Why All Virtual Sales Calls Should Start Full Video

Got ONE MINUTE? And want to know the ONE THING you can do to immediately improve your connection with your customer and increase interaction on virtual sales calls?

Always start with full video.

90% of the salespeople I coach are making the mistake of starting a video call already in a PowerPoint. The first few moments of any virtual sales call, presentation, or demo should be dedicated to establishing a connection with your customer. In order to do that, you need to be as visible as possible so that your audience can see your face, see your eyes and truly feel like they are connecting to a real person. When your image is a small box shoved to the corner of a screen, you will not feel real to your customer and your connection will suffer.

Remember to use the power of the human face and go full video often and you will draw the attention of your audience with ease and greatly improve your connection (and sales!).

PRO TIP: Plan ahead! As you move through your video call, identify moments that smoothly allow for you to transition between full video and sharing your screen: Perhaps it’s when you have finished up a topic and are summarizing. Perhaps it’s when you are taking questions at the end (this one is a given!).

Learn the Skills that will take you to the Next Level in Virtual Sales:  

In the  Selling On Video Master Class you’ll learn the unique skill set how to:

  • Make soft, personal eye contact that makes your customer feel heard and seen.
  • Understand when and how to look at the camera in a natural way.
  • Read customer body language without breaking your connection.
  • Understand what that unique video language your customer is using means – and when to react.
  • Improve the response rate to your questions and increase interaction.
  • Create more actively engaged customers.
  • Leverage your body language to reinforce what you’re saying, not distract from it.
  • And much more!

*For workshops, keynotes, and events, get in touch with us here.

*For free tips, tricks, and tools, sign up for our newsletter here.

3 Factors to Improve Attention and Interaction in Virtual Meetings


May I have your attention, please?! … Gosh, if only it were that easy! I’m sorry to say that virtual interaction rarely happens on its own. Meaning that, as the salesperson, it is your responsibility to create both the desire and the opportunity for your customer to easily interact with you when on a virtual sales call. Too many salespeople think of video engagement as lobbing a few questions at their audience or inviting them to type something into the chat. Unfortunately, this simply will not do! With audience attention spans spinning ever downward and distractions on the rise, random acts of forced engagement are not going to produce the consistent level of involvement necessary for your message to be heard and (ideally) acted upon by buyers. To promote attention and interaction successfully, you need to have a plan. This plan should consider the limits on virtual attention, typical social Read More

Virtual Selling: Is this as good as it gets?


According to Gartner, 80% of B2B sales are expected to take place virtually by 2025. Don’t believe me?! Check out their projections here. Very few sellers I know will be applauding this news. Here’s why: we are only one year into the pandemic and virtual sales calls and meetings have only just begun to feel slightly less awkward and less ineffective as at the start, for both buyers and sellers alike. In fact, 70% of the salespeople surveyed by Corporate Visions said that selling virtually is not as effective as selling in person. Here are just a few of the many challenges I hear (and see) salespeople still struggling with today: Making consistent eye contact with a customer Reading, understanding, and responding to “video” body language Talking to customers who aren’t on video Engaging passive virtual audiences Connecting with multiple people on a video call What’s more, many companies are Read More

How Much Eye Contact Should You Be Making on a Video Sales Call


Maintain eye contact 2/3 of the time, experts have always said.  But that figure is based on in-person communication. But on video, that percentage should be closer to the 80-85% mark! Why Do You Need More Eye Contact on Video? When in-person – whether that be your office, a shared conference room, even a local coffee shop – you are sharing an environment with your customer. Meaning that if you break eye contact to look at your notes, a picture on the wall, or that delicious cup of joe in your hands, your customer knows exactly what you are looking at. No problem at all! In contrast, when you look away on video, your customer is no longer able to see what you are looking at. Left to their imagination, they may graciously assume that you are looking at their image or, worse yet, imagine that you are looking at Read More

