How To Use VIDEO Within The Sales Process

Marcus Sheridan is an international keynote speaker and author.

In this episode of the Salesman Podcast, Marcus shares how we can leverage video as a tool throughout the sales process to get more attention and win more business.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Marcus Sheridan
International Keynote Speaker and Author

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of The Salesman podcast.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

The most important rule, Will, that every salesperson just needs to learn to follow, and they’re going to be so much better. And it’s once you start a video, you just don’t stop. Your mind’s like, no matter what happens, I’m not going to stop. Because even if you messed up a little bit, you want to work through the first draught of what you were trying to say. It’s almost like if you’re writing an article, what you don’t want to do is stop halfway through the article because you’re like, “All right, that’s enough. That’s enough for the first draught, now I’m going to write the second draught of the article.” Because you still haven’t finished the second half of the piece.

 

Will Barron:

Hello, sales nation, I’m Will Barron, host of The salesman podcast, the world’s most listened to B2B sales show. If you haven’t already, make sure to click subscribe and let’s meet today’s guest.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Well, hello friends. I am Marcus Sheridan, I am a keynote speaker. I’m a teacher, I own an agency, a digital agency here in the United States, but ultimately at my core, I am just a teacher.

 

Will Barron:

On this episode of the show with Marcus, we’re diving to using video within the sales process. So not just in your outbound prospecting emails, which makes total sense, how you can use it to answer questions ahead of meetings and a whole lot more. So let’s jump right in.

 

Why Video Is So Critical in the Current Sales Process · [01:36] 

 

Will Barron:

I’ve said a bunch of your content and I’m excited to kind of have your energy on the show as well Marcus. And with that, we’re going to be talking about using video in the sales process. And I think you’ve helped me out here by using the word process in that rather than just video outreach, see where video can go elsewhere in the process as well. So with that, let’s frame up the conversation with, I guess, a question on, why is video so useful right now as we record this 2019, why is video so useful right now for sales professionals?

 

“By the end of 2019, 85% of the content we consume online is going to be video-based content. Another stat that makes you slap your forehead because so many salespeople are trying to do social and social outreach is studies show that social video generates 1200% more likes and shares than text and images combined.” – Marcus Sheridan · [01:57] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Well, I mean, there’s just so many reasons, right? Number one, it’s what the marketplace has demanded. And what I mean by that is, there’s a lot of different stats on this. One of which is by the end of this year, 2019, 85% of the content we consume online is going to be video based content. Another stat that makes you slap your forehead, because so many salespeople are trying to do social and social outreach. But studies show that social video generates 1200% more likes and shares than text and images combined, which again, that’s a forehead slapper right there.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And so the trends are definitively there, it’s never been easier to produce visual content and the opportunity to use it as a humanising element and to stand out from the marketplace is absolutely tremendous. So it’s very, very exciting times for those salespeople that want to stand out, that want to say it better, that want to show it better, that want to teach it better, right? And that’s what we can do with video.

 

What Does it Mean For a Sales Professional to Humanise the Sales Process? · [02:54] 

 

Will Barron:

This is a weird question to ask because the answer is seemingly quite simple, but I guess, the effects of it is quite profound. What does it mean to be humanised as a sales professional? I guess, if we’re using video and people can understand us and get to know us a little bit more versus the corporate drone that rocks up in the grey BMW with the terrible suit who just talks corporate nonsense for at people for 25 minutes in a presentation. What does it mean to kind of humanise the process?

