Most marketers – and even salespeople – dread being asked the question of what makes them different. The reality is that it’s likely too late already if someone is asking you that. I learned pretty early on in my career how tough it can be to identify what makes your organization different, and then find a way to articulate them meaningfully and express them to others.
It’s something that many businesses have a lot of trouble with. I’d be lying if I told you that I myself had completely overcome this problem.
Salespeople tend to react to the question by listing off some quick bullet points they feel make them – and their organization – sound unique compared to the competition. So, why is that hard to do? Would doing that even work?
What Makes it so Hard to Differentiate Yourself?
The struggle to differentiate yourself exists because it is much like your company culture. Most times, people use their company culture as the reason they are different. You’ve no doubt heard someone claim that they are different because of the excellent company culture they maintain.
What sets an organization apart won’t resonate with a listener if it is stated out of context, written down in an email or on a website, or featured in a graphical design on an office wall.
These differentiating factors must be shown and lived to resonate. One way that you can do this is by using video.
Using video as part of your sales process helps to create a more remarkable, memorable, differentiating experience.
But Why Video?
A trend that is becoming more common in sales is the idea of human to human (H2H) sales, rather than B2C and B2B sales. Salespeople must adopt this way of thinking now to become more effective at their job.
That 30-year engineering veteran in the mid-size company you are talking to is human. An executive in a Fortune 500 company is still human. No matter who you talk to or what their position in a company is, they are always going to human.
You can use this concept and apply it and use it with videos to achieve a truly human experience. It is the most human experience you can get, outside of actually talking to someone face-to-face. What makes it so great is that many prospects haven’t become accustomed to the idea of this “human” experience.
Taking this approach is, by its very nature, a differentiating factor that helps you stand out.
If this wasn’t enough to convince you, how about the fact that Cisco estimate 80% of the content people consume online will be in video form by 2019?
It’s about time that you paid attention to the video and embraced what it could do to you.
Here are four ways to integrate video into the sales process.
- Forget Conference Calls; Have Video Meetings
The simplest and fastest way to make video a part of your sales process would be to ditch telephoning prospect and switching to video meetings with platforms like Zoom. This tactic may sound a little “101”, but there are many organizations that haven’t managed to get rid of their telephones just yet. I think it’s worth driving the point home.
I would even say that salespeople who aren’t leveraging video are doing their prospects a disservice, and I can back up that claim.
When salespeople don’t use video, they are only able to read one language; the tone and voice of a prospect. Their expressions and body language are completely unknown, yet we all understand how much valuable information can be gleaned from things such as yawning, nodding, and slouching in one’s chair.
Salespeople must completely understand their prospects to do their jobs properly. That means understanding them as humans. It involves more than just making notes about their internal challenges, service needs, and future goals.
You want to know what would make them lean forward instead of backward; what makes them focus on you and what you are saying rather than getting distracted; and what gets them laughing and stops them yawning. Knowing this helps to build up a real rapport with them, which you need as a salesperson.
Understanding the “signals” that someone is sending you creates a real connection between you that prospects both want and deserve before they make a purchasing decision. Having a good rapport makes any conversation you have more valuable, and widens the gap between your company and the competition.
- Send Meeting Recap Videos
One of the most important phases in sales – if not the most important – is the Discovery/Exploratory phase. As HubSpot Channel Account Manager Jill Fratianne puts it, the exploratory call has become the new closing call.
These first calls will set an overall tone and lay down some expectations of the overall sales process. If it goes well, then it’ll get a prospect excited about moving further with you and completing the process.
There’s typically some calendar coordination at the end of a successful call to arrange an initial meeting, and it could be several days before you actually meet a prospect.
Prospects are just as busy – if not busier than you. This is why you should be mindful that they may be unable to remember all of the minute details of that initial call.
There was a time when salespeople would just send long-form follow-up emails to their prospects. These emails outlined everything to do with the meeting and left prospects having to read through several hundred words just to prepare for a meeting. That’s something no one wants to do, and it’s hardly something a prospect will look back on fondly.
Instead of doing that, why not use something like GoVideo by Vidyard to put together a personalized, short video recap that outlines the important details from the initial call and anything else prospects should know to get what they want from their next call.
Give the email a catchy subject line and explain to the client that all they have to do to get up-to-speed and be able to deal with anything that comes up is watch the video. Give them the link to the video and you can use GoVideo to monitor how much of the video they actually watch.
