Category Archives: Video Blog

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.

(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.

How to Find the Best Lighting for Your Zoom Call


Lighting can make or break your Zoom call! Too dark and you look like you’re in a hostage video.  Too bright, and you look other-worldly.  Proper lighting allows your customer to properly see you, your facial expressions, and most importantly, your eyes – which is where they connect with you.

The best lighting for video is sitting directly facing your chosen light source, allowing the light to illuminate your face.  Avoid shadows and backlighting, which happens when you have your back to a window or other light source.

Here’s a quick and easy way to find the best lighting for your Zoom call.

Find your best light:

  1. Take your phone or tablet with you as you walk through your home or office to test the lighting in different areas.
  2. Flip the camera’s image so that you can see yourself on the screen.
  3. As you walk through your home or office, notice how different camera angles or windows affect the lighting.
  4. Find the best spot and stop! This is it.  Your best lighting spot for your video call. 

A warning about natural light:

The quality of natural light is subject to change throughout the day based on the position of the sun, so be sure to double-check your lighting before every video call. Lighting that was sufficient one day, may not be the next. Weather is another often-overlooked factor that can influence the quality of lighting on your video. If overcast, the sun may no longer be the most reliable light source available and you’ll need to supplement with artificial lighting. 

Tips on using artificial light:

If the weather is not on your side or you simply are not in close proximity to a window, you’ll need to find an artificial light that works for you. A properly placed lamp or a ring light can provide you with sufficient lighting for your video call. Experiment with the lights you have.  Often times replacing the harsh white bulbs with softer LED bulbs with a high CRI provide a more flattering look for video.

Note that artificial lighting can cause glare or reflection in your glasses. This can be fixed by adjusting the angle of the light, moving it farther away from you, or raising the earpiece of your glasses so that they tilt down slightly to avoid catching that glare.

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.

Smile: Your Selling On-Video Superpower!

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!

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 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 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.

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.

(Video tip): How to Make Eye Contact in your Video Meetings


 Are you tired of other people looking anywhere but in your eyes on video meetings or calls?  And, (this may sting a bit…) are you possibly botching up eye contact with your customers, manager or employees? I get it. You’re looking at the other person’s picture or video.  But here’s the secret:  while it feels like you’re making eye contact, it doesn’t read as eye contact to the other person.  In fact, it feels like you’re not paying much attention at all! And eye contact is so important in business because it’s one of the quickest and most effective ways to build a relationship with another person.  Yes, you can build a relationship without eye contact but it’s slower and more difficult.  So don’t take eye contact lightly in sales.  Learn how to master effective eye contact on your video meetings. Talking on-camera is not a natural skill! That’s Read More

Contact


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