When the pandemic turned virtual sales meetings into a new normal, it created a new challenge for sales professionals to deliver an exceptional virtual customer experience. Since sales professionals are not Hollywood producers, many online meetings are woefully unprofessional. The content may be great, but the overall appearance may be a turn-off.
The more polished, credible, and trustworthy you appear on video conference calls, the more positive your client engagements will be.
The key question is: What do you want your virtual presence to say about you?
If you find the “always on” nature of attending virtual meetings a hard pill to swallow, try a slight shift in mindset. Intentionally create a welcoming and non-distracting “Zoom room.” This will not only improve your overall remote presence – making it easier to engage with you – but, more importantly, will increase your confidence and close rates.
“First impressions matter” is truer than ever in this new virtual world. Fifty-five percent of first impressions are related to how you look – your appearance, posture, expressions, and reactions – and it takes less than a second for a person to decide whether to trust you.
Set yourself and your team apart from the crowd of distracting “Zoom rooms.” Visual and audio distractions can put a dent in your credibility and trustworthiness – leading to less engagement and lower sales. We’ve all been on video conference calls where we find ourselves looking up someone’s nose, distracted by their poor lighting or poor sound quality.
Set yourselves up for success with these five makeover strategies for effective and engaging virtual sales meetings.
Research from Ramlatchan and Watson in The Journal of Applied Instructional Design (2020) shows participants are rated as most trustworthy when viewers see the subject at eye level. Seeing your client’s face and upper torso helps you read their non-verbal cues and gauge their reactions, interest, and level of credibility.
Before and After
Lighting is a critical element of trustworthiness. Good lighting illuminates your eyes and face evenly – making it less distracting and easier to engage.
How crisp and clear you sound to others is as important as how you look.
What appears in the background of your remote conferencing window says a lot about you. Most spaces can look professional – even a repurposed storage room or closet. A cryptocurrency trader I advised had been working in his nondescript dark basement. By purchasing appropriate lighting, an elegant credenza, wall art, and a blooming orchid, we transformed the space with the look of a sophisticated high-end office.
Have others focus on you and what you say rather than on what you’re wearing.
Accelerate success each time you jump on a sales call. By intentionally taking control of how you show up online, you give yourself, your team, your customers, and everyone you communicate with the best possible opportunity for more successful online engagements – creating a win-win on both sides of the screen.
Shelley Golden is a professional presence consultant and video conferencing makeover expert who helps professionals elevate their image in person and online. For more information, visit her Website or connect with her on LinkedIn.