 

“What we should be asking ourselves as sales professionals is, number one, do my customers feel like they have seen me before I’ve ever seen them? Do they feel like they have heard me before I’ve ever heard them? And do they, therefore, feel like they know me before I know them? Because if those three things occur, the see, hear and know, well, then we’re going to achieve that magical thing that we call trust.” – Marcus Sheridan · [03:26] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Here’s the philosophy in the mindset that we have to teach, our sales teams and anybody that’s really customer facing, I think in a perfect world, right? And that is this, that what we should be asking ourselves as sales professional is, number one, do my customers feel like they have seen me before I’ve ever seen them? Do they feel like they have heard me before I’ve ever heard them? And do they therefore feel like they know me before I know them?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Because if those three things occur, see, hear and know, well, then we’re going to achieve that magical thing that we call trust. And the reality is, most sales people spend the majority of the early stages with the prospect or a customer trying to build relationships of trust. That’s because there’s a wall and that wall occurs because the lack of humanity, right? The lack of can I trust this person, or do they have my best interest at heart?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Do I know them well enough to literally give them my money? Because that’s what we do in sales. We ask people for their money, which is a very audacious thing. So anything we can do to engender that trust is a positive good thing.

 

Is Building Trust with a Prospect More of Seeing, Hearing, and Knowing and Less of Body Language and Mirroring? · [04:35] 

 

Will Barron:

How much of sales and we’re going to totally off topic for video, I’ll drag you back in a second Marcus, but how much of sales is our sales training and even the content that we produce, how much of it is wasted? And what I mean by this is, we have people on the show regularly to talk about body language and building trust by mirroring, a neuroscientist starts to talk about mirror neurons and all this kind of stuff.

 

Will Barron:

Well, if someone has seen us, heard us, and they know us before we get to the meeting, the office, the phone call, whatever is, well, we don’t need to do any of that stuff because it’s already been established and a level of reports already there. So how much time do we waste focusing on all that stuff when we could just do it in an instant with a series of videos and essentially impressions?

 

“We talk three times faster than we type. Why we would send an email out at this point in time that is text, that’s more than a few paragraphs, when we could do it in video quicker, faster, more effectively, and allow the person to hear the tonality of our voice and allow them to get to physically see us in that process.” – Marcus Sheridan · [05:30] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Well, that’s a really good point. I mean, because if you look at it video across the board is out outrageously more efficient, right? I mean, if you just look at basic math, and this one is a little bit off topic and I know you’re a big fan of using video in the email process, but we talk three times faster than we type.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

There is fact that we would send an email out at this point in time that is text that’s more than a few paragraphs, when we could do it in video quicker, faster, more effectively, and allow the person to hear the tonality of our voice and allow them to get to physically see us in that process. It just blows my mind. You know what I mean?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

I’ve got two companies that I own, each one has a handful of salespeople. And I would say 90% of our prospecting emails are video based at this point in time, right? And that’s just one simple, we don’t do calls anymore unless they’re video based calls. What the heck? Why, if we have a choice, why would we ever allow a call, whether it’s a call, like if you’re using some type of GoToMeeting type of tool or whatever it is that you use.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Why in the world, we would allow that to occur without seeing the other party’s face is beyond my understanding, right? And so yes, it eliminates so much of the initial work. And because it humanises you, you can focus on even more so on the stuff that actually matters, once you meet with the prospect.

 

Marcus Shares His Team’s Strategy for Using Video in a Cold Email Outreach · [06:54] 

 

Will Barron:

For sure, that makes total sense. So let’s get into the practical side of this. What does and if you can share even, what does your team do with video in an email outreach, for example, what is the content within that video? How is it framed up within the email itself? What’s kind of the text below and above it and how long are the videos?

 

“I learned a long time ago in business that if you want to get something approved in business, if you want to get it funded, you call it a sales initiative. If you want to get it delayed for a later time, you call it a marketing initiative.” – Marcus Sheridan · [07:25] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

I have to say one thing first, Will, because I think there’s a fundamental problem with most businesses when they even start to have these conversations. Most think video is a marketing tool, that is extremely flawed in nature. Just because when we… I learned a long time ago in business, because I speak so much about sales and marketing, that if you want to get something approved in business, if you want to get it funded, you call it a sales initiative.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

If you want to get it delayed for a later time, you call it a marketing initiative, right? We find the funds for sales initiatives, but fundamentally it does and it should start with sales. So when you do video, you start with your sales team and you start with teaching them things like what you’re talking about in this case, using video in the sales process in the one to one, I don’t care what you call it, account based marketing, or just email, whatever you want to call it. That is key.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And so to me, it’s all about trust that leads to the sales and happens to benefit marketing. For most companies, they say this is a marketing tool, and we hope that it helps our sales team. Two very different visions, and that’s why buy-in is sometimes still very difficult in certain organisations when it comes to video. Now, to your question about how we set this up, you know what? I just did a sales training yesterday, Will, this will fascinate you.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

