Sales prospecting, “the process of searching for potential customers, clients, or buyers in order to develop new business”, isn’t often associated with video content; it’s associated with cold calling and emailing, and other techniques the public loves not to love. But what if prospecting could be helpful, targeted and a way to build real relationships?
In this ‘attention economy’, the more distinctive and memorable the sales conversation, the better. And what’s more special than a video made just for you? Not only is video the best medium for evoking emotions – and therefore connecting people and forging trust – but it also prioritises the human touch. That is, someone taking the time to create a video is personal. It shows care and attention. And attention wins attention when it comes to sales.
So, ready to level up your sales prospecting with video? Read on…
When it comes to planning your prospecting videos, think about:
- Who are you targeting and what’s your current relationship? Are they 100% cold or do you have a mutual connection or reference point? These organic tactics, like discovering you both attended the same event, play even better on video as the message is attached to a human face (that prospects can actually see – yours).
- Tip: Because video is digital, you can skip gatekeepers and go straight to decision-makers on LinkedIn. Like normal sales though, you’ll need to respect people’s time and headline your value, which brings us to our next point…
- When starting out with video, scripting is essential: it organises your key points, and keeps you on task so your video stays clear and concise. The only thing to note is, if you’re adapting an email template you may need to simplify your language for the spoken word. Long, complex sentences are harder to comprehend on camera.
- Keep your video short and simple with an introduction (to you, your company), 1-3 key points identifying how your product or service can solve their challenges, and a conclusion (with next steps e.g. discovery). Your video should be 1-2 minutes, tops.
- Unless you’re a one-take wonder, you’ll want to use an autocue / teleprompter to shoot your video, so you don’t stumble over remembering your script’s key points.
- Personalising your video is one of the best ways to get cut-through. Shooting a 100% custom video will have the most impact – but if you’re low on bandwidth or just starting out, you can scale this by making videos with tailored intros and outros that have the same middle, or even a single video that interchanges text overlays e.g. ‘Hi [prospect name]’. Work with what you’ve got!
Look and feel
- Firstly, the backdrop of your video should be pleasant and welcoming; think plants or cushions with bright colours, if you’re indoors. You’ll want somewhere quiet (or with consistent background noise) and naturally lit – in front of large windows work a treat. Just make sure to keep your camera lens (end your eyes!) out of direct sunlight.
- Now for attire. It’ll help to wear something you’re comfortable in, but do avoid clothing with fine details such as stripes, knitwear, patterns etc., as they can create a strobing / glittery (!) effect that’s distracting on camera.
- Ideally, you’ll want to use a lapel mic when shooting – like in our Shootsta Kit – so button-up shirts are perfect.
- Got a video assistant? Nice! Apart from pressing the record button, you’ll also want them to vet your lighting and audio, as well as focus and frame your camera for you. Learn more in our videography guide.
- Flying solo? This can be trickier with a video camera, but filming in selfie-mode on your phone is a solid workaround. Just make sure you ditch the handheld shaky-cam – authenticity is great and all, but you still want to look professional.
- Tip: Tap and hold on your face to AF (autofocus) lock your phone’s focus, especially if you’re shooting anywhere with a moving background e.g. crowds.
Being on Camera
- Even for seasoned presenters, being on camera can be daunting at first. Our advice? Warm up by rehearsing your script so your words feel natural. Then aim to deliver it like you were talking to your best friend – you’ll exude more warmth and personality this way. And slow down so you’re not tripping over your words. But our #1 biggest tip? Take a deep breath and smile, especially at the start and end of each take.
- Tip: It doesn’t take long to get into the flow of your script(s) – so if you’re shooting more than one video, batch your filming back-to-back to make the most productive use of your time.
- A couple of points here. Your company branding plays a part, so it pays to know what font / colour any text should be and what logo you should be using for lower thirds (lower thirds pop up with your name, job title and the logo of your company), thus avoiding the wrath of marketing. Next, you’ll no doubt also have your own personal brand on platforms like LinkedIn etc., so review your footage and note what you liked and didn’t like about your delivery, so you can keep evolving your videos.
- Remember – the more you practice, the better you’ll get!
The Final Product
- If you’ve created a fully custom video that was shot in one take with good lighting, audio and focus, then editing should be easy.
- If your video’s a little trickier (a batch of tailored intros and outros, with a templated midsection and the like), then you’ll either need to know a bit about editing software or get someone to edit your videos for you.
- The last 3 things you really need to think about are cutaways, captions and where to host your content. Cutaways are clips of footage that, for sales videos, are typically product-based – so anything pre-existing and pre-approved is a good place to start. Captions appear in text on-screen and are useful for anyone watching with the sound off (they’re also helpful for accessibility). And in terms of video hosting, you can use free platforms with privacy settings like YouTube and Vimeo, or go pro with secure hosting from Shootsta, TwentyThree, Vidyard etc.
The best way to communicate information, whether you’re sales prospecting or continuing the conversation? Video. So give it a try – and let us know how you go in the comments!
Want to learn more? Watch Shootsta VP of North America, Chad Lakin, talk sales videos for episode 1 of LinkedIn’s ‘Inside the Seller’s Studio’: