Using Video in the Sales Process

Aug 30, 2021
Author: collin stewart

Nick Capozzi is the VP of Sales at Smile Virtual. Throughout his career of over 25 years in sales, he has used video to sell and market for major companies like Disney and Royal Caribbean. He currently teaches sales teams how to sell with video and also helps marketers create high converting recordings for their funnels. He joined Predictable Revenue to share his expertise on employing videos within the sales process.

Videos Are Under-UtiliZed in Sales

Videos have become ubiquitous. With the proliferation of smartphone usage, it’s unusual for any adult to go a significant amount of time without watching one. “When I start talking to people about video” explains Nick, “one of the first things I always ask is how often do you look at video? Every day? Whether you’re scrolling through your Instagram reels, or TikTok, or messages from vendors, most people look at videos all day.”

However, sales professionals have been peculiarly slow to catch up to this trend. “Only 3% of people in sales use video in some part of the sales process. Those 3% are mostly in prospecting, and even then, they’re not usually doing a great job. They’re trying but they’re not doing a great job. There’s not necessarily a lot of strategy that goes into the video.”

Where Can You Use Video?

1) Prospecting

Since video as a medium is relatively unique in the sales process, it can be more intriguing and impactful than many other techniques. But where in the sales cycle can, or should, you use videos? “From a sales perspective, the first place that I’m always using video is when I’m prospecting. Whether I’m reaching out to someone with a cold email, whether I’m reaching out to someone on LinkedIn, or whether someone’s brokered a meeting: I’m always going to go and send an introduction video to that person.”

For people who are inexperienced, the idea of filming that first video is likely to be quite daunting. However, there is a rich catalogue of tools available to help you. “The biggest obstacle that people need to overcome is just sending that first video, right? There’s a ton of great tools out there. You can use Vidyard, Loom, or BombBomb.”

Perhaps more importantly, though, is for salespeople to just push through and get their first few videos filmed and sent out. “When I talk to people who say they are ready to send out their first prospecting video, they’ll shoot it like 10, 12, 15 times. And that kind of defeats the purpose. One thing you really want to do with video is make sure that, with those first couple, you don’t watch them, you just send them out. It’s a really key point.”

2) Meetings

Pre-meeting messages are another area where videos can be put to effective use. So, if you had a meeting with a prospect coming up, you would send them a short video expressing how you are looking forward to your conversation with them, and asking if they have any questions that they would like answered. “I can tell you, my personal rate of holding meetings when I came into this company was at about 50%. Since I started sending those video emails in advance of the meeting, this has increased to around 85%. This is a dramatic effect for something that takes me three minutes in the morning.”

Although this use of videos is increasing in certain sectors, it’s still a completely unique approach for many others. “So right now, a lot of people I’m selling to are doctors or dentists and everyone is saying that they’ve never seen this before. So, if you’re selling B2C, or if you’re selling to SMBs, the opportunity with video is really huge because a lot of people haven’t seen it.”

Crucially, you need to make it clear that you have created the video specifically for the prospect. “One of the key things that you should always do is put something in the subject line that makes the recipient understand that this is unique.” This will greatly improve your chances of them watching the video.

Once they do this, and you manage to forge or strengthen that connection with the recipient, you will find it much easier to keep that meeting going ahead. “My meeting holds are really high because I’ve really personalized it. The recipients think: ‘Oh there’s that guy Nick. He seems like a nice guy. I’ll feel guilty if I skip or reschedule the meeting now’.”

3) Proposal Recap

Proposal recaps is the next area where videos can provide significant value. “This is a way to go viral in someone’s office in your sales cycle,” explains Nick. “If I’m sending you a proposal, I’ll have it all laid out as tight as possible. Then I’ll do a 45 second video recapping the key points that I want to make sure your team understands.”

The strength in this approach lies in the speed and ease with which this recap video can then spread throughout the target team. By better penetrating the workforce of the prospect’s company, you can dramatically increase your impact. This is even something that you can measure if you are using the right tools.

“With a product like Vidyard, what’s really cool is that I can actually track how many individual users opened up and played that video. So, I had one a couple of months ago where I got 40 people inside one office watching the proposal recap. That’s 39 people I never spoke to. 39 stakeholders, influencers. We landed that client, but importantly this demonstrates different ways you can use such a great medium like video.”

As an additional tip for aspiring salespeople, Nick adds that in undertaking this strategy it’s particularly useful to build a strong relationship with whoever your contact is in the target company. This ‘champion’ can be an invaluable source of guidance and help. “Whoever I’m working with, whoever my champion is on that side, I’m always making sure that I can run the proposal by them. The advantage of this is that now I’m using their words: the company’s words, how they speak about things.”

Home office desk with a Macbook computer on top that display the text "do more" in white with a black background

Getting the Video Right with the Optimal Setup

The Background

Once you’ve decided what you are going to use your video for, you should next work on creating the right conditions for an impactful video. Firstly, you’ll want to ensure that you have the right background for the video. Most of us have become so used to having Zoom meetings, we’ve become desensitized to how our backgrounds appear on videos. This can negatively impact our chances of giving the right impression.

“One thing you really need to think about is your background and what people are perceiving. Because it’s still business, and we’re often talking either six or seven figures of business. How am I going to subconsciously perceive you if I’m looking at a messy bedroom? So, I always try to use a white background.” It’s also wise to wear plain dark clothes, with no visible patterns. And the results speak for themselves. Nick has a 20% higher conversion rate when adopting this approach against a white background.

“The philosophy here is that I want the attention on me and on what I’m saying. I don’t want you distracted by the bright and colorful paintings hanging behind me. If you have access to one, then a white background is great. If not, always remember that the human mind is going to be more receptive to lines and levels. So, if you have a bookcase with books, that’s a great place to be. However, have a look at what’s there and also what it says about you.”

The Lighting

The next aspect to work on is making sure you are properly lighting yourself. This can easily be accomplished with two $35 soft boxes, which can be quickly sourced from Amazon. “I basically just put fabric around a box light and then tilt them about 10 degrees off the webcam. This is really going to light you well. Now if I’m the recipient of this video, and I see this well-lit person standing out in dark clothing on a white background, it’s going to pop, right? So, the first thing that’s going to happen is I’m going to click play on this.”

By both giving your video this high production value and personalizing it to the specific client, your video will be extremely impactful. “Always make sure they understand it’s a personalized video. It looks professional, so it really gets them interested and engaged in what you’re saying.”

The Sound

Finally, it’s important to get the sound right. This is generally the easiest part due to the high standard of mics on modern computers. However, with a little extra cost, you can really maximize your video’s sound quality. “Most laptops frankly have a pretty good mic, but you can spend $30 or $40 to get a great mic off Amazon.”

In terms of recording and editing your videos, there’s a wealth of options to choose from. We personally recommend, it has a ton of fantastic tools that will make it super simple, from video editing and recording, subtitles and transcriptions, resizing, converters, compressors, and more.  

Don’t underestimate the importance of adding subtitles to your videos. Subtitles allow viewers who are unable to hear the audio component of a media file to enjoy the video in its entirety without missing out on the supplementary sounds. Reaching new audiences is the foundation of business success!

If you would like to hear more of Nick’s insights and guidance on effectively using video in the sales process, watch the full video with Predictable Revenue here.

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