I did a sales training yesterday, and then I did a sales training… Yesterday was in Chicago, before that, it was the week before that it was in Scandinavia. I went to all the Scandinavian countries, I was teaching this big pharmaceutical company their sales reps, how to use video in the sales process. Both of these sales organisations, I asked their sales people, how many emails do you send out a week?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Most of them were at least 50, many were above 100 per week, right? These typical salespeople. Now here’s what’s really, really fascinating. I said, “How much training have you received on how to write a subject line for an email?” Do you realise my friend that no one, and this is probably, I don’t know, I mean, this is probably about 200 salespeople total between the two groups. Nobody had received any training on how to write an effective email subject line. It’s pretty crazy, right?

 

“The average sales email has an open rate, across the board, of just under 20%, which should make you want to vomit if you think about it. That’s just pretty, pretty terrible. What can we do to increase those numbers? Well, studies have shown certain things, like for example, just by putting the word video in the subject line can oftentimes increase it by 10% or more. We’re at 30% now. Also, if we put the person’s name in there and make it a sense of personalised beyond just name, then we’re probably at that point going to raise it another 20%.” – Marcus Sheridan · [09:49] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And so when we start this process, we always teach, how do we write a subject line first? Now you say, “Well, how do we properly write a subject line?” So there’s different ways to do this, but if you’re using a video, right? So the average sales email has an open rate across the board of just under 20%, which should make you want to vomit if you think about it, right?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

That’s just pretty, pretty terrible. What can we do to increase those numbers? Well, studies have shown certain things, right? Like for example, just by putting the word video in the subject line can oftentimes increase it by 10% or more so, oh, bang. We’re at 30% now. Also, if we put the person’s name in there and make it a sense of personalised beyond just name, then we’re probably at that point going to raise it another 20%.

 

“Let’s say I’m sending you an email about being on your podcast. I might say, “Will made this video is for you regarding RE: Your podcast.” We have a multiplicity of personalised elements that are found in the subject line. Number one is your name, number two is “for you.” The word “for you” is very, very powerful and appealing. And then finally, the third element of the personalization in this case that they see is “for your podcast.” And so they know it’s something specific to you that clearly, you’re doing. When you do these three things, those just three elements of personalization and you combine video on, you’re going to have an open rate of at least 50% in most cases.” – Marcus Sheridan · [10:31] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And so generally speaking, I would say something like this, Will, I might say, let’s say I’m sending you an email about being on your podcast, right? I might say, “Will made this video for you regarding RE: Your podcast.” We have a multiplicity of personalised elements that are found in the subject line. Number one is your name, number two is for you. The word for you is very, very powerful and appealing.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And then finally, third element of the personalization in this case, even if it might get a little bit cut off, they’ve still seen the first two elements, right? Final thing that they see is for your podcast. And so they know it’s something specific to you that clearly that you’re doing, it’s when you do these three things, those just three elements of personalization and you combine video on, you’re going to have an open rate of at least 50% in most cases.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Now, if it’s a one to one, I mean, it’s going to go way, way higher than that in most cases. And so we try to always teach two elements of personalization, plus the word video, if you have a choice, right? With the subject line. All right. Now, in the actual email itself, I don’t go crazy about that. And so in other words, I am very intentional about a few things with our sales team, right?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

I am a huge believer in the thumbnail. I think the thumbnail matters a lot, and so I am a bit of a stickler with the thumbnail. Now, whether use a name or not, I do think it’s great to show the name or show another personalised token in the thumbnail. In other words, it might be specific to that person’s industry. It might be specific to the problem, whatever that thing is. I mean, you know this, I mean, [inaudible 00:12:12] says this very well, the folks at Wistia, the folks at Vidyard, they do this well.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Some people knock it. I think it’s really funny when they knock things that are backed by data. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I mean, if I heard sales professionals knock this stuff, and the fact of the matter is, the data argues against what they’re knocking. So if they want to sit there and say all day long, “I’m the not going to have a thumbnail,” or, “I’m not going to share the person’s name or personalise element in the thumbnail because it’s cheesy.”

