You have been selling in Zoom rooms or other video-chat technologies for over a year.

How has that gone for you?

It is possible that the past year has been unusually successful for you. After all, thanks to quarantining and social distancing in response to the coronavirus, almost all sales calls occurred in virtual domains, and the mood of clients was to get through the pandemic in as normal a fashion as possible. That meant accepting that your sales calls would be made via Zoom.

It is also possible that the past 12 months saw your sales success suffer. After a lifetime of developing your in-person or over-the-phone sales calls, you suddenly found yourself the star of your very own TV commercial, which consists of your clients viewing your sales presentations only via videoconferencing.

If you have had a difficult year, and you are hanging your professional hat on the belief that vaccinations will allow your sales process to go back to normal sometime this summer, you may need to rethink your position. Sociological experts believe that the American business environment will never go back to “normal’’, that video conferencing will remain a major part of our lives. It is certainly true in office settings, as companies make plans to host a hybrid plan for in-office and virtual appearances. The same is likely going to be true for making sales calls.

You are going to have to get accustomed to, and get better at, making video conferencing sales calls.  A consultation with Best Sales Talent can assist you in this process, but here are a few steps to consider as well:

Slow down

If your pre-pandemic sales approach required in-person sales calls, the coronavirus offered you greater opportunity to sell because you were stationary. There was no traveling involved. You may have used this new opportunity to increase your volume of sales calls, which makes sense. But it could also hinder your success rate because you have tried to do too much too quickly.

Make certain that every sales call is a unique experience, for you as well as for your client. Prepare for each video sales call the way you may have done when you traveled; allow yourself that moment of preparation that you used to take before exiting your car to enter an office building or conference room.

You are not suddenly a stockbroker making hundreds of calls a day.  You are making a sales call that involves making a precise presentation to an uncertain or even wary client. Review your client history. You need to make each call unique to yourself. Otherwise, your sales visits will become rote, and the quality of your message will be diluted.

Practice with a brutally honest friend or coworker

For some salespeople, the addition of video technology to the sales process is not a positive, because the camera loves some faces, and some salespeople have what broadcasters call “a face for radio.” Very few people like the way they look in Zoom calls. But you need to make the best of the situation.

Call a brutally honest friend or a coworker who has you and your company’s best interests in mind and make your presentation to them. Ask for feedback. Do you look into the camera too much, or not enough? Do you forget to blink? Do you fidget? Is your background too boring or too distracting? Does your lighting make you look washed out or shadowed? Try recording the practice presentation and ply it back for self-critique. You should watch your own sales presentations as much as listening to them.

When you made sales calls in person, you always tried to look your best. The same is true for video sales calls, but there are now more visual considerations to deal with than just whether your tie is properly tied.

Your presentation on video conferencing calls should include show and tell – presentation slides or demonstration videos. Ask your practice partner these questions: Do the materials convey the proper message? Are printed materials easily viewable? Does your font size make the viewer squint, or shove their face up to the laptop screen? Does the video link work? Is your volume set too high or too low?

If this sounds like a rehearsal for an audition, that is because that is exactly what it is.

You need to be comfortable with your own physical presence in a video presentation, and you need to be assured that your sales material is appropriate for a video sales call. Any uncertainty on your part will play out in the way you move on screen.

Invite video feedback

If your client is familiar with video conferencing, they may enjoy the opportunity to make their own presentation. They may want to share sales reports they need to improve, or they may want to compare your product or service to a competitor’s offer by sharing the screen to show what they have been offered.

One benefit to the video sales call in today’s digital world is that your conversation does not need to be static. It does not need to be your face staring at their face the entire time. Make it more interactive, which will make your sales call more interesting and less stale.

Invite others into your conversation

Whether you want to invite your manager or CEO into the call, or your client wants to bring in someone from accounting, be ready to add participants. In terms of impact, adding a participant in a video environment is much more effective than adding a caller to a phone conversation. You are aware how an in-person meeting changes when someone new enters the room. The same occurs in a video conference setting and is somehow even more intimate and purposeful.

Be ready to close the sale

When you made an in-person sales call, you always had the paperwork necessary to complete the sale with you. In a video sales call, be ready to send your client any paperwork they need to fill out.  You can even share a copy of the paperwork with them on screen to go over any technical details that might come up.

You may not realize this, or you may have needed a full year to understand it, but there are specific advantages to selling via a video call.  Make yourself comfortable in that setting, consider the unique circumstances of each client, make the video experience stimulating, and be ready to close the deal when your presentation has been successful.