I didn’t set out to write the Top Sales Book of 2021, as you can see from the dedication printed in the front of Look Me In the Eye:
“To all the salespeople, business leaders and entrepreneurs who never set out for a life on camera, may this book make your journey more enjoyable and more rewarding in every way.”
Let’s face it. Nobody got into sales to become an expert on lighting, sound quality, or speaking to a camera. Yet here you are: the actor, the director, the set designer, and the camera crew. And, oh, yes, you need to meet your quota, motivate your team, or run your business, too!
However, when the pandemic struck I watched as the entire business community struggled to navigate this virtual landscape. The challenges were eerily similar to those I’d encountered as an actor transitioning from live theater to film and television. But unlike the resources available to actors, the business community offered no clear roadmap or proven techniques for this new medium. Instead, we were thrown a lot of technology and countless confusing and often conflicting pieces of advice from people who never worked in front of a camera.
Look Me in the Eye was my effort to cut through the confusion and share proven methods for those of us in business to build relationships through the camera, and inspire and motivate others as successfully as we did in person. I am honored that the book resonated with so many and received the Gold Medal by Top Sales Awards. Below are 5 key takeaways you can apply today:
5 Takeaways from The Top Sales Book of 2021
1. “If the camera doesn’t see it, it never happened.”
It’s vital to understand what the camera sees and thus how your audience experiences you and your message on their screen. Like an iceberg, ninety percent of your body is invisible on video. That means your audience makes assumptions about you and your intentions from the ten percent that they can see. It is critical that you are aware of what this ten percent communicates and that it reflects your true intent.
2. “If you’re not looking at the camera, you’re not connecting with your audience.”
You can make all the excuses you want, but if you are looking at your screen most of the time, you open yourself up to all of the negative perceptions associated with poor eye contact. These include appearing disinterested or distracted, or showing a lack of confidence or credibility. And your audience isn’t going to make excuses for you either. They only know what it feels like to talk to someone who cannot look them in the eye.
3. “You have to bring more energy to video, not less.”
It’s commonly known that the camera adds ten pounds. A lesser-known truth is that the camera takes away ten to fifty percent of your energy. And sitting at home in your favorite chair doesn’t help! Most people tend to flatten out their personality and delivery in front of a camera by confusing being comfortable with being authentic. The result is a dull, passionless experience for your audience that is instantly forgotten once they leave your meeting.
4. “You can only speak to one person at a time on video.”
Video is a very personal medium. No matter how many people are on your call or in your meeting, you are still only talking to one person. That is because each person is having their own individual experience and connection with you. When you are (or imagining you are) speaking to an individual, your focus is much tighter, your gaze more intimate, and your body language specific and less presentational. Conversely, when you talk to a group of people, your eye contact becomes more impersonal and less focused, and your movements are often larger and broader. Because your face takes up so much of their screen, your audience will feel the difference, even if it’s on a subconscious level.
5. “Don’t assign in-person meaning to on-screen behavior.”
People behave differently in front of a screen or a camera. They’re much more passive, for one, and two, they are less expressive. This results in a common blank expression I call “Resting Business Face.” Misinterpreting RBF or other on-screen behavior creates needless anxiety for sellers, and often leads to behavior that brings about their worst fears. Improving your understanding of virtual behavior is a must-have skill for 2022.
These are just five of hundreds of takeaways in Look Me In the Eye.
Mastering the video skills contained in its pages will not only help you improve your virtual relationships but improve the quality of your own virtual experience as well. And after all, don’t you deserve some fun too?
If you are ready to tap into the power of building personal virtual relationships through the screen, I’ve laid the path out for you in my new book, Look Me In the Eye: Using Video to Build Relationships with Customers, Partners and Teams. In it you’ll find all the steps and tactics you need to engage your audience.
Get your copy today on Amazon!