With the advent of digital communications, face-to-face meetings have become increasingly scarce. Thankfully, video conferencing is an alternative way to make an impression without actually meeting in-person. There’s no doubt that in-person pitches are more effective, but sometimes it’s either not possible or feasible. However, closing sales over video comes with its challenges which is why there hasn’t yet been widespread adoption of this.
For those who know how to capitalize on the opportunities that video conferencing provides, they have a distinct advantage over their competition.
Forming a personal connection
A salesperson doesn’t have to be told that body language is important, but without the right cues they may have a tendency to recite when it comes to a phone call rather than react. Video conferences give the salesperson a chance to see how the client is responding to the information delivered, and then tweak their approach if necessary.
The flight cues for instance are the most telling: when a client closes or rubs their eyes, leans away or tries to put any kind of barrier between themselves and the salesperson. Clients often give these cues before they even consciously realize they’ve checked out of the conversation or decided they’re not interested, so the sooner the salesperson turns their opinion around, the better.
Saving on travel expenses
When you can’t justify the expense of traveling to meet clients all over the world, video conference calls are crucial in helping to build and maintain key relationships.
If you’re left with no other possible way to see a client (even with all the effort in the world) due to budgetary concerns, your next best investment will be in quality video conferencing software that can support multiple participants on the same call. You’ll also find this to be a more economical solution compared to paying for airfare, lodging, and meals.
Ability to cover more granular details
Over the phone, product demos can be cumbersome to complete. Even if the person has already seen a video of the product in-action, a live demo can really help to put its different use cases into context and perspective. Plus it provides a real-time opportunity for buyers to ask deeper questions about the nuances of the particular features. Therefore, salespeople should aim to incorporate video conferencing in future sales calls.
These kinds of conversations are what can fast-track interested prospects into actual customers, and they can cut down on the total amount of touch points it takes to clinch the deal. Questions can be asked in the moment rather than get lost in the sea of other tasks on the agenda for the day.
Potential pitfalls of video conferencing
The downside to video calls is that they do take more effort (for all parties involved), so you’ll need to be empathetic to your client’s situation.
Perhaps they don’t want to be troubled to have to clean up their office before they get on the call, or they’re used to a power stance where they have their feet on the table as they chat. They may not have a designated place to do video calls, especially if they’re in a cubicle farm. It could be as simple as the fact that they don’t like to see themselves on camera.
There’s a reason why video calls aren’t used more often, especially in light of the simplicity of email when it comes to staying invisible, casual, and convenient. Be persistent without being pushy. If you do have a client agree to a video conference, the initial calls will have to really impress and delight your prospect, otherwise they’re likely to decline future correspondence.
Advice for improving your video sales calls
Video calls are its own kind of art, so sales reps have to invest time into perfecting their approach. The lighting in an office might be too bright and cause the room to look harsh or the salesperson to look sickly or tired. Too much sound interference, even from the seemingly innocuous whir of a computer in the background, will make for a less enjoyable video call.
The rep must be dressed correctly and put in an environment that will not distract the viewer with clutter. If a salesperson is using a new device (e.g. new mobile phone, updated video app, etc.), ensure they have ample practice with it before they make the call. Many of these preparation tips are obvious, but they’re not necessarily always followed.
There is real value though in taking care of all the details: understanding how to screen share, giving people another way to call in if they run into technical issues, and setting up a killer profile on the service itself. If you can get a customer to agree to taking a video call, be mindful that they’ve taken extra steps to participate and be prepared to deliver information and value that makes it all worth their time.