Video has done wonders for our sales process. It’s helped build trust, shorten the sales cycle and close more deals. I may have been writing about the use of video and success we’ve seen over the past year, but I’ve also had the experience of being a newbie and seen what others have gone through when they first get started with it.
I’ve compiled the mistakes I faced as a sales video newbie and things I’ve seen other sales professionals struggle with. These tips are made to help you through challenges you might be facing, and to help make you aware of mistakes you might stumble upon when you’re first getting started. At the end of this article, my hopes are that you feel good about embarking on your video journey and that all those fears you had, or roadblocks you are stumbling with, fall away.
I can’t tell you how many times I hear this, “I’m just not good on camera.” Guess what? No one is good when they first start. It’s like anything else. It takes time, it takes practice, and it takes pushing yourself. Which we are ALL capable of. If you keep the mentality that you’re not good on camera, you won’t be and you’re going to hold yourself back. I’m not going to sugarcoat it and say that once you do it a few times it’ll feel better. It’s going to take a little while to get comfortable on camera.
One of the best ways to start getting more comfortable is by doing things that relax you and make you feel more confident before recording. Wear your favorite outfit, pump yourself up with your favorite music, do an activity that puts you in a great mood. You’ll boost your confidence merely by being happy. Personally, I can tell a difference in my confidence when I’m wearing something new or I’m in a great mood. My videos just tend to be better.
Another thing to remember is that you have to fake it until you make it. It’s all a mindset. Tell yourself that you’re great, remind yourself that this isn’t being aired in front of millions of people. Your mind is a powerful thing and your habits will shift.
When you first get started with using video in the sales process you might not have a problem with being on camera. In fact, you might be the one leading the charge on your team and using it for all of your communication. Be aware though, that excitement might not always stick around. I’ve watched people get so excited about this new shiny tool in their tech stack, but after a while the excitement fades and they start to fall into old habits. Even as a self-proclaimed video sales queen, I’ve been there.
There are days that I might just not be in the mood to record a video, or when it might just seem easier to send a plain text email. That’s when I have to remind myself why I started video production in the first place. I started using video because it’s a way to stand out, book more meetings, shorten the sales cycle, and close more deals. As a sales person, I have a goal each month, which I’m sure you relate to as a sales person reading this; you have to remind yourself that video is the tool that is going to help you surpass your goals and keep you ahead of the competition.
Taking the easy route isn’t going to get you the same results. It’s important to be hyper aware of this mistake. It’s easy to not catch it. You might think, “Oh, today I’m going to send emails and not do video.” But that day turns into days, which turns into weeks and then a month passes and you realize you haven’t touched video. New tools and practices are habits you have to form. It’s just like going to the gym. You might get excited to join a new gym and you make the goal of going after work each day, but then slowly you begin to not go because you’re tired or too busy. After a while, you’ll then notice that you’re paying for a membership you don’t even use.
After the habit of using video is formed and you’re used to regularly using it, it will be as easy as sending an email like you always did in the past.
Along with not being consistent and falling into just flat-out not doing video, sales newbies also fall into the trap of doing what is most comfortable to them and rarely stepping outside the box with video. Recently I’ve been seeing more people who write about marketing video in the sales process giving the same tips and tactics. What does that do? It makes normal video tactics not as unique or competitive. The problem with lacking creativity now is that before you know it video is going to become as typical as a sales email. And when that happens, your prospect is going to be used to receiving a video message, video outreach will start to look the same, and just like email your prospect is going to tune the clutter out. This might not happen this year, but that time is approaching faster than we think. I’m not just talking about the creativity of your video itself, but the creativity of when you use video in the sales process.
You might think that video is mostly used for prospecting efforts (probably because most video in sales articles only really talk about that), but there is so much more you can do. Think about all the interactions that happen from beginning to end and where there are areas you can build trust and transparency with your prospect. Then think about how video will help you do that. What is your prospect going to value and appreciate?
Think outside the box and find ways that will set yourself apart -- you might even find your video strategy simplifies your sales process.