Sellers Beware! Misleading Advice on Zoom Fatigue


Stanford University recently published an interesting study on the causes of ‘Zoom Fatigue.’ Researchers identified four main causes, one being: *Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact is highly intense While I don’t disagree with the study’s overall conclusion, I do disagree with the advice springing up around it suggesting people should REDUCE their level of eye contact on video calls. This is hugely misleading advice, especially for salespeople. Here’s why: Why Eye Contact Matters in Virtual Selling: Eye contact is a key ingredient in building relationships. In a virtual world, eye contact takes on even greater importance as other means of connecting with our customers are unavailable to us. Selling on Video Perceived attention is tied to your eye contact. Where our eyes go, our attention goes. Unlike in a live setting, your customer can’t tell where your attention is directed on a video call. All they know is that Read More

5 Tips for Building Successful Remote Sellers with Virtual Sales Role-Plays


Virtual selling may have your team reaching for the panic button – customers are different, technology is changing by the minute, and competition is as stiff as ever. When a marketplace changes so dramatically, sales leadership so too must change/adapt and prepare for sales calls in an entirely different manner. While sales role-playing is often met with apprehension and dread – if done well – it can help your sales reps practice and master communication skills required of remote selling and navigate the continually changing requirements (and restrictions) of selling virtually. Unfortunately, most salespeople approach the exercise with a gallows like resolve and this limits the opportunity to get the real transformative benefits that a virtual role-play can produce. 5 Tips for Successful Virtual Sales Role-Plays: It’s time that we change our tune about the dreaded sales role-play! As the sales manager, it is your responsibility to push for this Read More

Tips to Connect with Customers on Camera with Sports Broadcaster Jen Mueller

Salespeople are discovering first-hand how difficult it is to connect with customers on camera. Talking to a camera is not a natural skill. Yet actors, sports broadcasters, reporters and, news announcers are proof it is possible to connect and engage with audiences virtually.

In this episode of “Sales Lessons from a Career on-Camera,” I speak with Jen Mueller, the Seattle Seahawks sideline radio reporter and member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team on ROOT SPORTS. Jen discusses connecting with your customer through conversation, the value of preparation, and truly owning your space.

About Jen Mueller:

Jen chose to pursue a career in sports broadcasting after continuously receiving comments from teachers, friends, and family that she “talks too much.” Now, with more than 15 years of sports broadcasting experience, she expertly provides straightforward business communication strategies as a keynote speaker and sales coach. In 2009, Jen founded Talk Sporty to Me after noticing a communication void in the workplace that could be filled with sports conversations. She is also the author of two books, Talk Sporty to Me: Thinking Outside the Box Scores and Game Time: Learn to Talk Sports in 5 Minutes a Day for Business.

Key Takeaways:

The truth about connecting with your audience:

“I recognize that people are hung up on scripting and camera presence because they think it’s inauthentic. It’s about reaching your audience where they are, and your audience needs this from you.”

Conversation is key:

“I know that conventional wisdom is, ‘Hey, just ask people about themselves because people love to talk about themselves.’ And that is a terrible way to get a lot of people that are making buying decisions to talk because why in the world would I let my guard down when you’re trying to get me to part with money or time or resources? So, we need to first understand the types of questions that you ask can set up those responses. It’s OK to get a one-word response, but you better be prepared for another question right after it.”

“When we are in a virtual space, we really don’t want to keep the audience guessing as to what happens next. We really want to be clear on what our expectations are and that could be the expectations for what we plan to get out of the conversation.

Be prepared:

“Make sure that every time you’re on camera you are prepared and expect that to be the only chance that you get.”

“When it’s actually time to be on camera, I’m not going in cold. I’ve already kind of warmed myself up. I’ve given myself the opening act. I’ve already got the energy level right. I’ve got the words right and I am in control of what’s happening and that’s where you want to be when you’re on video.”

Own the (virtual) room:

This is your space and you need to own and control that because this is all the audience knows about you.”

Making “eye” contact:

“I think most people misunderstand what a conversational interview is … They think the best way to get to that outcome is just to wing it and to react off of what the other person says because they think they’re going to be able to stay in the moment.”

Connect with Jen Mueller:

Twitter: @JenTalksSports

Instagram: @talksportytome

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenmuellertalksporty/

Podcast: https://www.talksportytome.com/

Want more help Selling on Video? 

*For improving your confidence, credibility, and connection with customers on video, check out the self-paced Selling On Video Master Class.

