They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what about a moving picture? For me as a sales professional, it’s worth millions.

That’s because inside salespeople need to build trust, encourage empathy, and negotiate entirely over the phone or email.  Video offers some tremendous advantages, adding much-needed context to their intonation and letting them and their prospects develop mutual empathy in a way that hasn’t been possible since the good old days of Glengarry-style face-to-face deal making.

And even for field-reps, it’s still the perfect follow-up: how else are they going to cement that great first impression with more than just words?

For salespeople of all stripes who want to close more deals, this is how personalized sales videos can help.

10 deal-closing sales moves that you can’t make over the phone or email:

1. A smile

A great smile is your calling card, plain and simple. While studies suggest that it’s possible to hear a smile over the phone, it doesn’t compare to seeing it on video. In fact, “48 percent of all Americans feel that a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone,” writes Jeremy Goldman, CEO of branding agency Firebrand Group in Inc.

Want to be remembered positively? Broadcast that smile on video.

2. Build trust with nonverbal behavior

According to Psychology Today, 93% of sales communication is nonverbal. Yes, you read that right – And that’s because study participants ranked body language and tone as vastly more important than words when evaluating a salesperson’s trustworthiness.

Plus, not using video hurts you, whether you know it or not. Many salespeople who record themselves realize for the first time that they had been nervously pacing or hunched over their phone for calls, both signs of defensive posturing, and both of which can be heard in their tone.

Sitting upright and smiling on camera, you both look and sound like someone that your prospect instinctually trusts.

3. Humor

Ever had a distant relative send you an email-chain joke that made you cringe? The subtlety of humor doesn’t translate well via text or even the phone, but it does do well via video where you can use timing, flash a smile, and follow it with laughter. Of course, humor shouldn’t be a primary staple of your sales tool belt, but if you’re going to do it, you can at least pull it off via video.

4. Personality

A personality is your sales secret weapon and while email and voice strip you of your “you-ness,” video lets it shine. And that’s important because many sales leaders consider personality one of the primary characteristics of successful sellers.

According to Thursday Bram of Hyper Modern Consulting in Inc, “A salesperson can always learn about a new product, but it’s much harder to teach a person to get other people to like them. And if a salesperson isn’t likable, well, it’s hard to make any sales.”

Don’t let email or the phone limit your likeability!

5. Capture executive attention

Video is your key to the c-suite. Hubspot reports that 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read something and, if you’re looking to differentiate yourself from all the other salespeople barking at their door, personalized videos in their inbox are the way to go.

6. Rhetorical questions

Rhetorical questions via email or text can come off as pedantic. For example, asking a prospect, “Are you looking for the cheapest option or the best solution?” seems paternalistic but the same question asked softly via video with a shrugging gesture can spur genuine thought.

7. Whiteboards and diagrams

How many of your decks and long-winded emails do you think prospects actually read? The painful truth is not many, and here’s why: they get hundreds of emails every day, they don’t have time to read and understand your presentation. It’s like walking into a conference room after a meeting and trying to decipher the spaghetti-splatter of writing on the whiteboard. Because you weren’t there, it doesn’t make sense.

So, instead of bombarding your prospects with too much at once, talk through your thoughts with a whiteboard via video, just like if you were in-person.

8. Show vulnerability

The sales legend David Sandler often recommended that salespeople appear less threatening by accentuating their humanness. Of course, we’re not advocating inventing a twitch or a stutter, but we all have our quirks. Prospects need to see yours to empathize and realize that you’re not so different from them.

Video lets you be you, and shows you’re human.  Mistakes in your speech, people in the background, and the fact that they’re watching you record your message allows your prospects to make a connection with you, without needing to be in-person.

9. Drop ‘off the record’ tips

Nothing grabs a prospect’s interest like a story about a big new customer or an upcoming promotion, and this really can’t be replicated in writing emails where copies are easily made and it’s more obviously intentional. Video allows you to “slip-up” and share something about your sales cycle, your discounting process, or your competitors that hooks their attention.

10. Walking away (Reverse psychology)

This is what Sandler calls the Pendulum Theory.  It can be useful for prospects who aren’t fully ‘leaning in’ on the project. Rather than playing into their classical stereotype of who a salesperson is supposed to be, you flip it around and tell them that they might not be interested. You tell them that the solution might not be right for them, and you prompt them to show you otherwise.

This plays upon the basic push-pull dynamics of a conversation and dislodges those who are disguising their interest but, alas, it’s guaranteed to fall flat anywhere except for in-person and, you guessed it, via video.

But your sales team isn’t ready for personalized sales videos, right?

Dan Wardle

  • Michael Gagliano

    Great list here Dan.