them. It is more important to be well-groomed and well-dressed than to merely appear as such. We all enjoy a more casual look – especially during lockdown or while work from home – but the impression you leave on your prospect will last longer than a lockdown. If you do not care about your own grooming, style, or appearance, then why would you care about your prospect’s business? If you cannot respect yourself, how will you respect them? Dress just as you would if you were meeting in person – including wearing trousers! This also has a profound mental impact on you as it allows you to feel strong and powerful, giving you added confidence to close the deal.

3. Use your voice:

Because video calls suffer from a lack of body language, it’s important to learn how to use your voice for proper effect. Practise speaking clearly and slowly at different tempos – this is particularly important if the connection is a bit patchy so you need to adapt your speaking to the situation. Vary the tone of your voice to match the content of your speech. If you are discussing a struggle, sound pensive. If you are discussing a success, sound excited. Take care not to drone on and on and on and on and on at your prospect. Use your voice to emotionally engage them with your product. Practise your speech. Nobody wants to sit through five minutes of “uhhhm”. Record your sales pitch, play it back, and use it to improve the precision, clarity, and tone of your voice. Do you sound dull? Try speeding up your speech a little. Are you sounding sad? Try smiling while you talk. Are you sounding tired? Stretch and massage your jaw before you begin talking.

4. Be Persuasive:

Persuasion is not manipulation. You need to demonstrate to your prospect how you will create value for them. One of the strongest ways to do this is to create a shared narrative between yourself and your prospect. What do you have in common? Which struggles have you both overcome? Which struggles have you mastered that they have not? How did your product or service help you overcome those challenges? How did your challenges lead to the development of your product or service? Saying something like: “I struggled learning how to programme, which is why I created uCode to help people avoid my struggles” instead of “Programming is hard, uCode makes it easier.”. Don’t give your prospects the impression that they will experience difficulties or challenges. Demonstrate how you overcame them so that that they don’t have to. You aren’t there to sell a product, you are there to simplify their lives. You can also get testimonials from previous clients – we all love success stories, even more so if they relate to your product. If you have a good relationship with a previous client, invite them on to a sales call.

5. Integrate various forms of media:

Thankfully, it seems the days of receiving a 50-slide presentation is on its way out the door. Some people still do this, but you do not want to be this person! A great benefit of using video to sell is the seamless integration of various media elements. Since you can share your screen and record your meetings on most platforms, experiment with these elements as sales and learning tools. Preparing a video presentation or a practical demonstration of your product can help your prospect recall the information you shared and make your offer more memorable.

With these in hand, I think that each of us can become a more effective salesperson – pandemic or not. Once we have defined the new normal, our survival in a post-pandemic world is secure.

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