Videos

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.

How to Build Relationships on Camera with Sports Broadcaster Joel Goldberg

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.”

Key Takeaways:

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.”

Remove distractions:

“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.”

Differentiate yourself:

“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.”

Don’t miss upcoming interviews and the latest video tips – subscribe to the Selling On Video YouTube channel today! 

Connect with Joel:

Twitter: @goldbergkc

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

Website: https://joelgoldbergmedia.com/

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rounding-the-bases-with-joel-goldberg/id1308555875

Sales Lessons from a Career on Camera: Sports Broadcaster Amanda Borges

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.” 

Key Takeaways:

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.” 

Preparation:

“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.”

Don’t miss upcoming interviews and the latest video tips – subscribe to the Selling On Video Youtube channel today! 

Connect with Amanda:

LinkedIn:  linkedin.com/in/borgesamanda

Website and Podcast: http://www.andsoshegoespod.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Aborgesn

Hate the way you look on video? How to change that for good!


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.

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.

Selling on Video 101: How to Show Personality on Video

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.

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.

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.

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.