All posts by Julie Hansen

Real vs. Virtual Backgrounds. Which is Best for your Zoom Call?


  In more ways than one, business professionals are now faced with considerable change – offices are closed, meetings are remote, and the professional handshake has been replaced with a virtual wave from the other side of the screen – often in front of a virtual background! In the words of Bob Dylan, “the times they are a-changing,” and sales professionals must learn to swim, or face the possibility of sinking like a stone. Location, Location, Location One of the greatest changes we have seen with virtual selling is the inevitable change in meeting location. No longer in a traditional office setting, location is now entirely dependent upon each participants environment and choice. This can range anywhere from your kitchen table to the captain’s seat on the Starship Enterprise. The choice is yours, so choose wisely. Your background makes a strong statement about you. You are quite literally projecting an Read More

3 Ways to Improve Interaction on Virtual Sales Calls

Are you having trouble getting customers to respond and interact when on a virtual call?! The problem is that virtual audiences tend to be more passive – engaging less and observing more.

Here are three quick and easy tips that will really change the level and amount of responsiveness you get from customers when leading a sales call.

Virtual Engagement Tip #1: Pause. Pause. Pause!

It’s time that we, as salespeople, finally embrace the uncomfortable silences! Cringe-worthy, I know, just bear with me.

When on a virtual call, it is imperative that you pause much longer than feels comfortable following a question asked. Here’s why – People need to, one, hear the question and, two, have the time to then process what has been asked of them. Most importantly, if/when there are multiple people on the call, a customer must often consider whether to leave the question to their fellow attendees or answer it themselves. While waiting for an answer, any answer at all, the sales person rushes to fill the silence, unable to stand the quiet any longer. That, my friends, is the death of a sales call, so I encourage you get comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Virtual Engagement Tip #2:  Expect an Answer

I hear a lot of so-called questions from sales people that go a little something like this, “What kind of results are you getting today.” Sounding more like a statement rather than an explicit question, this doesn’t elicit the desired result – audience engagement!

You must be very clear, almost painfully so, that you expect a response, an answer to your question. Instead, it should sound something like this, “Tell me, what kind of results are you getting today?” With intentional word choice and the slight modifications in vocal intonation and body language, this second question demands the response you are looking for.

Virtual Engagement Tip #3: Eye Contact is Key

Or, rather, camera contact is key! Meaning this – you need to look at the camera, not the attendees on the screen below, when asking a question. It’s much different to be on the receiving end of a question directed right to your eyes than somewhere at your chin or feet.  By looking into the eye of the camera, you are looking into the eyes of your customers.

There you have it! Three quick ways to improve interaction on customer virtual sales calls. Try them out and do let me know how they work. For more information on the Selling On-Camera Master Class, where I provide more tips and tricks to help sales people deliver winning sales presentations, check out my website.

Why sellers can’t stop talking on video sales calls


I was on a coaching call with a salesperson this morning. Below is the pitch transcribed just as it was delivered to me. Can you spot the problem? Salesperson:  “I understand that you currently have a very manual order process with a lot of errors and your reps are spending too much of their time fixing them to adequately reflect customer’s needs so what we’re going to show you today is how our solution can improve your order accuracy by as much as 90% and save you over $200,000 a year and improve customer satisfaction as well…” WOWZA! A plethora of ideas in this monologue (I counted eight!), but barely a comma to be heard.  Much less a period! While the ability to talk without taking a breath for this long is impressive, this type of verbal assault is not a great experience for your customer.  They either tune out Read More

Selling On Video: Will your Sales Team Make the Cut? 


Many sales teams rose to the challenge of selling on video over the last few months.   But let’s be honest, initially that bar was pretty low: “Got a decent background?  Camera on?  Know your platform?” “Great!” But customers today are being bombarded with vendor video calls – a never-ending parade of missed connections, bad lighting, worse eye contact, extreme close-ups, and awkward pauses/talk overs.  The result?  Many sellers are losing deals they would have won months ago, simply because they do not have the specific skills required to connect with customers effectively on video. The bar has been raised.   Will your sales team make the cut? These otherwise good sellers lack the virtual screen presence and know how required to project confidence, credibility and empathy on video – leaving the door wide open to competitors who do. So how do you ensure your team makes the cut? Stop practicing on Read More

Virtual Screen Presence Tip #1: Show Personality

Why are a handful of people so compelling on screen while most others seem to instantly fade from memory? They have learned how to develop what many actors have, which is virtual screen presence.  A quality that makes an actor connect with his audience and bring his/her words, expressions and lines come to life.

In today’s world, screen presence is as vital for an actor as it is for a salesperson trying to connect with a customer.  And the good news is, it can be learned.

One element of virtual screen presence is your personality.  Have you ever felt a strong connection with someone who shows very little of their personality?  Likely not. What is there to connect to?!  When you’re nervous or uncomfortable on-camera, your personality can disappear and that makes for a highly forgettable call.

Virtual Screen Presence Tip #1:  Show Personality

So how do you show more personality in a call?  It starts with confidence.  Confidence comes from knowing how to talk and move on-camera – which is often counter-intuitive and much different than in live meetings.  Until this becomes second-nature, you can appear very stiff and unnatural to your audience.  And all the lighting and camera angles in the world can’t fix that!

Once you are confident on-camera, you can start to unlock your personality. In this video tip I show you how a simple adjustment can take a customer call from mediocre to memorable.