 

“I never allow my personal opinions to hinder smart business. I learned a long time ago, it doesn’t really matter what you and I think. It matters what is important and what works with the marketplace. Anybody that’s ever done a split test before, usually the thing that you think looks better is the thing that performs worse.” – Marcus Sheridan · [12:48] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Well, you can have your cheese and I’m going to go over here and I’m going to get better watch rates and open rates that you do all day long, right? Because I never allow my personal opinions to hinder smart business. I learned a long, it doesn’t really matter what you and I think it matters. What is important and what works with the marketplace, anybody that’s ever done a split test before, it’s usually the thing that you think looks better is the thing that performs worse, right?

 

“I don’t care if you’re a smiler or not. You have to smile on your thumbnails when you’re sending it to people. That to me is actually the most important humanising element of it. And maybe just once sentence of preview text that reiterates the subject line.” – Marcus Sheridan · [13:22] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And that’s just reality of psychology and how the internet is. And so here’s is what I’m stickler for, try to show that it’s personalised if you can, but smile because the smile should be electric. And I don’t care if you’re a smiler or not. You have to smile on your thumbnails when you’re sending it to people. That to me is actually the most important humanising element of it. And maybe just once sentence of preview text that reiterates the subject line, that’s really it.

 

The Two Most Important Metrics to Track When Sending a Video in a Cold Email are the Email Gets Opened and the Thumbnail Gets Clicked · [13:41] 

 

Will Barron:

I feel I get this, but I just want to double down this for the audience. Up until this point, the only thing that matters is that the email gets opened, right? That’s the most important thing.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

First thing, has to happen.

 

Will Barron:

The rest of it’s a waste. Then the next step is from now being clicked, right? Otherwise the rest of it’s a waste.

 

“The two fundamental flaws/issues with textual-based emails right now, as we send them is A, they don’t get opened and B, they don’t get consumed if they do get opened. That is a massive problem.” – Marcus Sheridan · [13:59] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

The two fundamental flaws/issues with textual based email right now, as we send them A, they don’t get opened and B, they don’t get consumed if they do get opened. That is a massive problem. Now number three is they get misunderstood, right? And so if you look at all three of these inherent flaws of text based emails, there’s going to come a time literally, Will, when we’re saying, “Can you remember when we used to always just send text in these long emails and how inefficient and stupid that was?”

 

Marcus Sheridan:

But as an example of this, when I make a company announcement, doesn’t matter to which company it is? We have a standard, if any manager or company leader makes an announcement via email to the team they have to do with video. Why? Because you get way less questions about the announcement if it’s done with video. If you announce it with text now, all of a sudden you have people misinterpreting the way that it was actually stated.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Again, it doesn’t make any sense, but yet we do this as a whole. Last thing I’ll say about this, this is interesting to me too, Will. One of the things that I’ve been talking about with sales teams, some of them which have had people on their team for 20, 30, 40 years. So there was a period of roughly two years where email went mainstream in the world for business. I don’t know if you remember that was, in fact, I’m going to test your knowledge really fast here, Will. Do you remember that two to three year slot when email went mainstream in the working world? You got a guess what year.

 

Will Barron:

I’ll be honest. And that it’ll be a total guess in there, I’ve only ever really sold to surgeons who don’t reply to emails regardless of whether it’s mainstream or not. But I guess, five years, six years ago?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Oh no, 1997 was the year that email took off within the workplace. Now here’s what’s crazy about it. Here’s what’s crazy. There was a period of time for about two to three years, where a huge portion of salespeople pushed back and didn’t want to use this new thing called electronic mail. Now we are today in 2019, exactly where we were in 1997, with the advent of text based electronic mail.

