So much of sales is made up of creating genuine, human connections, and remote selling can make that a challenge. Phone calls don’t have quite the same visual feedback – you can’t see if a lead’s attention is drifting or if their body language is telling you they’re engaged. Luckily, video conferencing resolves these problems, making it a great method to have in your arsenal. Here are seven ways your sales team can close more deals through video conferencing.
1. Have an appealing looking background
While sitting on your couch in your pajamas is fine for phone calls, you need to put a little bit more effort into sales calls via video. The first thing to think about is your background. Most in-person meetings will either take place in an office or a public space (like a coffee shop), not your house! You want the meeting to feel professional, so that means those unwashed dishes or your partner playing video games need to be out of shot.
If you can set up an actual background, this is best. Try to position yourself with something aesthetically pleasing – but not distracting – behind you. A plain wall, bookcases, or some nice but safe for work art are good choices. While books, art, and other visual displays can occasionally be a distraction they can also be a point of connection. For instance, if your bookshelves clearly display work by Terry Pratchett and the person you’re speaking to is a fan? You’ve got something in common.
If you can’t position yourself in such a way, then there’s a couple of solutions. It’s surprisingly easy to make a neutral background – a clothes rail with some plain fabric can hide a multitude of sins behind you. Many video conferencing solutions allow you to blur your background, or use a custom background. Whilst the custom backgrounds may look obviously fake, they’re often far less distracting than a cluttered living space. That said, it looks like remote selling may be the future of work for some time, so it’s recommended to invest in improving your background in a more permanent way.
2. Look professional
Of course, it doesn’t matter if your background looks professional if you don’t. Make sure what can be seen on-screen looks appropriate – people might not expect a full suit while you work from home, but they expect more than athleisure wear. You can’t provide world-class customer service looking like you woke up five minutes before the call, after all.
It’s not just what you wear that’s relevant here, either. Video calls, whilst a good alternative to in-person sales meetings, still require you to be aware of things you might not usually consider. Take into account:
- Camera angle – Your whole face and shoulders should be in the shot, and you should be looking straight at the screen not up or down towards it.
- Posture – Sit up straight and avoid slouching.
- Facial expressions – Keep an eye on your own video feed and make sure you don’t end up looking disinterested or annoyed. Video highlights things that are often counteracted by body language in real life, so make sure to compensate as best you can.
- Good lighting – Avoid being backlit. If you can, invest in a ring light and a separate camera. This is something a lot of beauty YouTubers use because it’s a simple way to make you look your best.
3. Familiarize yourself with the software
One way to lose a lead is for the video call to disconnect, or for you to come across as unprepared. Familiarize yourself with the technology you’ll be using – make sure you know how to setup VoIP phone at home, how to screen share, and how to connect to calls.
Not only will this mean that you come across as prepared, but you’ll be able to help other call participants with problems, too. If they’re having trouble muting their microphone, you’ll know how to walk them through the steps to do it. Making sure you have the right tools and the knowledge on how to use them means the meeting can go on unhindered by tech issues, providing a smooth sales experience for all involved.
4. Provide resources in advance
Just like in-person sales meetings, you can grease the wheels by providing resources in advance. As well as sending out an invitation to the call, you can send a Google Calendar link and an explainer video for the software you’ll be using. For some clients, you may need to explain the benefits of using VoIP or video conferencing before they’ll even agree to a call, so make sure you have some resources to hand for this.
As well as these practical tips, send out any content you need them to engage with. Whether that’s product specifications, a trial version of some software, or a recorded video showing off a product. This means that your video chat can go more in-depth and make the most use of your time.
In recent years, many sales teams have moved their meetings to video calls, so you need to make sure you stand out. Rather than spending your call explaining the basics, you can start with the assumption that they’re familiar with your product and address any questions these pre-call resources have raised.
5. Have examples and demonstrations to hand
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have those resources on hand during the call. Video conferences are particularly well suited to live demonstrations of software, so if you have the opportunity to do this, you should.
Don’t be afraid to use the screen share function to show off charts and figures, either. For instance, if you’re offering to improve their SaaS SEO strategy, have case studies available that you can talk through in detail. Ideally, you will have sent some resources on this in advance, but showing them through the screen share function means that you’re not relying on the participants to be able to open certain file types. It’s a great way of ensuring you can show off the most pertinent information without running into tech issues on their end.
It may be worth investing in your content creation and data analysis teams to ensure you have resources that are both informative and visually appealing. It’s a good time to focus on recruiting top talent to ensure your content is memorable, and not just something that’s been hurriedly put together the day before the call.
6. Refer to participants by name
Addressing people by name is commonly discussed as a good sales strategy, but for video conferencing, it’s also a practical one. If you’re just calling an individual, this is less relevant, but for conferences involving multiple participants, it’s an important part of engaging.
When having a conversation in person, we naturally turn to the person to whom we’re asking a direct question. That body language means they know you’re directing it to them, and they can respond accordingly. In video calls with multiple participants, it can be very unclear – leading to long gaps with no response, or multiple people trying to talk over each other at once. People can also get distracted and start doing other things alongside the call.
By referring to participants by name, not only do you get to take advantage of the strategic aspects, but you can control the flow of conversation – bringing us nicely to the final point.
7. Control the flow of the meeting
In order to close a deal, you need to be in control of the conversation. Some ways to make sure you stay in control include:
- Making sure everyone is on mute unless they’re speaking, to avoid background interruptions.
- Repeat any questions you’re asked before answering to make sure everyone heard them.
- Turn off any notification pop-ups so you won’t be interrupted or have additional visuals appear during screen sharing.
- Close any personal tabs in your browser.
- Send out an agenda in advance, and stick to it. Make sure to include time for questions in this agenda.
- Stay focused, and keep an eye on other participants’ engagement. If they look distracted, try to re-engage them with direct questions, new visuals, or a change of topic.
By staying in charge of the flow of the meeting, you can steer the conversation in the direction you want. This allows you to focus on the sale, and close the deal.