One of the biggest mistakes I see sales newbies make is using video to talk all about their company’s service or product rather than focusing on the prospect and their needs. It doesn’t happen because sales newbies are full of themselves, it happens because, as a sales professional, you naturally think this is how you’re going to stand out and grab someone's attention in the short amount you have. But at the end of the day, prospects want to know why they should care, what value you’re bringing them, and why they should trust you. Look at the video prospecting opportunity as a way to begin building a relationship with trust. Instead of going for the hard sell right off the bat, use video to introduce yourself, identify your prospects’ challenges, and provide helpful resources. Also use it as a way to ask them questions rather than talking at them. Put yourself in their shoes and recognize how they would prefer to communicate. No one likes to be sold to, but they do value being helped and educated.
I’m one to preach that using video as a tool in general is going to do something for you rather than not using it at all. But take that with a grain of salt. Just using a video tool isn’t automatically going to bring you success and work overnight. Using video doesn’t mean you’re instantly going to see results and grab your prospects’ attention. It’s going to take practice and it’s going to take putting together a strategy. Just as a smart marketing person looks at analytics and makes informed decisions based on their data, you have to be a smart salesperson and make decisions for your video efforts based on data. You may be thinking, “Well Myriah, I started using video and I’m already seeing more traction. Clearly what I’m doing is working.” If so, congratulations! But, there’s always room for improvement. Reviewing your data and tweaking your strategy could bring you even more engagement and success. The worst thing you can do is get complacent just because a few people positively respond to your video outreach. You wouldn’t kick your feet up and call it a day if you tried a pitch and closed a couple deals.
If you want to see true success, you have to be willing to look at the data. It goes for the opposite as well. If you start using video and you’re not getting the traction, you answer shouldn’t be, “It just doesn’t work for us.” It means that you need to try things out and embrace the data. It will tell you what people want to engage with and what they just flat out don’t connect with.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. DO NOT USE A SCRIPT. When I first started, I didn’t feel the need to embrace a script as a security blanket. Only because I’ve never been one who does well with anything scripted. I fell into the category of wanting to practice what I was going to say out loud one too many times or record my video one too many times until it was perfect. (Which, by the way, your video will never be perfect. Nor is anyone out there going to expect you to be perfect. So get that out of your head fast.) Many people think that in order to produce good video, they absolutely have to use a script. They fear that they’ll freeze when they start to record or that they’ll stumble and say the wrong thing.
The moment you use a script in a sales video you will seem untrustworthy. The person watching the video is going to think that you don’t know what you’re talking about and that you aren’t an expert in the space. You might think you can get away with a script and that people won’t notice, but I’m here to tell you it’s something they will notice right off the bat. You have to remind yourself, you have these sales conversations every single day. In fact, you could probably repeat your sales conversations in your sleep. The reason that you suddenly feel the need to have a script when you never needed one for a sales conversation before is because of fear. You fear being on camera is going to make you forget everything or that you’ll be judged.
The fastest way to get over the fear of being on camera is experience. Remind yourself this is a video you’re creating for one person and remember they’re not judging you Like everyone else, your prospect actually prefers you come across more real and human. And when you do, you’ll be presenting yourself with authority (because you know what you’re talking about) and authenticity (because you’re being human). It will get easier, I promise.
What also helps with getting comfortable without a script is writing down the main things you want the person to take away and then practicing it out loud once or twice before you record your video.
I’m not here to tell you that it’s going to be the easiest journey. In fact, not many people automatically feel comfortable on camera, and the initial hurdle of it feeling right or being happy with yourself on camera can be rough. That’s where just giving up becomes an “option” for people. They feel that maybe they aren’t seeing results fast enough, or that they don’t think the quality of their video is good enough to even put out there. Like anything, it takes time, it takes practice, and you can’t give up. Here’s the thing, video isn’t a fad that’s just going to come and go. This is something that your competitors are going to be adopting if they haven’t already and that you’ll need to get comfortable with as a new means of communication. I’m here to tell you it gets easier over time, and just like anything new, once you get over the uncomfortable hurdle, it’ll be smooth sailing soon after.
Just remember, you’re putting more pressure on yourself to be perfect on video and that no one else has the same standards you do. All your prospects care about is that you’re taking the time to record a video for them and that you’re offering something of value. As a video newbie, things might seem overwhelming when you introduce video and begin finding ways to enhance your sales process with it. The best thing to do is first map it all out -- where will you be using video, how will you be using it, and then to start actually doing it. Don’t over complicate it. Video is meant to bring trust and transparency into your sales communication, and your prospects will appreciate it more than you know.