By Gavin Sandham

While the debate rages on regarding Work from Home (WFH) or Return to Work (RTW), a recent poll on LinkedIn by Jennifer Bou Dolh regarding this was met with a resounding 56% of the votes for an “I’d prefer a mix of the 2”. There were 760 responses. I believe that this is indicative of how the world will operate. There are industries that will never achieve this, however many jobs can and do function extremely well from home. Sales, marketing, admin, debt collectors, credit controllers, financial and insurance brokers are just a few jobs that can operate from just about anywhere.

The ‘elephant in the room’ question to all companies is – What do your customers want? Research shows us that customers are pleased to engage via video conferencing. Did you know LinkedIn is tied for third place (51%) with Instagram for businesses posting videos, YouTube being first and Facebook a close second. I don’t know about you, but this is impressive.

From a salesperson’s perspective, physical cold calling is arduous due to the pandemic, and we all know that approach emails go unanswered, and calls are seldom returned. Company executives are receiving more emails than ever before, so we can understand that we are not a priority.

Fortunately, salespeople have another option. There are so many apps available: BombBomb, Vidyard, Loom, Hippo Video etc., that enable salespeople to make easy pre-recorded videos and email them to the customer. This is far more personal and memorable and should not take longer than 45 seconds. The videos can be messaged to new or existing business connections in LinkedIn.

A study with 600 participants revealed some very telling information about how they had adopted the new approach. Over 70% of the salespeople report that pre-recorded video-to-email performs better at producing opens, clicks and responses than text-based emails. Nearly 50% of participants who used custom-recorded video said that it shortened their sales cycle. I cannot think of a better way to introduce yourself to a new customer!

Due to the pandemic, companies were forced to work remotely and spend vast amounts of money on infrastructure to assist their staff. During last May/June, you could not find a webcam to purchase because the demand was so high and supply chains disrupted. Then, my question to you is: why not use what you already have available to you, your smart phone, and try a new approach?

Let’s discuss some personal home truths about creating pre-recorded video messages:

  1. Your worst critic is yourself when you watch the videos back.
  2. Know what you want to say to each prospect and customise the message.
  3. Practice your 30-second message.
  4. Talk to your customer through the camera as if they are in the room.
  5. You may not achieve perfection the first, second, third nor fourth time but the more you practice, the better you’ll get at it. Practice, practice, practice.
  6. Create the pre-recordings first thing in the morning when you are fresh. Remember, the prospect may only see the video later on in their busy day.
  7. Make it fun! Your customer is more likely to engage with you if your video is conversational and you’ve made an effort to put yourself out there to reach them.

The world of professional selling has never been static, but the global pandemic has stepped up the need for urgent evolution, especially in South Africa. Despite the significant challenges faced over the past two years, commission earners are investing in their skills as strategic relationship builders. They are adapting to buyer needs with greater empathy and insight. With the current economic stress in South Africa during the pandemic including the frequent loadshedding dilemma, work in a general sense has been hindered and salespeople now more than ever need to adapt and adjust to what their customers want and what they can do to assist.

Be an early adapter, stay ahead of the curve, lower your sales cost and by no means should you adopt the “wait and see” strategy. Video to Business will allow you to do just that. Finish the year off on a stronger footing, give yourself the traction and leverage you need to make your virtual customer engagements stand out and to make 2022 your best sales year yet.