Although it’s crucial to be technically competent with video calls during these uncertain times, it’s also imperative that you don’t neglect the personal aspect of video calls.
Here are a few tips you can apply to elevate the personal aspect of your video calls, leading to more engaged, professional, and welcoming environments.
Solid Colours Look Better on Video
I’ve worn a multitude of floral shirts the past few weeks and it always looks blurry in camera. It seems like the camera is constantly trying to focus. Thus, wear a powerful and bold colour—especially in customer meetings.
Keep Your Background Simple
I know virtual backgrounds are fun and I use them all the time in internal meetings. However, when it comes to client meetings, they are not professional. Use a simple and plain background. If you are in your home office, ensure it’s tidy. You don’t want clothes, toys, or sports equipment littered all over the place. Keep it clean!
Use People’s Names
I find that when you’re looking at people and you address them specifically—”John, what do you think? Susan, I’d like your opinion on this”—you create engagement. Try to avoid just asking the universal, “Does anyone have any questions?” That’s when you get an awkward silence.
Additionally, it’s important to use your own name. Remember: some people might not be able to see you because they are calling in or don’t have access to video. Thus, start by saying, for example, “Hey, it’s Colleen here.” That way people know who’s talking and you create a more welcoming environment.
Lastly, don’t forget to make eye contact. It’s okay to take notes or look at other screens, but always come back to the camera when you’re speaking and make direct eye contact. Also, smile and use the same body language you would in person with that customer or prospect.
A lot of you are in an interesting position right now where you can make sales calls, but your clients don’t want you on site or if you can visit the site, you have to wear a mask. In particular, these salespeople are telling me that masks are uncomfortable—not for wearing—because they can’t see the full facial expressions of their customers.
Video makes everybody feel safer, healthier, and allows for more engagement. With practice, you will sell more.