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Using Video Effectively to Promote Personalisation

Last week, ESP held our fortnightly Sales Leaders virtual meet up – hosted by Paul Thomson and joined by Calum Kilgour and John Bissett from Slingshot Edge. The conversation flowed as the group discussed how to use video in the sales process. ‘Video’ is a wide topic – this session encapsulated sending videos directly to prospects or clients, videos on LinkedIn, using Zoom, etc.

Here are the key takeaways:

Sidebar conversations

One of the most successful ways salespeople develop trust in their clients is by showing their personality and building their confidence through sidebar conversations. This was a shared struggle amongst the group – video tends to be preplanned and intentional which doesn’t feel natural.

These conversations that salespeople have with their clients over coffee, lunch, or dinner can’t be replaced by virtual methods. This is the main aspect of the virtual world that is the biggest hinderance in the sales process. Video calls are not going to be as effective as meeting someone in person. However, that doesn’t mean that the trusted relationship can’t build – it just requires perseverance, time, and patience.

While this isn’t video, some of the group shared that they’d found going old school and picking up the phone was a way of mimicking that sidebar conversation. Talking to someone little and often will help to build familiarity and encourages people to open up.

Personalising your background

One of the attendees shared what their team have been doing – personalising their background. Having something in the background or on the wall that gives some indication as to who you are as a person, your lifestyle, and what you’re interested in can open up some great conversations.This could be a bike, a poster, plants, culture reference points, anything! Having an easy discussion point in the background will help to break down the feeling of video calls being rehearsed and impersonal. People are more likely to act like themselves when they’re talking about something they’re interested in, which in turn builds trust and rapport. This also works to make you more memorable – people are more likely to remember the narrative if they associate it with a visual. The same attendee also shared that they move the pieces in the background around to keep it interesting and this can sometimes work to mirror what the client or prospect you’re talking to would be interested in.

Record the call!

If you can get permission, Calum and John strongly advise recording the call, particularly discovery calls. As humans we tend to listen to ourselves talking and focus on how to move the conversation forward rather than recognise the subtle indications that depict how the other person is receiving the information. This could be through a certain inflection of speech, a hesitation, a facial expression, etc. Recording the discovery call and watching it back gives insight to fantastic detail that otherwise would have been missed.

Moving the next step over to video

After discovery you have two options:

1) rely on your champion to accurately take your message to the decision-making group


2) try to bring the stakeholders into the conversation yourself which is often difficult.

Calum and John have proposed a third option. You can make it incredibly easy for your champion to channel the exact message you want to the wider group. This is done by sending a video to your champion (easily done through YouTube private link, Vimeo, or another video software) that talks them through their journey – where they are now, what the problem is, what happens if they don’t solve it, and how they can solve it. The main aspect to remember is to not talk about your solution or your company! This is about them and how they can save the day. Add a short email along the lines of: ‘does this accurately reflect your problem? Feel free to send it round to the rest of the team!’

Utilising video has made its way into the world of sales and we think, C word or not, that it’s here to stay. More companies are opening up to flexible working, people are realising that they don’t always have to travel for an hour-long meeting, and some are making the same relationships that they would in person. Technology sales in particular is consistently adapting to new processes and methods. Especially in times ‘like these’, salespeople that aren’t up to speed with the latest trends will get left in the lurch. So, for those that aren’t using video in their sales processes – time to catch up!

Here’s a snippet from our last event about why you should mix up your background:

Our next virtual get together is on Thursday 3rd December 11am – 12pm. It’s our last one before Christmas so it’s only right to keep it topical! The group will be discussing innovative ways to engage your teams and customers in Christmas fun in the virtual world. Everyone is in the same boat with this one – let’s all mourn the ghost of Christmas parties together and think of new ways to have fun.

Register here! See you there.