What Peloton taught me about building virtual relationships
I could ride my exercise bike for free. But I don’t. Instead, I gladly fork over the equivalent of eight lattes each month to have a Peloton instructor look me in the eye and cheer me on, challenge me, entertain me, and empathize with me as I sweat.
Sure the music is great, as are the high-fives, the leaderboards, and the other riders with more clever names than mine, like FreddieSpinzeJr or Rides4wine. But the real reason I work out harder and longer and more consistently with Peloton is due to the personal relationships I’ve developed with instructors like Leanne, Ally, and Cody. So I show up day after day, week after week, payment after payment.
Peloton is a testament to the power of building personal, virtual relationships through the screen. It’s a power that the business world has only barely begun to tap into.
A Must-Have Skill for Sales Success
Imagine being able to motivate, inspire and connect with your customer on video as effortlessly and effectively as a Peloton instructor. You don’t have to imagine it. Building a personal virtual relationship through the screen is not only possible, but absolutely vital for your success in sales. But it doesn’t just magically happen. Not even for Peloton instructors.
From Face-to-Face to Virtual Relationships
Maybe you’ve assumed that certain influencers, like actors, broadcasters, or Peloton instructors, are born with a natural ability to connect with a virtual audience. That is simply not the case.
In reality, the career path of a Peloton instructor may be more similar to your own than you realized. Like many sellers, Peloton instructors start their careers building relationships face-to-face at gyms and spin studios. Before and after class they had opportunities to connect with riders. During class, perched on their bike at the front of the room, instructors could easily look out and make direct eye contact with riders. They could respond when someone deserved a shoutout, required a push, or needed a few encouraging words. And they could use the energy in the room to fuel their own grueling climb or sprint.
When these instructors transitioned to working in a virtual studio, all of these familiar cues disappeared. They faced the very same challenges sellers face today in video calls and meetings, like:
- An inability to see the audience
- A lack of energy to feed off of
- No body language to gauge audience attention or interest
- Multiple tools and platforms to manage
Not every in-person instructor was able to successfully transition to the virtual world. Those who made it all the way to the Peloton studios earned their seat by overcoming and adapting to these virtual challenges.
They learned how to engage an audience of thousands and yet make each person feel like they were speaking just to them.
They practiced using their body language, facial expressions and voice to create a near in-person experience for riders until it became muscle memory.
Those Peloton instructors who appear to be so effortlessly engaging you as they grind their way up a hill or descend at top speed have mastered these skills – to the tune of millions of loyal followers.
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 that won the Gold Medal Top Sales book of 2021, 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 as easily as a Peloton instructor. Without having to ride a bike.