Smile! It’s your selling on-video superpower. People who smile are perceived as friendly, approachable, caring. And yet, smiling is such an uncommon expression in business – especially on video!
Yes, there are many times you may be discussing serious matters, but a video message or presentation delivered by the grim reaper can be pretty wearing. Surely you can find the occasional reason to smile in a conversation. Surely you can find the occasional reason to smile in a sales conversation!
I’m not advocating you paste on a phony smile – your customer can read that – especially on-camera. But think about what good news you may be sharing and let your face know! For example, are you:
Solving a problem?
Saving your customer time or money?
Creating a vision of what’s possible?
Sharing a success story?
Or just smile and let them know you’re enjoying your conversation!
Look for moments to smile on video.
p.s. If you’re out of practice or find you “think” you’re smiling and you’re not, you likely need to warm-up your facial muscles and re-connect to how you feel about what you’re sharing and why it matters. Check out the Master Class below for information on how we can help you connect to that smile and start seeing results!
What do salespeople and sports broadcasters have in common? Learn how to build relationships and communicate on-camera with Joel Goldberg.
In this episode of “Sales Lessons from a Career on-Camera,” I talk to Joel Goldberg, host of the Kansas City Royals pregame and postgame show on Fox Sports. Joel talks about what Major League Baseball was like for players and team members during 2020’s uncertain season, how he stays focused on camera, builds relationships with players and coaches, and continues to differentiate himself in a field where everyone now has access to information.
About Joel: Over the course of his twenty-five-year career in television, Joel Goldberg has devoted himself to developing and maintaining influential relationships with professional athletes, coaches, and team management. Joel has been a member of the Kansas City Royals broadcast team since 2008 where he has hosted over 300 pre/postgame shows. As a public speaker and presenter, Joel’s focus is on building culture and success through impactful storytelling. Most recently, he has launched a podcast where he compares the winning traits of sports to business called “Rounding the Bases.”
Build long-lasting relationships:
“This business [sports broadcasting], first and foremost, is about relationships, and that’s no different than almost every other profession.”
“What am I doing today that can help me tomorrow or down the road? Because we don’t know when the next version of this is coming or whatever the next ‘it’ is. And so, you can’t stop building those relationships or forming those relationships.”
Ask yourself, “What can you do to put the person on the other side at ease? When you’re able to do that, they’ll hopefully, in theory, let their guard down and you will get to know them a little bit better.”
Shine the spotlight on others:
“I just think when you get a chance to know people better and shine that spotlight on them, it opens up a lot of avenues for conversation.”
“Take a genuine interest in people. It goes a long way.”
“The fewer distractions you have in front of the camera, that includes a Zoom call or Microsoft teams or whatever it is, the more you can focus on being comfortable in front of the camera, also engaged in the conversation because your mind is there.”
“When you can push aside those distractions and listen, then you’re more engaged. When you’re more engaged, you have more of an understanding and an interest in what’s going on. When you have more of an interest in what’s going on, you get excited about it in the way that if you are sitting down next to a friend at a coffee shop or a bar or restaurant.”
“What can I do differently than everyone else? And now how can I bring that to people and be the one to bring that to people when no one else can? And so that’s sort of a view that is a huge responsibility to privilege to say, OK, what can I do to add value to people from an entertainment standpoint, from an information standpoint?”
The fine line between energy and volume:
“It is different on camera. I would say that there’s this fine line as a broadcaster and I think as an actor between energy and volume. I think that until we figure it out, we think when someone says have more energy, they think that means you get louder.”
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It’s time to energize your virtual presentation! When presenting on video, salespeople rarely speak with as much personality or energy as they would naturally use in their personal lives – we tend to tone things down, flatten them out, or pull them in when sitting in front of a screen. Now selling from home, it is easier than ever before to get too relaxed and comfortable on video sales call. Trust me – I know that the idea of giving a virtual presentation from the comfort of your favorite recliner is very tempting but getting too comfortable comes across as low energy and disinterest to your customers. You’ve probably heard the saying that the camera adds 10 pounds. Though it’s often forgotten what the camera can take away – energy! Without careful practice and attention, the camera can take away 10-50% of your energy. And your Lazy Boy isn’t helping. Read More
Taladega Nights Ricky Bobby GIF from Taladeganights GIFs What should I do with my hands when on a video call?! Whether you are new to virtual selling or a virtual veteran, communicating naturally on video can feel anything but natural! What comes easy to you during an in-person conversation becomes entirely unnatural and quite challenging the moment the little light turns red at the top of your screen. Sales professionals often struggle with what to do with their hands when on a video call, like: Am I gesturing too much? Too little? How big should my gestures be? How small? How often? Who wouldn’t be confused?! But learning how to gesture and use your body language authentically and effectively on video is critical. It can help bridge that virtual gap between you and your customer and make your message come to life, so here are some must know do’s and Read More
What do salespeople and sports broadcasters have in common? Connecting with people on video and getting them to open up!
