Over the past 10 years I have delivered close to 1,000 sales presentations. In that time, my use of video during in-person sales meetings has had perhaps the biggest, most surprising impact on my ability to deliver an exceptional presentation.
At first, I was reluctant to try video during an in-person sales presentation. My fear was the video would distract my audience, turn my presentation into a ‘broadcast’, and potentially create the perception that the presentation was all smoke-and-mirrors. And personally, I felt like I was cheating, that the video was a crutch. But my experience has been that when applied correctly, video greatly increases client engagement and elevates the quality of client meetings.
3 Ideal Moments to Use Video in Sales Presentations
I found that there are 3 key moments in a live sales presentation where video can make a big, positive impact:
#1 At the beginning play your video in the background as the clients gather. The video will build anticipation and prevent attendees from reverting to checking email while they wait.
#2 For technical explanations, I always believed I was the ideal person to deliver the technical segment of presentations. However, I made an honest assessment and realized that I often came across as “so-so” technically, with a sprinkling of brilliance (and disaster). With video you deliver the perfect technical presentation, every time.
#3 For case studies, videos enable you to bring your best clients with you. As you wrap-up your presentation, provide a short client testimonial that describes the problem he/she had, how they originally tried to tackle it and how they solved it with your solution.
7 Ways to Effectively Use Video in Sales Presentations
I would like to reiterate that I support the “effective” use of video in sales presentations. Which means you’ll want to stick to a few best practices, namely:
#1 Keep it short. Videos should not be longer than 3-4 minutes. The sweet spot is between 1:30 and 2:30.
#2 Don’t abuse it. I recommend sticking to two videos for a 30-40 minute presentation (not counting your intro video).
#3 Be professional. A quality video needs to be professionally produced to ensure the visuals and storyline put you and what you’re selling in the best light.
#4 No video for video’s sake. Time with prospects is precious, so make sure any videos you show truly add value, and you’re not just showing off a bright shiny object.
#5 Deliver the “Wow” – Forgo the laptop speakers in favor of a decent set of $40 external speakers so you’re sure to deliver the desired “Wow” for your audience.
#7 Be prepared – Do not think that your video gives you license to skip basic preparations like arriving on time, preparing questions in advance, researching your audience, asking what your audience would like to accomplish and being conscious of their time.
Strategic Use of Video in Sales Presentations
When I gave up on the notion that I was the best (technical) presenter the company had ever known, and started to ‘hand it over to Joe on video’, I realized that people actually started to put down their mobile gadgets, and that even the IT guy in the back looked up from his laptop.
I found that through the use of video I had created ‘breaks’ during the presentation where I was able to observe the audience, determine who was engaged, see when someone jotted a note, and identify what was resonating with the audience. It even allowed me to take a momentary breather to set my strategy for the rest of the meeting.