Recently, I shared a panel with Bob Perkins, Morgan Ingram, Shay Keeler, and Dan Breault where we talked about the move to virtual selling.
It was delightful because lately, I’ve mostly been talking with traditional/field sales leaders who are transitioning their teams to virtual selling. We talk about the constraints, the challenges, and the new skills these teams need when they lose face-to-face.
The panel of long-time inside sales leaders had the opposite experience. Our teams are loving the wave of video that is sweeping all industries! We’ve literally been selling blind for 20 years and it’s a whole new Zoom world.
Whether you’re inside or field selling, we’re all virtual now. If your team is struggling to adapt and/or thrive with video selling, here are a few remote selling tips to help.
Why go video?
First, YES, you want to turn cameras on with customers. Some crazy stats were thrown around during the ExecVision Momentum panel discussion (150% increase in close rate?!). I couldn’t substantiate that one, but I did find data from Gong saying webcams are used 40% more in successful (won) vs. unsuccessful (lost) deals.
Zoom and Forbes cite that 62% of executives agree video conferencing significantly improves the quality of communication.
Not convinced? Here’s an oldie but a goodie – only about 45% of a message is content and tone while 55% is body language.
Even if your customer/prospect doesn’t turn on video, you should.
The last stat alone has been around for decades, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say if you or your team are struggling with adoption, isn’t due to buy-in, it’s due to one of these common resistance points:
- I don’t want to be seen / I don’t look good on video
- My customers don’t use video
- I don’t have the right setup
- I’m just not confident / I have my own routine for calls, and video isn’t it!
Let’s attack these, one by one, with the lens of helping leaders coach their teams to adoption. Here are my remote-selling tips using video.
#1 – If your team doesn’t feel camera ready, share a few tips:
- Put your webcam/laptop up six to ten inches so the camera is toward the top of your head. Everyone looks better when shot from above!
- Put an adjustable light by your camera or a window w/ natural light behind it. Side lighting, low lighting, bright lighting – none of these help us love how we look!
- It’s time to talk about a new ‘get ready for work’ routine! Listen, I loved the era of no video because it meant sweatpants and a hair bun all day. It’s over. Get ready for work as you used to. Do your hair, iron your shirt, and be grateful you don’t have to wear socks and shoes.
Leaders, it’s OK to go here. It’s your job to go here. Don’t let your team show up in a ballcap and torn T-shirt with backlighting and a webcam that looks up their nose. It’s on you.
#2 – If your customer doesn’t use video, it’s OK to ask them to do so. Here’s what I say:
“Hey, if you’re comfortable, I’d love to meet you face-to-face via video! Don’t worry, I’ve got on yoga pants and flip flops too – and it definitely isn’t a great hair day. No judgment!”
Video is a chance to connect face-to-face and asking for it is another opportunity to get human and connect at this level. I openly share that my kids may interrupt wearing their underoos and thereby make it OK for them to be human too.
You may also try setting it up ahead of time. When booking/sending the meeting request, let them know you’ll send it with video and you hope they’ll come on camera and meet face-to-face.
Be prepared to walk a customer through the video process – we all use different technology and they may feel unprepared and uncomfortable as well. Helping them through this further connects you.
When they do get on screen, take a moment to stay in this human space. Comment on background, pictures, window scenes – anything BUT the pile of laundry and dishes that might embarrass them.
#3 If the setup is the issue, find the budget to help. Get a good camera, upgrade to get the virtual background, buy a divider screen, and buy a $30 light. Help set up the camera so it’s a few feet away (or use the Zoom feature) so their head and shoulders are in the frame down to about chest height.
Partner with your team to make this happen, because virtual and video are NOT going away. Don’t let your customers get out in front of you because you didn’t spend $100 to help your team look good and feel confident. This action is ours, leaders!
#4 – The final objection is ours to own as well. If old habits and resistance to change prevent the cameras, help them build these muscles. Run your 1:1 and team meetings with cameras and do a few joint video customer calls. They’ll see it work, feel the connection, and use these new muscles to help the resistance fade.
In short, we need to set the expectation, partner to help us look and feel good, and work together to build new habits. If we aren’t, we’re simply leaving money on the table.