Salespeople are discovering first-hand how difficult it is to connect with customers on video. Talking to a camera is not a natural skill. Yet actors, sportscasters, 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 talk to sports broadcaster Amanda Borges about how finding your voice on video, forming connections, asking good questions, scripting, improv, and much more!
About Amanda: Amanda Borges has interviewed more than 100 athletes and coaches and she’s scripted and hosted more than 30 live shows, either in-studio or on-location. She traveled with the New York Rangers as their Team Reporter and Producer before moving to the national stage interviewing all types of athletes for Yahoo! Sports. Most recently Amanda launched a podcast to share stories about women who work in sports called “And So She Goes.”
Talking to the camera:
“There’s a lot of acting that is involved in being on camera – even though it sounds so confusing, even though you want to be yourself and you want to portray the true person that you are, you have to crank it up a notch.”
Working with a script:
“I need to know what I’m going to say, and I need to be able to say it in a way where it doesn’t sound like I am reading off every single line in my head. There is a way to come across as natural, even though you’re reading a script.”
Getting people to open up:
“My biggest thing is to just be relatable – people open up and are more willing to talk to you if they can relate to you. Once you open up to them, you open that door for them to be vulnerable with you as well.”
“Study as much as possible and know as much as possible, but just make sure that once you’re there, focus on that connection with that person because if you truly know what you’re supposed to say, it’ll just come out naturally in the conversation.”
Advice for salespeople:
“What do these people want to know? What can I bring them that they can’t get anywhere else? My advice is, don’t get caught up on how you look or how you’re speaking… as long as you can keep people engaged with your energy and the content that you’re presenting, that’s what’s most important.”
Do you hate the way you look on video?! You are not alone.
Almost no one sees themselves on video and says, “You know what, I look fantastic!” In fact, in a poll of nearly 500 salespeople, not liking how they looked on-camera was ranked the 3rd biggest challenge with being on video.
While there are some technical things you can do to improve the way you look on-camera, such as improving your lighting, making sure you’re framed well, and upgrading your camera, most of the time the problem is not your physical appearance. As long as you are maintaining professional dress and grooming, and have decent equipment, you will look fine. The real problem is that apprehension that you’re carrying around about how you look and specific behaviors you’re exhibiting.
Before virtual selling, there were very few opportunities for us to come face to face with how we look in real time, so a little apprehension is expected.
The secret isn’t about looking good, it’s about feeling good!
When you feel insecure or uncertain about the way you look on camera, that informs the way you speak, move and talk. As well as how your audience sees you. Instead of your normally engaging self, that lack of confidence can read as disengaged or under-prepared to customers.
So, quit beating yourself up about the way you look and instead focus on these concrete tactics that will have you feeling camera ready in no time.
Get specific about why you don’t like the way you look …
You must first understand why you think that you look terrible. Only when you understand what’s behind the why, will you actually take steps to improve the way you feel about your appearance on screen.
One strategy is to record your next video sales call and watch it back. I know! This is the worst part! But I want you to watch it in a very specific way:
How to review yourself on a video call:
Look for what you did well. Perhaps you have a nice, inviting tone. Your head was still and not moving back and forth in front of the camera. Taking note of the positives first makes you a tad less critical for this next step.
Identify the specific things you are doing that makes you cringe. Stay constructive by asking yourself specific questions. For example, “how is my eye contact” or “am I using engaging body language/hand gestures?” or “am I moving within frame?”
Now that you know what specific behavior is affecting how you see yourself on video (and therefore how you feel!) find out what training or tools you need to improve. It could be an on-camera master class or coaching or searching online for the right vocal drills.
Get your free 20-Point Video Self-Evaluation
Want to really understand how you’re coming across in your video selling journey – the good, the bad, and the ugly? Download this free 20-Point Self Evaluation.
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 image, Read More
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 salesperson 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 to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Virtual Engagement Tip #2: Expect an Answer
I hear a lot of so-called questions from salespeople 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 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.
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
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 build relationships and 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 Read More