Five secrets of successful selling (over video!)


This post is sponsored by Citrix GoToMeeting. As always, VentureBeat is adamant about maintaining editorial objectivity.

Every salesperson has his or her own list of tips, tricks, and techniques that have helped to make them a success in a very competitive industry. Fine-tuned over decades, many of these now seem antiquated in light of today’s fast-paced and tech-based business environment. However, that’s actually far from the case as quite a few sales secrets can be successfully adapted to work with new advancements.

Nowhere is this quite as apparent as with video chat and video conferencing which are increasingly being used to assist sales people in reaching clients, demonstrating products, and sharing video testimonials. Here are five secrets of successful selling, and how to incorporate them into video.

Have the Knowledge: A good salesperson knows their product or service backwards and forwards. Customers expect salespeople to be knowledgeable about what they sell, and what better way to highlight your products advantages than with a video demonstration? Not only can you show off your products features and services, but using video you can also show video testimonials and endorsements from past clients, give how-tos and FAQs — all of which offer added value. Incorporating video in these ways is also an excellent lesson in recognizing the opportunity to learn a new skill; many salespeople already understand how important it is to never stop learning their craft, and video should be another aspect of this.

Listen to Your Customer. Then, Listen Some More: It’s been said that a good salesperson talks 40 percent of the time and listens 60 percent of the time (this is also known as the “Keep your mouth shut and your ears open” rule). However, its importance cannot be understated – listening is by far the most important part of the communication process; it helps the people you are selling to feel comfortable and more inclined to have an unguarded rapport with you. A video chat not only shows the other parties that you are listening to their needs (instead of multitasking while on a conference call), but being face to face also helps establish trust, moving customers to a position of saying “yes” more quickly. You also have the added bonus of being able to confirm all the details to everyone in the room at one time – instead of them getting lost in one of many email threads back-and-forth.

Manage Your Time Efficiently: Most people who work in sales have irregular hours and long work days, putting in more than the standard 40 hours a week. This means putting a high priority on efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity. Wasting time doesn’t just increase your work load, it also hurts your bottom line. With video conferencing, there’s no need to take a three-day trip to fly to the person’s location. You can all simply hop onto a video chat for a discussion about what your product or service can do for them. No airlines, no security checks, no delayed departures. Video chat can also help when you need to hold meetings with sales staff, but have to work from home in order to wait for a repairman. There’s a great deal of potential here.

Be Responsive to Your Clients: You’re not just selling to your clients, you’re serving them by providing them with solutions. And it’s a lot easier to be responsive to their needs when you are readily available via video chat. Good salespeople go the extra mile to win over leads, and video conferencing provides them with yet another way to reach out to you and access any information they may require. It also makes it easier to establish a personal connection, so that you can get to know potential clients, ask them questions related to your service, and ask for suggestions on what can be improved upon.

Keep in Touch with Your Clients: Sales is a contact sport – the more contacts you make and the more appointments you have, the more sales you’ll make. No email or phone call is ever going to provide quite the same personal touch as a video chat, where you can see someone face-to-face. Many salespeople will keep contact with their clients by sending birthday cards or thank you notes, making phone calls or having lunch meetings. Some send out links to online articles of value or newsletters — all great ways to keep your name in the customer’s mind. Putting a face to your name personalizes all your interactions with your leads, and helps keep you fresh in mind when someone they know is looking for a recommendation or referral.