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
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
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
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.
I hear a lot of advice a long the lines of “just be confident!” from sales coaches. But I think most salespeople know that confidence is important in sales. The question is – how do you gain confidence? And if you’re not confident, does that mean you don’t belong in sales?
I think it’s a myth that great salespeople are always confident. I think they may know how to get themselves into a state of confidence, or they have the courage to persevere even when they don’t feel confident and trust that the confidence will come.
Sometimes, let’s face it, you’re having a bad day, you had a fight with your spouse, you lost a deal. Sometimes, you simply can’t think your way into greater confidence. For those times, I want to share with you a really practical technique I learned as an actor.
It’s called Acting as if. And it works like this. Next time you’re feeling really confident, notice what that looks like and sounds like for you. Maybe you stand taller, gesture more, speak louder, or hold eye contact longer.
Then when you have to get on that call or give a presentation when you’re not feeling 100% confident, apply these confident behaviors as you’re practicing. Push through even when it feels awkward and uncomfortable and maintain those confident behaviors in your meeting. In other words, act as if you have great confidence. 9 times out of 10 you’ll find that pretty quickly you are actually feeling confident and good. It’s much like forcing yourself to smile can make you feel happier.
So go out there and show confidence, and if you can’t, act as if until the real deal kicks in.
If your prospect had a remote, would he be tempted to change the channel on your presentation or demo? That’s a tough question to ask yourself, but given the number of choices today’s buyers have and the demands on their attention, you need to take a hard look at just how compelling your presentation or demo is to your audience.
The bar has been raised. And if you haven’t raised your presentation game with it, you’re going to get left behind. We live in a time where most people have been exposed to hundreds, maybe thousands of presentations. Showing up and walking through a slide deck and parading our your features and benefits like salespeople have been doing for decades, is not going to help you win deals.
Today’s presentations have to be better than average, they have to be compelling in order to break through the clutter, stand out from the competition, and move buyers to the next step in the sales cycle. And by compelling I’m not talking about slides, or templates or platforms, but rather great substance, structure and delivery. The elements that make your prospect say, “Wow, they really understand us.” And that, my sales friends, is compelling.
If you’re uncertain whether your presentation is compelling or not, shoot me an email and let’s talk. Don’t wait to find out until your prospect changes the channel from you…to your competition.
If you’re having trouble closing…it could be your presentation opening! If you don’t gain your audience’s attention initially and establish credibility, they’re not going to hear your great benefits, your value proposition or your super close!
In this video I role-play how a typical presentation opens. Take a moment to watch.
What did you think? I think I wasted a good 20 seconds of my audience’s time and lost some credibility… People have increasingly short attention spans and little patience for a lot of introductory fluff. You have a precious few seconds to grab your listener’s attention and draw them in. Don’t waste it
What’s the solution?
Cut to the chase. Invest some time crafting a short, compelling opening that quickly delivers value and practice it until it shines. Having a rehearsed opening in your back pocket will give you a powerful boost of confidence and set the tone for the rest of your presentation.
Eliminate the long intro’s, the thank you’s, the corporate overview /logo slide.
How did I start this video? I jumped right in. Were you thinking, wow, I wish she’d tell us more about herself or her company?! I doubt it. Don’t open your presentation like everybody else if you want to make an impact and be remembered!
And, a good opening will make your closing much more effective!