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Virtual selling: the essential video sales call checklist

Virtual selling: the essential video sales call checklist Blog Feature

May 20th, 2020 min read

In wake of COVID-19 (coronavirus), video has become the new norm over the last six weeks. 

Virtual happy hours, birthday parties, business meetings, even weddings have become commonplace for nearly everyone. 

Video is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with people personally from a remote environment. In many ways, it can make you feel like you’re in the same room, but is it still possible to truly sell over video? How is it possible?

Before diving into how that, let’s consider why you should start using video as part of your sales process if you aren’t already.

Why your sales process needs video

When you can’t meet in person and have to turn to alternatives (like many of us have to today), sales can be difficult to navigate. 

With calls and emails, you have no idea what the other is expecting, or how they’re taking in the information you’re giving them. 

With video calls, you get more insight into what the person’s thinking and feeling in that very moment. 

🔎 Related: How to run a world-class video sales demo virtually

You can see their reaction and respond to both verbal and nonverbal cues, adjusting your approach and changing course if needed. 

If, on video, someone seems uninterested or confused, you can try a different angle or ask for their input. 

If your contact is nodding and appears attentive rather than confused, you know you have the go-ahead to keep talking instead of backtracking to spend more time elaborating or clarifying a point.

Also, when your prospects are able to see your face, they’re able to form a more human-to-human bond with you. 

The combination of face-to-face interaction plus a compelling presentation or demo creates a dynamic sales environment where you can easily grab and hold your prospect’s attention.

Like you can with them, they can see your expressions and better grasp your sincerity, which increases your chances of building trust and confidence, ultimately leading to faster sales cycles with higher closing rates.

Don’t believe me?

Gong.io recently analyzed the audio and video of more than 100,000 sales meetings to understand the effect using a webcam has on closing deals. 

Turns out, when comparing meetings that resulted in closed deals versus lost deals, Gong.io made a remarkable discovery: For the successfully closed deals, webcams were used 41% more frequently throughout the sales cycle.

But it’s not just about using the webcam; It’s about making a connection by showing your actual face as opposed to focusing on presenting a deck or demo.

🔎 Related: Our ultimate video for sales getting started guide (no email required)

As the world continues to work remotely, it’s no surprise that your interactions with prospects and customers may be increasingly virtual.

In fact, Microsoft revealed  demand for Microsoft Teams surged worldwide in the last few months, jumping from 32 million daily active users to 44 million in just a week. 

As more and more of your prospects and customers get comfortable with using video to connect and conduct business, you can use this as an opportunity to expand your sales skills and adapt your sales approach to embracing a more virtual way of selling.

Your video sales call checklist

Now that you know why you should use video for your next sales call, let’s talk about how to do that most effectively. 

We’ve broken this down into a checklist of what you should consider before, during, and after every video call.

Before your video sales call...

  • Create an agenda: Does your prospect know the purpose of the call and what will be covered? Do they know it will be a video call? Make sure to create and share the agenda for your call so that everyone involved can feel prepared for the conversation. 
  • Know your audience: What buyer persona does this prospect fit into? How did you connect with them? You’ll want to make sure you know as much as possible about your prospect to best cater your conversation.
  • Double check your attendees: Did you include everyone on the invite that should be included? Did everyone accept the invite? Do all attendees know how to use the video conferencing software? If not, send out a quick reminder and helpful hints for how to join the meeting.
  • Plan your attire: Even if you’re working from home, when on camera for a sales call, dress to impress. 
  • Create a professional atmosphere: Are you setting the stage for success? Take a look at the environment where you’ll be during the video call to ensure a professional-looking backdrop. Your customers will likely (if just subconsciously) make judgments based on this. Consider these three things before starting the meeting:
    • Lighting: Consider whether the room is too bright or too dark, which may cause you to appear backlit or washed-out. Make adjustments like changing the angle of the screen or adding additional lighting sources.
    • Sound: Eliminate background noise from phones, equipment, or other employees.
    • Clutter: If there are empty coffee cups in the background, clear them away. If you have distracting artwork on the wall, take it down for the duration of the video call.

Taking the time to prepare before a video call by setting expectations with your prospects, and checking your attire as well as your atmosphere will help you make a great first impression and put both you and your attendees at ease. 

During your video sales call…

  • Pay attention to responsiveness: Is your prospect engaged? Are they interested in what you’re saying? Are you ready to respond to any questions or concerns your prospect may have? Paying close attention to their engagement level will help you steer the conversation and respond. If you’re talking about a feature of your product or service and your prospect appears to have a glazed look on their face? Move on.
  • Take note of even nonverbal reactions: Did you ask a question or discuss an idea that elicited a positive or negative reaction? Based on the reaction you get, you can adjust as needed. This is one of the great things about using video. A smile and a nod can reassure you to keep going whereas a raised eyebrow and look of confusion can help you quickly switch directions or take an alternative approach.
  • Record the call: Are you recording the call? Doing so allows you to be present during the conversation and not so worried about taking notes to remember every little detail. BONUS: You can also use this as a great training and development tool for yourself. Didn’t like the way you opened that conversation? Or maybe you thought you asked a great question in a meeting? Watch your recording and jot down a few notes about things you thought you did well and things you thought you could improve.
  • Request the next step: At the end of the conversation, you should know whether this prospect is a good fit or not. Ask for a next step to help you gauge the prospect’s interest and urgency regarding your solution. 
  • Remember to mute: Did you mute your mic? Whether there are multiple people in the meeting or just you and your prospect, muting your microphone while the other person is talking will help minimize distractions and keep the conversation flowing.

Overall, treat a video call as you would an in-person meeting. Just like you’d pay close attention to the reactions and responses during an in-person conversation, video allows you to pick up on certain behaviors and identify when someone is more engaged or if they’ve tuned out. 

Being able to see and hear these cues will allow you to tailor the conversation.

After your video sales call…

  • Send a recap of the meeting: Did you send a follow-up email that recaps your conversation? Following up in a timely manner is key to keeping the conversation moving and helps the sale gain momentum.
  • Share content: Do you have a quality piece of content that you can share to help support what was discussed with your prospect? Using content to create a follow-up cadence is a great way to avoid the dreaded “just checking-in” email with prospects who’ve gone silent.
  • Send the invite for your next meeting: Did your prospect agree to a scheduled next step? Send the invite immediately following the call so you both have it on your calendars.
  • Social media: Did you connect with your prospect on LinkedIn? If you haven’t already, now is the time to do so. Follow the prospect’s company too. This will help you stay up-to-date about what’s happening at the company as well as what’s new and interesting to your prospect. 

The follow up after a sales meeting with a new prospect can be frustrating. The key thing to remember is to always focus on adding value

Every touchpoint and communication after a meeting should include specific information that would interest the prospect about their industry, their role, and the problem they are trying to solve with your solution.

Start using video to connect and foster relationships

Selling through a video call isn’t anything new, but it has quickly become the “new norm” for all sales professionals who continue to face the challenges brought on by COVID-19.

As video becomes a permanent part of your toolbox as a salesperson, you need to continue to adapt your sales process and strategy to effectively include video. 

As more and more of your prospects and customers embrace video, the better you’ll be able to leverage video calls to foster stronger relationships, achieve faster sales cycle, and close more deals.

Use the checklist above as a starting point to tailor your own video call checklist. And as you start to use your own checklist you’ll become increasingly comfortable with using the technology and leading a powerful sales conversation.

Want to keep going? Download our ebook to help take your client relationships to the next level.

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