At the start of the pandemic, I was baffled why so many salespeople were struggling with selling remotely. I thought to myself, "What's the big deal? Just turn on your camera and talk to people!" It wasn't until my brother (a very successful salesperson, I might add!), came to me and said:
"I'm really struggling. I just don't come off well on camera. And I'm not getting second conversations."
Then it hit me - selling remotely is a much bigger problem for salespeople than I realized. And so many reps are struggling to make a connection through a camera and screen.
That is why I was thrilled to speak with Julie Hansen in this episode of the In Pursuit of Growth podcast. Julie and I dive into how we can enable sales teams to successfully sell using video. It all starts with the proper training, and the right tools.
Julie is the author of Look Me In The Eye and the creator of Selling On Video Master Class. Before Julie became the go-to expert for training salespeople to connect with their customers and sell on video, she was an actor. She faced some of the same challenges salespeople are facing today, like the transition from stage (or in-person selling) to screen. Julie enrolled in some on-camera training and learned the techniques necessary to connect with other people through the camera - and that's a skill she teaches today.
From In-Person to Video
In a pre-pandemic world, most salespeople were good at having sales conversations in person. They have been honing in on those face-to-face communication skills since the day there were born - a lifetime. But somehow, we think and expect that a one-hour training on remote selling should be enough. Julie explains why it's not. Much of the communication in this new medium is counterintuitive. Salespeople think that it's good to be relaxed. But that can come across as disinterested or dare I say, "RBF" (not what you're thinking but you'll have to listen to find out 😉).
Julie shared some of the foundational skills that salespeople need to learn to connect with their buyers through video. She says:
"You can't just turn on a camera - that's not going to build relationship. There are certain qualities that must be present. Things like being a good listener, being interested and being empathetic."
Making Connections Through the Camera
Our goal, as sales enablement professionals, is to get salespeople to have meaningful conversations - and make it easy for customers to buy from us. To do so, we must enable salespeople. Not only do we need to give them the tools needed but also the techniques to communicate and break through the camera barrier.
To get salespeople comfortable looking at the camera and building connections, Julie likes to start by focusing on four things:
- Body language
- Facial expressions
- Eye contact
These things play a major role in connecting with a buyer through the camera and can either make or break a second conversation.
Help Your Team Feel Confident on Camera
The final message I took away from my conversation with Julie was that we can give salespeople a huge sigh of relief. How? We can give them comfort and confidence by providing them the training to engage through the camera. They must look into the camera (make eye contact!), use their hands, and use their voice to connect with prospects and customers.
If we give that to our sales teams, they can go forward feeling confident that they can win deals using video.
WATCH | LISTEN to the conversation with Julie to hear more great tips on how to best use video to sell.