Sellers’ rules for successful video conferencing

These days, more and more salespeople than ever are relying on video conferencing to move deals forward. But how many of them are using this powerful communication technology effectively, to interact with prospective buyers? If you haven’t discovered them already here are six rules to remember when video conferencing with clients, customers and prospects:

#1:  Make sure you have the bandwidth. If you’re working from home (and let’s face it, a lot of people are these days), prepare yourself for a shock: it’s entirely possible that the “business” Wi-Fi connection you set up for yourself months ago is simply not going to cut it now. If five people are in the house, three of them are watching their own movie, and one of them is on an extended Fortnite expedition, you may just need to find another connection, such as a hotspot with your cell phone.

#2:  Use your calendar invite, BEFORE, the video conference begins, as a strategic selling tool. If the text of your calendar invite is boring or uninformative (example: “Demo”) you are putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage. Use this valuable digital real estate to highlight a business PAIN you can address with your solution. For instance: “Reducing turnover among key employees with XYZ Application (demo).” Take every opportunity to show value!  (It’s also a good idea to use your calendar invite to establish the meeting’s duration, topics and structure.)

#3:  Eliminate distractions. Of course, you will want to shut the door and make sure kids and pets are not going to interrupt you during the call. But you can eliminate other distractions when sharing your screen by using the F11 key, on your Windows machine, to make tabs and bookmarks disappear. Open tabs distract people and meeting participants shouldn’t be tempted to check out what other tabs you have been busying yourself with. (While you’re thinking of it, turn off all automatic calendar and email alerts that might come up on your computer during the meeting.) Also, eliminate visual

backgrounds that are unprofessional, distracting or just plain inappropriate. Keep the look and feel of your video feed focused, accessible and just as professional as you are.

#4. Check your look. Make sure the camera is at eye level, and that both the light source and the microphone are in front of you. Frame your shoulders and head in the video area so that you fill about 75% of the screen. And remember: The closer your head is to the top of the video, the taller you look.

#5: Default to video. Say you’re using Skype or Zoom and you have the opportunity to share your face and voice with the prospect via video. Should you or shouldn’t you? The smart course of action is to default to video, even if the other person isn’t sharing theirs. Why? Because sharing a professional, focused video feed of yourself humanizes you and makes person-to-person communication far more effective. Most of the time, once you take the lead by sharing your own video feed, the prospective buyer will reciprocate by sharing theirs and, suddenly, it’s a much deeper, more engaged connection!

#6: Follow a system. Last, but certainly not least, remember to use proper sales techniques. This is not a chat room or a hangout! Manage the schedule strategically. Allot some time for socialization at the beginning; review the agenda and the time constraints before you start into the main portion of the meeting; leave enough time to discuss the next steps at the end. When facilitating discussions with groups, it’s important to leave sufficient time to ask plenty of questions. Call on or check in with each person, so the more introverted or patient participants get a chance to chime in. Every meeting should have both a purpose and an outcome, and videoconferences are no exception. In all likelihood, the other person will need to make a decision near the end of the call and some follow up steps will need to be discussed, so make sure you leave time for those steps.

Pay attention to these six riles when you’re video conferencing with prospects and customers … and you may have a better chance of closing more sales.

Jim Marshall is owner and president of Sandler Training of Tampa Bay which provides sales, corporate and management training to high-achieving companies and individuals. Contact him at 813.287.1500 or


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