Increase your Virtual Screen Presence and communicate with confidence and credibility with video at SellingOn-Camera.com

The Missing Piece in your Virtual Sales Training


The near Herculean effort by many companies to arm their sales teams to conduct business 100% virtually should be applauded.  When in recent history have so many sales organizations been restructured so quickly?! The missing piece in virtual sales training Sales teams are rapidly being trained to adopt new tools, platforms, and messaging to succeed in a virtual world.  Yet there is one missing piece in virtual sales training vital to success in which sellers have been left woefully on their own to figure out, and that is this: how do they communicate and connect successfully on-camera? I hear sales leaders say things like, “it just takes practice” when it comes to using the camera effectively.  Yet we all know that familiarity doesn’t automatically lead to expertise.  Practice the wrong things over and over and you’ve simply reinforced bad habits. Talking and listening on-camera are not natural skills. The thousands Read More

{New Video} My customer doesn’t use video. Why should I?

“My customer doesn’t use video.  Why should I? ”

This is one of the biggest excuses I hear from sellers on why they don’t use video more on sales calls.  And I say excuse, because it’s not a good reason.

Why?  Because the seller is making a choice based on his/her own comfort and inability to feel connected – not the customers.  And if you’re truly a customer-focused salesperson, your comfort needs to come second.

Yes, in a perfect virtual world, you and your customer would both have your camera on.  You’d be able to read each other’s body language and expressions, share eye contact and both feel more comfortable and connected.

But we don’t live in a perfect world.  Customers are not always going to have their camera on (especially after all the uncomfortable vendor encounters they’ve been subjected to!), but they can still benefit by feeling more connected to YOU – seeing your eyes, body language and expressions.

So absolutely do what you can to encourage your customer to use his/her camera, but ultimately, it’s more important that you use yours.  No excuses.

BTW, when sellers say they’re not using video because the customer doesn’t, it often masks a deeper discomfort with being on-camera — simply because they don’t have the necessary skills or training specific to this new environment.

Find out how you can get the skills you or your team needs to communicate with confidence and credibility with video at SellingOn-Camera.com

Selling On-Camera Master Class

Announcing the Selling On-Camera Master Class!

Tired of having awkward conversations with customers on Zoom?  Unsure where to look – or for to move?  Feel like a deer in the headlights?

You’re not alone.  Speaking on-camera is not a natural skill.  And very few salespeople have any formal training on how to communicate effectively with customers on-camera.

That’s why I launched The Selling On-Camera Master Class: to help sellers master the art & science of connecting with customers on-camera with techniques I learned as an actor transitioning from stage to screen!

Here’s a sample from the 10 Video + Coaching Course:

This Master Class will help you become a confident and compelling salesperson on-camera – one who customers will remember and choose to do business with.

You’ll Learn how to:

  • Create natural eye contact that builds relationships
  • Deliver your message with confidence and impact
  • Gesture and move within your “frame”
  • Read listener body language
  • Increase audience interaction and responsiveness
  • Transition between camera, notes and slides
  • Channel nerves into positive energy
  • And much more!

Get Special Pre-Launch Pricing Now!

10 Video Sessions start at $147 with pre-launch code:  PRELAUNCH at SellingOn-Camera.com

Join me in the Selling On-Camera Master Class today!

#virtualselling #video #videotraining #videocalls

New Video: The One Person You Should NEVER Look at on a Video Call!

To suddenly see yourself on a video call is both extremely compelling and distracting. Up until recently, we’ve all remained blissfully unaware of that funny thing we do with our mouth, the frequency with which we blink, or the unflattering shadows under our eyes. It is not a small thing to come face to face with how others see you.

Which is precisely why the one person you should never make eye contact on a video call is YOU.

Like most myths, the Greek god Narcissus falling in love with his own image was based on human impulses. Focusing on yourself is a pool you don’t want to fall into, even for a second.

I see so many salespeople clearly checking their image, then glancing back to their customer, then back to their image again to see if anything has changed! Not only does this take you completely out of the moment, but it looks as if you are oddly distracted to your customer.

Like any performer, you need to do your preparation and practice “off-camera.” Learn the technique. Record yourself practicing it. Then when you’re on a video call with a customer, hide your image. Don’t turn off your video, just hide your image so you don’t fall prey to the siren call of your image. That way you will remain 100% focused on your customer – which is much more important than if you have a hair out of place!

Pro tip:  To hide your image on Zoom, simply right click on your video and select Hide my image.

Want to appear your most confident and credible on video calls?  Check out my Selling On-Camera Master Class, now enrolling!

Through 10 Videos with self-guided exercises* you’ll learn how to:

  • Create natural eye contact that builds relationships
  • Deliver your message with confidence and impact
  • Gesture and move within your “frame”
  • Read listener body language
  • Create professional background and lighting
  • Increase audience interaction and responsiveness
  • Seamlessly transition between camera, notes and slides
  • Channel nerves into positive energy
  • And much more!

Classes start at $147 with pre-launch code:  PRELAUNCH

Learn more here.

 

How to Break Through Zoom Gloom with Customers


Salespeople and customers alike have quickly risen to the challenge of connecting in a virtual world. But now that customers are being bombarded with Zoom calls both internally and externally, they, like many of us, are experiencing Zoom Gloom*.  Zoom Gloom is an unforeseen side effect from being on video call, after video call, after video call – all with an overwhelming sense of sameness. Symptoms of Zoom Gloom include: 1…Exhaustion. It may seem physically easier to meet on video, but in reality our brains are working extra hard to process this new environment. A video call eliminates our ability to intuitively pick up on dozens of non-verbal cues that help us process a conversation. When we can’t see a person’s hands, or gestures, or if the quality is poor, even read facial expressions, our brain struggles to fill in the gaps.  The result: we wear out quicker. 2. Strain Read More

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Performance Sales and Training: Persuasive Presentation Skills to meet the challenges of today’s B2B Sales Environment