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April 13, 2020
5 Compelling Ideas for Humanizing Remote Sales Tactics
Extroverted sales reps naturally thrive on in-person human interactions — which are hard to come by these days. Even if you fall into the “lone wolf” category, you probably still feel a little bit weird rolling out of bed each morning, getting professionally dressed from the waist up, walking into your quiet living room, and turning on your laptop, without so much as a friendly “hello” to answer to.
We’re all craving human contact right about now and yes, your customers are feeling it, too.
Customers so often need that “handshake” treatment, especially if they are buying a relatively expensive SaaS product or are partnering long-term with the vendor. And therein lies the challenge: Though we are all socially distanced, salespeople must continue to deliver a human experience, not just for their own good, but the good of their customers.
Rethinking Sales Tactics
According to Fast Company, boundaries are the best constructs for creativity; when you have clear parameters, you have a better sense of what’s possible.
We know that we can’t see our prospects in person right now. We also know that they are probably confined to their homes. So, right off the top, can you think of one way you can personalize communication?
That’s right. You have a video camera. Use it.
Think Outside the Zoom
If you’re like most of the world right now, you’re probably already using Zoom. That’s a great start! But you need to be thinking of innovative ways of using it, while also adding video to other areas of your day.
Here are a few expert tips:
Trick Out Your Zoom!
If you haven’t discovered it yet, Zoom has some really cool virtual backgrounds. You can go to “Preferences,” then go to “Virtual Backgrounds,” and select which one you’d like. Maybe it’s a beach. Maybe it’s the Golden Gate Bridge. Or maybe you upload one of your own favorite pictures.
This feature works really well if you’re calling your prospects from a messy house (it hides your background!) or if you have a good sense of humor and want to use it as an icebreaker.
Pro Tip: Use your background as a cool talking point. For example, maybe you post a picture of your sky-diving trip or the media photos of when your company won an award. Maybe it’s your product, itself! Design how you’d like the conversation to go and select your background accordingly.
Send Video Emails
Disclaimer! My company, Vidyard, provides free video messaging and screen recording tools for sales teams and businesses. But the reason we’ve grown so fast is that people are really responding to this personalized way of communicating.
Have you ever gotten a really long email and just “skimmed it” or maybe misunderstood the tone of another email? Video eliminates both of those negative scenarios, allowing you to explain faster and more efficiently. Plus, seeing the actual person delivering the message humanizes the whole process.
Pro Tip: Send your prospects friendly and fun video emails that quickly explain your product and why their specific company might be interested in using it.
Conduct Product Demos By Video
Sending product videos with visuals of key features is a good idea. An even better idea? Putting yourself in them.
You don’t have to be the full-screen star of the show, but keep your face in the video. This significantly humanizes the interaction and makes customer engagement easier. People naturally react to faces and seeing yours will remind them that a human being is talking to them and they’re not just watching a screen.
Here’s How to Create Better Videos
Not all videos are created equal! Here are a few technicalities to keep in mind:
Create an Outline
It’s not enough to just decide to make a video and then flip on the camera. Prepare! First, you’re going to want to create an outline of what you will say. This will help you hit all the necessary points. That being said, don’t try to read from a script, but do practice it a few times.
Be a Good Lighting Designer
Lighting can make or break a video! If you don’t have enough light, the video will appear grainy. Your best bet is to film during the day and try to be in a room with a lot of natural light. Shoot the video with your face towards a window, and never with a sunny window or bright light behind you.
Be Aware of Your Body Language
Your body language sends visual cues to your audience. You want to appear confident? Look directly into the camera and try to not look away or down so much. You want to appear energized and engaged? Sit forward in your chair and smile before you ever press record. These little things make a big difference.
Use Visuals Within Your Videos
Break up your videos with visuals! If you flip on the TV, you’ll very rarely see any one camera shot for any length of time. Pro producers cut away to “b-roll” which illustrates what the speaker is talking about. Find a way to do this in your videos and keep your audience’s attention by always giving them something interesting to look at.
We could choose to be depressed about remote life, or we can choose to be energized by the challenge. My hope is that you’ll start to incorporate these small changes into your correspondence and they will act as a starting point to spark new ideas for creative connections. And when they do, share your tips with the rest of us!