 

“If we want to be successful, if we want to stay ahead of the marketplace, and if we want to communicate at the level for which our prospects and our customers want to be communicated with as a whole, video is going to be essential to that as we go forward.” – Marcus Sheridan · [16:23] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

There is a very large percentage of salespeople that are push, there’s another percentage of saying, “Wow, this makes total sense,” but either way you shake it, those that didn’t get on board, they all got left behind. The majority though said, “I have no choice.” And so anybody that thinks they have a choice right now about whether you use video or not yet sure you do, and you also have a choice of whether you want to be successful or not, right?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

But if we to be successful, if we want to stay ahead of the marketplace, and if we want to communicate at the level for which our prospects and our customers want to be communicated with as a whole, video is going to be essential to that as we go forward.

 

Marcus Dissects How Salespeople are Transitioning from Sending Text-based Cold Emails to Using Videos as a Sales Communication Tool · [16:45] 

 

Will Barron:

And just for context on that, where are we within that shift, in that we recorded this in 2019, is video necessarily right now, or are we ahead of the curve if we’re adopting video right now?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

No, so in other words, where we are is as a straight communication one-to-one tool. So we’re actually very early with video as a one-to-one communication tool in the sales process. So we are literally in 1997 right now with video for that side of it. Now, video is much further along as a teaching tool and as a just general entertainment tools, way, way past that.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

But as a straight communication tool, one-to-one, ABM style, right? Which I don’t really love that phrase, but some people use it, so I just mention it. That is where we are right now, which is why there’s still tremendous opportunity, which is why the open rates really just explode when we do these things the right way.

 

Why Salespeople Need to Start Using Video in Cold Emails to Stand Out in the Market Place · [17:50] 

 

Will Barron:

The reason I ask that is, and this frame’s open, hopefully, or you can tell me your thoughts on this. If the market is already doing it, then we need to potentially do it better than the market to be differentiated. If no one else is doing it, we just have to do it, right? It doesn’t have to be… Has to be to a certain standard, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. And I feel that’s really empowering for the people listening to this, in that if you can be a first mover in this space, you can gobble up some of your potential.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

It’s still a blue ocean brother, sorry, very much a blue ocean right now of opportunity, that has not been conquered whatsoever. And I’ve probably now taught more workshops on using video in sales than anybody in the world, possibly, just because this is what I’ve been doing so much of in conjunction with my typical, original, they ask you answer stuff.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And what’s fascinating is, I haven’t seen an industry yet where it is consistently being used. The only industry where one could argue it’s being used is by those that actually make the tools, right? Like Wistias and Vidyards of the world, they do it consistently. But even still some of their main major competitors don’t even have a video to use an email tool yet, right? So if you look at TwentyThree. TwentyThree is another video tool out of Denmark, right? It’s a good company, but they’re yet to come out with that. They will be coming out with it very soon. So the point is even they haven’t developed it yet, 1997.

 

The Bits and Pieces of Information Salespeople Need to Highlight When Sending the First Cold Email Video · [19:11] 

 

Will Barron:

Good. So we’ve got the subject line and you’ve kind of put an explanation on that. We’ve got the thumbnail, we’ve got an explanation on that. We know that these are crazy important. What goes in that first video, that would be the equivalent of a cold outreach email. That i know you will stay away from the world of using automated tool to spam people, because clearly they get an open rates and response rates of two, 3%. And we don’t care about that. Basing all this on the fact that we are customising, we are going the extra few steps. What goes in that video? And what’s the point of the video? What kind of call to action or what response are we trying to get back from it?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Well, I think there’s two extremely effective ways I’ve seen to see to send what we might call a pre-call email, right? Or pre-appointment email. And there’s actually more than these two, but we’ll mention these two right now. So one of the questions I’d love to ask sales teams is, in a perfect world, what are the questions that you hope a prospect asks you in a first sales appointment?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Now this is where it gets interesting, right? So let’s say you’re a pharmaceutical sales rep, right? You might appreciate this one having, double search. Some of the questions they hope to hear is, so do you have some very specific case studies that I could see to understand the application of this drug? Or they might say, ask some specific dosage based or even pricing based questions at that point, because that means they’re actually thinking about prescribing it to a potential patient, right?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

That’s that side of the coin, and so here’s the thing. If we are hoping that they’re going to ask about these, if that denotes success, well, then when you have this pre-video, you’re literally going to say, now when I come out and meet with you Will, I’m sure you’re going to have some questions. Some that you may be wanting to think about right now or, “Hey, who are some of the patients that I have right now that could be perfect case studies for this drug?”

