October 14

Building Relationships Virtually and the Myth of Technology

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For the past 18 months, companies have been trying to solve the question of how we build those meaningful relationships with customers virtually. Hundreds of virtual tools, all promising to make your video sales call or recording as effortless and effective as sitting down with a buyer in person, have been thrown at salespeople. Based on seller’s bleak outlook for the future, the experiment has been less than successful.

We've been trying to stuff technology and tools into a skills-shaped hole.

New Medium = New Skills

This new medium has enough similarity to the old medium that many people make the common assumption that the skills are exactly the same. So instead of learning the critical skills that immediately impact their ability to communicate and connect with customers in this new medium, sellers are learning tools for tracking, measuring, socializing, or displaying content just a little bit better. 

It’s as if instead of learning the actual skills necessary to ride a bicycle, you kept adding new gadgets, like a laser light, a speedometer, or a state-of-the-art helmet.

While all of these tools are nice, none of them can hide the fact that you don’t know how to ride a bike.

What do On-Camera professionals know that you don't?

Actors, anchors, reporters, and great presenters take specialized training to learn how to connect with an audience through a screen and communicate effectively in this new environment. They know how the camera reads (and thus the audience reads) certain behaviors, magnifying some, and missing others entirely.  

Salespeople who skip this foundational skill and keep looking for the next shiny gadget to create that connection for them will be left behind in a hybrid future.

The next level of virtual selling. 

The next level of virtual selling is about fostering an in-person experience with customers, and it requires a wholesale shift in mindset and skillset, well beyond turning on your camera and making sure you have good lighting.

I welcome more cool technology and tools to enhance the virtual selling experience.  But I caution sales organizations and sellers on getting sidetracked by every new tool that pops into your inbox. To really prepare for a better virtual future, a future that involves greater connections with customers and success for both parties, sellers must first learn how to pedal.

Look Me In the Eye: Your guide to building relationships on video

To learn how to connect with others on camera, how the camera reads certain behavior and how to communicate with impact, check out my new book, Look Me In the Eye. You’ll also learn:

  • The 5 essential relationship qualities missing on video – and how to replace them
  • How to use strategic eye contact to make your customer feel seen and heard
  • Practical video “cheats” you need to make for your audience’s benefit
  • Successful ways to turn passive virtual audiences into active participants
  • How to connect with people who are not on video

Get your copy today!


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