5 Tips for Successful Video Sales Calls
by Katie Reynolds
After the advent of voicemail, fax, and email, our sales teams lost quite a bit of opportunity. The in-person sales call started to become more and more rare, with executives and decision-makers being increasingly unwilling to take valuable time to listen to a pitch.
Unfortunately, sales isn’t nearly as effective when done via email or telephone. Those media don’t allow for the full benefits of body language and, in the case of email, voice inflection and intonation.
Today, however, video conferencing offers the sales force a unique opportunity to bring back the face-to-face sales call. Yet, effective video sales calls differ in some ways from other options, including in-person calls.
Here are some tips to maximize your chances of success with your video sales calls:
1. Prep for the call.
A video sales call is like any other sales call in that you need to come into it with a full toolbox. That means having all of the client information handy, for example. Some salespeople like to have their client information in hard copy during the sales call so that they don’t have to flip back and forth between windows (which can be distracting to the client).
The same goes for your company product or service information. If you want to share a presentation file during the video sales call, make sure you know what folder it’s in and that you can get to it easily. The same goes for documents or videos you’d like to display during the call, as well.
2. Prep your environment.
The background in your sales call is critical. It should be free of distracting elements. It should have sufficient lighting, but no glare. The camera should capture your head, shoulders, and perhaps as far down as the mid-chest area, but probably not much more.
You’ll also need to prevent others from entering the location of the video sales call, whether that means locking the door, putting up a sign, or other efforts. Turn off your cell phone, or at least put it on vibrate.
In many cases, the best environment for a sales call isn’t your office. If you have a conference room with a white board, it can be very beneficial for writing down cost comparisons or other relevant information.
3. Watch for response cues.
When you’re sitting in someone’s office, it’s much easier to read their body language and reactions than when you’re looking at them through a web cam. For example, you don’t know what else they’ve got showing on their screen that might be taking up their interest.
There are still those cues you can watch for that let you know it’s time to switch tactics or that it’s time to press ahead. If the client folds their arms and sits back in their chair, they’ve closed off and you need to try something else. If they lean in toward the camera, they’re either interested or having a hard time hearing you through their speakers or because of the connection.
Those same cues you look for in a regular sales call will be there in a video sales call; you just have to work with slightly limited information.
4. Make effective use of technology.
There are a number of video call platforms that will let you share files, presentations, or videos during the sales call. If you want to keep your customer’s attention, give her something other than your talking head to look at.
Most video conference platforms have a screen-sharing option, so at a minimum you could open a video or presentation on your screen for the customer to see. Double-check that there isn’t anything in your task bar or on your desktop that might not be appropriate for the sales call, such as a document called “Labor Day Party” open in the task bar.
5. Follow up on the sales call.
As with an in-person sales call you’re going to need to follow up. Ideally, you can schedule a follow-up video call with the customer before the first call is over. If not, you can always turn toward telephone, email, or even traditional mail to connect with the customer.
Video sales calls offer all sorts of opportunities to today’s sales force. You can do more sales calls in less time and with less effort. Yet your video sales call is only going to be as effective as you let it be. Follow these tips and you’ll maximize your odds of success.
Katie Reynolds is the Marketing Manager of Webinars and Public Relations at Vistage International.