3 Skills Sellers Need to Master to Connect with Customers Effectively on Video.
Skills sellers need to build relationships and project confidence, credibility, and empathy when selling on video.
Many sales teams rose to the challenge of selling on video over the last year. But let’s be honest, initially, that bar was pretty low:
“Got a decent background? Camera on? Know your platform?”
Fast forward: Today’s customers are being bombarded with vendor video calls and messages – a parade of bad lighting, sketchy eye contact (if any), extreme close-ups, and awkward pauses/talk overs. The result? Many sellers are losing deals they would have won in person, simply because they do not have the specific skills required to connect with customers effectively when selling on video.
The virtual bar has been raised. And it’s only going to get higher as we move into a hybrid environment. Will your sales team make the cut?
It’s vital that sellers gain the awareness and skills to build relationships and project confidence, credibility, and empathy on video. Here are just a few suggestions from my new book, Look Me In The Eye: Using Video to Build Relationships with Customers, Partners and Teams:
1. Ramp Up The Energy
You may have heard that the camera adds ten pounds, but a lesser-known fact is that it can take away ten to fifty percent of your energy. And sitting at home in your favorite chair isn’t helping! Sellers need to bring a higher level of energy and passion to their video calls to compensate for this loss and avoid looking bored or disinterested to customers.
Many sellers took the well-intentioned but misunderstood advice to “just be yourself” to heart. While it’s important to be authentic on video, most people associate being natural with being comfortable, and being comfortable with being relaxed – and that state does NOT read well on-camera. Why? When you’re comfortable you tend to lean back, your energy drops, your voice becomes softer and flatter, and you are less expressive. So while you might indeed feel “comfortable,” to a customer this looks like a lack of interest or attention! Being attentive requires the right balance of energy, positive tension and relaxation to make a customer feel engaged.
2. Master Eye Contact
Eye contact is one of the key building blocks to developing a relationship. Eye contact is fleeting at best when selling on video. Looking at the camera is counter-intuitive and salespeople can’t resist the powerful temptation to look at their customer’s image. Unfortunately, the customer’s image rarely lines up with the seller’s camera, so while your seller may feel like he’s being attentive and engaged, the customer feels like he’s being ignored! A total disconnect.
Sellers need to master the art of making natural, friendly eye contact with the camera – no matter where the customer’s image is or whether the customer is on video or not.
3. Learn To Read On-Screen Behavior
Reading body language on video is like learning another language. Many movements and expressions have different meanings on video, many of which have nothing to do with what the seller is saying or doing. For example, most sellers go into a tailspin when a customer looks disinterested or bored. Yet the customer is simply adopting a very common on-screen expression I call, Resting Business Face. RBF is a blank or bored expression that most people have when sitting in front of a screen. We have been trained to be in receiving mode whether we’re in front of a television, ipad, phone, or movie screen.
It’s easy for seller’s to see that resting business face and assume the worst, rushing through their presentation or checking in over and over until their projection becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Developing an awareness of how various expressions and movements vary in meaning depending on whether their customer is on video or in person is critical to a seller’s success and eliminates miscommunication and missed opportunities.
It’s Time To Raise The Bar
Providing sellers with the tools, technology, and messaging to succeed virtually is just table stakes. To compete in a hybrid future, don’t leave sellers on their own to blindly figure out how to communicate and build a relationship with customers on video. For more resources, tools, and tips to master selling on video, check out juliehansen.live.
To learn how industry leaders are shifting their thinking to create sales presentations that actually work in today’s landscape, watch our on-demand webinar, “How To Change Your Sales Presentations To Drive Customer Engagement”
Provide your sellers with the resources they need to master selling on video.