*For workshops, keynotes, and events, get in touch with us here.

*For free tips, tricks, and tools, sign up for our newsletter here.

5 Actor’s Secrets to Master Your Fear of Virtual Presentations


Waiting to be admitted to the Zoom meeting, you feel the nerves begin to set in. With each passing minute, confidence slowly turns to anxiety and tension as you second guess yourself – Do you have the right meeting ID? How well do you really know your material? Did you practice enough? – Now feeling awkward and uncertain, you either race or slog through the video call detached from your audience and your message – completely missing the mark (and the sale).  Virtual presentation nerves claim another victim. Actors are No Strangers to Performance Nerves An actor is no stranger to pre-show nerves! Though unlike the nervous salesperson silently sitting in front of their computer awaiting their doom, the well-trained actor knows that sitting still before a performance spells disaster – natural nervous energy quickly turns to tension when the body has no way to release it. Tension increases anxiety Read More

(Mis)Reading Body Language on Video Calls

Reading body language on video calls is like learning another language! Many movements and expressions can have completely different meanings on video than in-person – most of which have nothing to do with you or your message.

Misinterpreting those signals as a salesperson can cause you to lose your mojo – and the deal if you’re not in the know! Here is a common example of customer body language that is widely (mis)read on video:

Resting Business Face

“Resting Business Face” (noun) – informal

(Typically with reference to a salesperson or business professional) a bored, disinterested, or unhappy expression attributed to or unconsciously adopted by a person attempting to be professional during business meetings, video calls, etc.

As a salesperson trained to check-in or switch gears if your customer seems to be showing a lack of interest, it’s easy to take this blank stare personally and assume the worst:  My customer is bored, impatient, or disinterested – what do I do?! The knee jerk reaction for many salespeople is to rush through their presentation or call, growing ever more uncomfortable until their projection becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  In reality, this assumption based on expression alone is typically incorrect.

What’s the problem?

The problem is that virtual audiences tend to be more passive – engaging less and observing more. Put the average person in front of a screen and they instantly slip into observer mode, they might as well be snacking on some popcorn and sipping a Coke (and this is especially true of customers who are anticipating a pitch or presentation). This passivity is communicated via limited body language and their expression (or lack thereof), AKA resting business face, is easily misinterpreted.

PRO TIP: Don’t let your customers be passive! By continuously checking-in/asking questions, you are ensuring that your customer is an active participant in the video call and not simply a passive observer.

For more information on how to improve customer interaction on virtual sales calls, click here.

How to Respond to (Mis)leading Body Language

The general rule of thumb on reading body language is simple – don’t overreact or jump to conclusions! Typically, a bored expression or someone sitting back in their chair does not guarantee boredom. When uncertain, look for information/facts that support your theory – Is their tone distant and flat? Does it seem like they are caught off guard when you ask a direct question? Do their answers reflect growing impatience? These concrete questions can indicate whether or not your customer is truly engaged, interested, or has something else entirely pressing on their mind.

Curious to learn more about reading and using body language, making eye contact, and keeping your audience engaged during your video calls? Check out the Selling On-Video Master Class.

Want more help Selling on Video? 

*For improving your confidence, credibility, and connection with customers on video, check out the self-paced Selling On Video Master Class.

*For workshops, keynotes, and events, get in touch with us here.

*For free tips, tricks, and tools, sign up for our newsletter here.

3 Movie Secrets for an Engaging Virtual Presentation


Looking for the secret to an engaging virtual presentation?! The movies have mastered the art of engaging audiences on-screen from years of practice and experimentation. While your virtual presentation doesn’t have to be worthy of an Oscar’s nod, it does pay to use these movie secrets for an engaging virtual presentation that stands out from the competition. 3 movie secrets for an engaging virtual presentation Cut to the chase Filmmakers know that people have increasingly short attention spans and little patience for a lot of exposition. A blockbuster film doesn’t start with the director’s commentary – featuring a clip outlining their filmography or detailing their artistic approach to the film’s creation. So, neither should you! Cut right to the chase… When the competition for a customer’s attention is stiff, there is no room for introductory fluff (and yes, I am talking about your corporate overview!) once you dive into your presentation. Read More

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