Selling in a virtual world is challenging. For reps who thrive in person, gone are the days of meeting prospects at conferences, dinners, and golf outings. Now, high-value solutions are sold over video calls. Even for reps accustomed to virtual sales, the very real phenomenon of Zoom fatigue means the competition for the buyer’s attention is higher than ever as tech-tired prospects juggle browser tabs, Slack notifications, and their newly merged home and work lives.
In this blog post, we offer ten tips to help you organize and deliver winning video-based sales calls that enable you to more effectively connect with prospects, earn trust, and move buyers to choose you every time.
1. Create a Setup for Success
When it comes to video conferencing, the right equipment and space lays the groundwork for a smooth conversation, while constantly dealing with tech issues and other distractions is liable to undermine your confidence and credibility. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the ideal video call setup, but in short, it’s a good move to invest in a webcam, a microphone, and some lighting to help you look and sound your best.
2. Put Your Audience First
Every prospect and selling scenario is unique. They will have varying needs, pain points, and requirements that you can address to show them the value of your product or service. When you were selling in person, you could learn more about your prospects over drinks or a round of golf. However, with virtual sales, it’s important to do all your research upfront. And, many prospects are coming to you after having done much of their research and vendor evaluation. Because today’s calls are much shorter, you must learn as much as you can about your prospect before the call. You’ll want to tailor your conversation to their specific interests and prove value as quickly as possible. (Learn more about audience-centric communication.)
3. Get Organized
Although your conversations with prospects should be organic and flexible to some degree, it’s important to go in with a game plan to ensure that (a) you can touch on everything you need to share with them and (b) you can do so in a way that’s organized, logical, and easy for the prospect to follow. If you’re jumping from point to point with no real connective tissue or sense of continuity, you’re likely to sound scatterbrained, losing both your credibility and your prospect’s interest. So, after you’ve researched your prospect, spend some time outlining your key points to help you steer the conversation the right way.
4. Warm Up
Zoom fatigue is real, and it’s easy to let that show when you feel like you’re spending all day on camera. But if you look zapped, your prospect will read that as disinterested — and that certainly won’t interest them. So before each call, spend a few minutes building up your energy by warming up your body and voice. Listen to your pump-up playlist on Spotify, do a few jumping jacks or stretch to get blood flowing, and practice vocal and breath exercises to build up your vocal energy. This will make you appear more engaged and confident, and it’ll rub off on your prospect.
5. Engage with Body Language
When we’re meeting with someone in person, we rarely have to think twice about body language. Over video, however it’s easy to become stiff and robotic without realizing it, and that kills all the energy you built by warming up. So maintain that energy — and stay connected with your audience — by sitting upright (or standing) and ensuring your facial expressions match the tone of the conversation. Smile, and offer head nods to indicate you’re engaged and listening to your prospect. And when it comes to eye contact, remember to look at the camera and not the image of the buyer’s face on the screen!
6. Use Your Voice
The way you use your voice is another key to successful video sales calls. First of all, be sure you’re allowing your emotion and your passion for your product and its value to show in your voice. This will help your audience recognize how they should feel about the offer as well. You can also vary your pitch and rate of speed to emphasize key points, helping the prospect follow your train of thought and internalize important points. Finally, watch your rate of speech. It can be tempting on a video call to speak faster than usual. Avoid the temptation, and in fact, try to slow down just a bit from your normal pace, articulating extra carefully to ensure you can be understood.
7. Build Authentic Rapport
That rapport you can build on the golf course or at a conference is much harder to achieve on a video call — but it’s possible, and it’s more important than ever. First, be sure you’re communicating authentically, using the same gestures, language, and vocal inflection you’d use over coffee. Buyers can smell a “sales persona” from miles away, even over Zoom. Second, don’t forget to ask buyers questions about themselves — both in a minute of small talk at the beginning of the call and then throughout the conversation as appropriate. Then remember those conversations and be sure to follow up on future calls.
Finally, keep your space authentic. Quantified’s research shows that, on video calls, most audiences simply want to see the room behind you — not a virtual background or a stylized screen. So, keep it professional and organized, of course, but don’t be afraid to let your prospects see a slice of your home or home office. (And if your kids or pets butt in? That’s okay — just take it in stride.)
8. Paint a Picture
One of your jobs on a sales call is to help the buyer envision a world where their pain points have disappeared — solved by your product or service. To do this, be sure you’re using engaging, storytelling language to paint a vivid picture of that scenario. To do so, think about how you can wrap your key points into short narratives by introducing the inspiration behind a new feature or the obstacles other customers have overcome. And remember to use colorful, sensory, and figurative language to create a vivid picture and an emotional connection. Even if a full-blown story doesn’t fit within the parameters of your presentation‚ vibrant language will make your message more emotionally engaging, memorable, and relatable. (Learn more about storytelling in professional communication.)
9. Listen, Watch, and Adjust as Needed
We’ve talked a lot about the communication signals you, the salesperson, are sending on the call, but equally important are the signals your prospect is sending. HubSpot research has found that only 17 percent of sales reps think they’re “pushy,” compared with 50 percent of buyers. We’re willing to bet the buyers are sending signals to the sales reps they’re talking to. If the sales reps were skilled at listening and watching to see how they’re audience is reacting, they’d be able to adjust their strategies to pull back and shift into a softer sell. So during the conversation, pay attention to the feedback (both verbal and nonverbal) you’re getting from your audience and be prepared to pivot if it looks like you’re losing their attention.
10. Seek Data-Driven Feedback to Drive Your Improvement
When it comes to successful sales communication, there’s a lot to keep track of, and it’s not always easy to get an objective, birds-eye view of how your communication skills are helping or hurting your ability to meet quota. The Quantified communication performance platform offers near-real-time, data driven feedback on more than thirty communication characteristics that drive audience perception (and close sales). This means reps can get clear feedback and actionable strategies right in the flow of their work, improving their closing rates along with their communication skills. And managers can pinpoint their teams’ strengths and development opportunities quickly and effectively, focusing training on the metrics that matter.
For more on how to master the art of video communications, download our trends report filled with findings and tips from our latest research. And to learn more about how Quantified supports sales organizations in the new, virtual normal, request a demo, and one of our experts will walk you through our platform and process.