 

Marcus Sheridan:

We can talk about that when I’m there, you also might want to know about pricing or some dosage questions. I am prepared to address those as well, right? And then we’d close out the email, but by being more intentional, teasing, previewing, what we could be talking about, that sets in motion, their potential desire to actually ask what are the important questions that we want to get to as a sales pro? Make sense? You’re with me so far?

 

Will Barron:

It makes total sense.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

So that’s one and it sounds obvious most don’t do it. That’s right. And the second one that I think is very, very common is, when you approach a company with a new idea that addresses an existing problem. So let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. I had a company this year, it was an event actually that had talked to me and had said, “We might want to have you speak at our event. And we did some email communications and it fizzled out.”

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And so I said, “Okay, it fizzled out, time to bring out the big guns. I’m going to send a video based email.” Now in this video based email, I didn’t just say, “Hey, just following back up.” Which is pretty much the dumbest email in the history of earth, whether it’s video or text, right? Instead of doing that, I said to the person’s saying, well, let’s say the person’s name is Will.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

I said, “Will, I know we talked before and we ended up not coming to an agreement, but I’ve been thinking about your event. And I looked at some of the specific speakers that you have, and I said, so what is the gaps that this audience would be left with when they leave that event? And I realise that there’s one gap that’s glaring that I know we could fill.” And in this case, of course, it was actually using video in the sales process, right?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

So I said, “Here’s the talk that I think would be great for your event.” And discussed how it would fits and what the attendees would get out of it. And I immediately got an email, the email like, I had sent some follow-up emails, got nothing, but now having sent the video with a clear new idea that solves a problem. Now, all of a sudden she was like, “A, I’ve never gotten an email like this before, this was really, really cool. And B, I love your idea. So let’s set up a call.” Right?

 

“The one video that I know we shouldn’t be shooting is, just following up, or just touching base, or any of those “just-based” subject lines. They’re all a train wreck and we can do way better than that.” – Marcus Sheridan · [23:36] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Now the event’s probably going to happen. And that’s the beauty behind this. And so the one video that I know we shouldn’t be shooting is, just following up, or just touching base, or any of those just based subject lines, they’re all a train wreck and we can do way better than that.

 

How to Strategically Place the Call to Action in a Video When Sending Out Cold Emails · [23:51] 

 

Will Barron:

So you did this video, you share an insight, you fill the potential gap. How do you end the video? Is it, “Hey, give me a call and we can discuss it,” or is it, “Reply to this email?” How do you set up that call to action or that next step? For example, I know with Soapbox, the sponsor of the show, Soapbox by Wistia. You can have a physical link, a call to action to book a meeting in your calendar or whatever it is. You can have them go to a certain piece of content. How do you like to kind of wrap up the video in a seamless way, which pushes from a momentum in a direction that moves everything forward?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Well, in the perfect world, if you’re using a paid version of a great tool like Soapbox, well, then you would embed some type of easy CTA, right? In a perfect world. The reality is most salespeople still are not using any video. And the first phase they’re going to go through is the non versions of the Soapboxes of the world, right?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And so in those, then we’ve just got to be strong verbally. Sometimes it’s literally no better than just a very quick recap, so here’s what we’re going to do, here’s what we’re gonna meet. Here’s the things I’m ready to talk about. Cannot wait to meet with you very soon. See at four o’clock on Friday. So that might be for the one that is, “Hey, we’ve already got the appointment, but I’m just reestablishing or efforting or envisioning, basically this is where we want to go in this conversation. “

 

