The most powerful yet grossly under-utilized tool in business and selling today is video; both live and on-demand. Given the current global outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the safety measures and travel restrictions companies are rapidly putting in place, this is changing. Quickly!
Most companies simply have not whole-heartedly adopted video for outbound prospecting emails, video messaging through the LinkedIn mobile app, live-video conferencing for client calls, or the use of video to train and coach salespeople on both sales skills and products knowledge.
I can’t explain why there is so much “friction” to adopting video communications in business. Perhaps it’s a lack of knowledge around the technology available. Or just not enough experience to recognize the incredible value it adds to both internal and customer-facing engagement.
Let’s look at just a few specific applications for how video can not only eliminate health and safety risks, but drive incredible savings in terms of both money and time.
When all we had was a landline, we had no choice. But anyone who has ever used something like FaceTime (or Zoom, Skype, Webex, Citrix, etc.) knows how much more powerful a conversation can be when you can SEE the other party.
Psychologists tell us that more than 60% of what is communicated between people conversing is non-verbal. Meaning it’s what we see. Using video we can see body language, facial expressions, eye movements, etc. You can get so much more feedback on how your message is being received. And .. . because they can also see you, they can also get a better sense of who you are as well. Video enables us to build rapport and earn trust much more quickly.
I have been using live-video for every conversation (where possible) with both clients and prospects for over 3 years. I’m turning more conversations into opportunities, accomplishing more in every conversation, and closing more business because of it.
Of course, there will always be tremendous value in being in the same room with your customers, assuming it’s cost effective and you can do so without catching a deadly virus. But salespeople can dramatically improve their productivity (their ability to “see” more people) and companies can save a ton of money leveraging video in the right situations.
There was a time when the only really effective environment for training salespeople was the classroom. But with the technology that is available today, a blended approach that leverages on-demand video, video micro-learning, interactive live-video sessions, and video-based coaching is actually more effective in driving lasting changes in sales behavior than a classroom setting alone.
But here’s the thing . . . You can’t just take the same slide deck you used to use in the classroom and do a one-way “broadcast”webinar and expect people to show up and want to be involved. The way learning has to be constructed is very different than the old-fashioned narrated slide-show approach.
Learners need to be challenged to come up with ways to solve problems with real accounts and active opportunities. They need to engage with the learners in small-group discussions (something only a few live-video platforms do well). They also need to be held accountable to go back out to the field and use what they’ve learned, then report back on the results.
Whether it is selling skills or product knowledge, learners need things broken down into bite-size chunks which they can go out and easily apply to see positive results. They also need feedback and coaching to maximize the impact of learning reinforcement.
Real estate agents have known this for decades. But the world of B2B sales has yet to really grasp the power of a face (and now even a voice) to go along with a name when it comes to earning trust, eliminating fear, and breaking down communication barriers with people that we don’t know. There are at least two ways video is being used extremely effectively by companies willing to embrace it.
The first is a video message embedded into an email. You can make a generic video and embed in an email blast it to 5000 recipients. But what is far more effective is recording a short 30 to 60 second video that is customized to ONE recipient. There are a number of software tools out there that do this very nicely. Just do a search for “embed video into email” to find a bunch of options.
My new favorite for reaching out to people that I do not yet know is to engage them via video on LinkedIn. First you have to get familiar with their posts and comments (assuming they are active on the platform), then respond to something they post with a request to connect. THEN continue to engage with their posts for a bit before you send your first video message via the LinkedIn app.
What you are looking for is a way to connect the dots between something they obviously care about, revealed by what they write in their posts and comments, and the kind of value you can potentially bring to their world. If you just cold-connect and immediately hit them with a video, you will be very disappointed with your results.
These are only a few examples of how video is revolutionizing the way business people communicate. We are all very aware of the impact of video on mediums such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. NOWis the time to embrace the future of selling and start to leverage video in many aspects of how you communicate both internally and externally.
If you’d like to learn more about how we are helping clients leverage the latest in video technologies to dramatically drive down costs, reduce time-out-of-the-field, and eliminate health risks in sales training, please visit us at: www.salesexcellence.com
Our complete Sales Excellence Core Methodology™ program is now available on-demand at: https://www.salesexcellenceonline.com/store
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