Congratulations! You’ve just taken something that is usually a last-minute “don’t want to but have to do” for a prospect and turned it into an engaging and helpful experience that they will enjoy and be happy to have to do.
- Be Sure to Introduce Yourself “Face to Face”
It’s best to respond to someone that fills out a contact form as soon as possible. This helps you to quickly establish a connection with them and get an appointment in the books. Around half of all buyers choose the first vendor to send them a reply, and the odds of making contact with a leader drop ten times after just five minutes.
As you can plainly see, the first impression a buyer has is based on how quickly an organization will react to them. However, being able to quickly get in touch with them doesn’t guarantee that you are able to form an effective connection with them.
So, how can salespeople make a good first impression without meeting their prospects face to face?
The gold-standard that we’ve been following for years now has been to send a voicemail and then an email. This process continues on for several days until contact is finally established.
As we aim to establish more human-to-human experiences for our prospects, we can take it one step further by including personalized video messages and sending those instead of a typical email.
Instead of sending a prospect the same tired messages they’ve no doubt heard before, a video allows you to fully introduce yourself and invite them personally into the conversation through a “face-to-face” interaction.
With video, you make a prospect feel that they’ve met you before they actually do. It allows them to hear your voice and see your expressions. Your genuine desire to help them comes across, and a rapport is created.
We’re going back to GoVideo here, as it lets you record short messages personalized to each prospect. It also allows you to import an image of the video as a GIF file for the email, simulating what a short bit of the video looks like to show prospects what they will be seeing.
By including “[Video]” in the subject field for the email, you are instantly differentiating your own email from the other sales emails they get; ones that can’t provide a visual experience as yours can.
- Create Video Executive Summaries
When the sales process is just beginning, a salesperson might have access to only the front-line members of a prospect’s team, but when things move towards the presentation stage, the stakes get higher for all involved as they get closer to reaching a decision.
Prospects will most likely take one of these two paths:
1. They will work within the organization to establish a buying committee that may include some of their colleagues and a decision maker
2. They will assume full responsibility for making the decision about your product or solution, and they will pitch it on their own.
The most common outcome is the second choice, and it is difficult for salespeople to follow through with. They are unable to directly influence the decision maker if they aren’t involved in the presentation and pitch.
This approach also brings communication challenges to the table, as the prospect must deliver the presentation to their boss, who may then have to do deliver it on to their own boss. Anyone that has played a game like “Telephone” understands what comes from that; the messages get confused and what you say doesn’t match what they say.
It doesn’t matter how great your presentation is if someone takes it and presents it in a muddled, context-free summary.
So, how can a salesperson ensure that the right message is delivered properly without undermining the communication abilities of a prospect? The most common solution – one still used to this day – is the executive summary.
This is a written document, about a page long, that is either included with a presentation or used as the first page of the proposal. It outlines the most important points about what is contained in the presentation/proposal.
While the idea behind an executive summary is great, there are some things that salespeople can do to make them more engaging and memorable. Make the summary into a video.
I’m not suggesting that you send an executive a full 72-minute video recording of a presentation meeting though. They would never watch that. Rather, you want to focus on these three things;
1. Let them know that the executive summary video was created to support them and to save them time – along with the time of the decision maker. This helps to reduce the chances of hurt feelings and thoughts that you don’t think they can accurately deliver your presentation on your behalf.
2. Record a screen capture video with GoVideo that address executives/decision makers by name. It should guide them through the slides of the presentation in a way that resonates with them in ten minutes at the most. If you did a good enough job with step one, a prospect is likely to tell you what will resonate with their boss so you can use it to your advantage.
3. Package the video recording with an email and allow a prospect to be the one that sends it to their boss.
Taking this approach ensures that your message is delivered accurately, saves the prospect some time, and builds a personal connection with an executive without the need to meet them face to face. Everyone wins.
Make Sales Human Again
I hope that reading this article has allowed you to realize that it takes more than just a few unique statements to differentiate yourself from others in the eyes of a prospect. What you actually need to do is create an unexpected, delightful experience for a prospect.
We’ve found that the best way to create a human-to-human experience isn’t with calls or emails, but rather with video. We’ve been able to leverage the power of video, and we know that you can do it too.
Emails and calls aren’t dead, at least not just yet. But it’s getting more difficult to capture the attention and imagination of a prospect with them, especially when you consider how many annoying calls and emails they receive each day.
Video – and the tools to create video such as GoVideo – are helping to create a unique, delightful sales experience.