Marcus Sheridan:

I’m also establishing a tone and authority with that. Like, “Hey, this guy’s a baller. He really knows exactly what’s going on. And he seems really on his message. He’s got a good energy and a good enthusiasm, not over the top, not cheesy, but it’s still strong nonetheless.” Right? And so if it’s somebody like in this case of where I sent out to the event organiser, I said to them just in the video, I said, “So, in just very, very Frank matter of fact. So if you’re interested on this, let’s set up a call. Let’s talk about it, because I think it’d be well worth our time. If not, I totally understand. Either way, I wanted to share this with you, because I thought it would be a value to you and your audience.” Right?

 

“People appreciate the feeling of choice and self-selection. This is like an innate psychological need that we have, especially in today’s digital world, that we’re self-selecting as buyers throughout this digital buying experience.” – Marcus Sheridan · [26:19] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And boom, I was out, right? That was it in that case. And so again, it’s a reiteration of a comfort level of here was my idea. I think it’s valuable to you. If you want to talk about, let’s talk, if not, no problem. It’s like, it’s not a big deal. It’s not a big deal. That’s my approach to things, because people appreciate the feeling of choice and self-selection, right?

 

“Salespeople have told me, “I’m just not good on camera.” And I’m like, “Really? That’s interesting. Would you say you’re good with people?” And they’re like, “Yeah, I’m really good with people.” The problem is, they don’t see the camera as a person, they see the camera as a camera. The moment we start seeing the camera as a person, we start getting really, really good.” – Marcus Sheridan · [26:47] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

This is like innate psychological need that we have, especially in today’s the digital world, that we’re self-selecting as buyers throughout this digital experience, digital buying experience, right? I think, those are the simplistic ways to do it. I think we overanalyze sometimes though and it’s funny how people get caught up on them, because it’s like with anything to do with video, just talking to salespeople, you know what I mean? Salespeople have told me, I’m just not good on camera. And I’m like, “Really? That’s interesting. Would you say you’re good with people?”

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And they’re like, “Yeah, I’m really good with people.” The problem is, they don’t see the camera as a person, they see the camera as camera. The moment we start seeing the camera as a person, we start getting really, really good, right? Sometimes salespeople say, “I really need a script.” Why in the world do you need a script? When was the last time you’re in a sales appointment and somebody asked you a question, you pull out the script and said, “Excuse me, let me read this to you to give you the best answer to that question.”

 

Marcus Sheridan:

No, that doesn’t happen, we give answers because we’re experts. We don’t need scripts when we’re meeting with prospects, you don’t need scripts for the most part with videos. I mean, it just not necessary for you to be you and to be your best self. And the more of course that you do it, the more you’re going to rock and roll. I mean, we have a fundamental rule that we teach people with camera performance, is fascinating, we do a lot of work with sales people on camera performance.

 

“The most important rule that every salesperson just needs to learn to follow, and they’re going to be so much better is once you start a video, you just don’t stop. Your mind’s like, no matter what happens, I’m not going to stop.” – Marcus Sheridan · [27:38] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

The most important rule, Will, that every salesperson just needs to learn to follow, and they’re going to be so much better. And it’s once you start a video, you just don’t stop. Your mind’s like, no matter what happens, I’m not going to stop. Because even if you messed up a little bit, you want to work through the first draft of what you were trying to say. It’s almost like if you’re writing an article, what you don’t want to do is stop halfway through the article because you’re like, “All right, that’s enough. That’s enough for the first draught, now I’m going to write the second draft of the article.”

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Because you still haven’t finished the second half of the piece. And so it’s the same thing is like, if you just keep stopping every time you screw up on a video, you never get all the way through that beautiful chain. So you went to get all the way through no stopping, no matter what, which means that if you do a second take, it’s probably going to come out really fluidly.

 

Will Barron:

Got it. Well, the audience will probably now you’ve highlighted that see me do it all the time, of I’ll start going back from a question or a statement like you just made Marcus. I will wrap it on for 15 seconds. I won’t know where I’m going. And this happens in just conversations, of course. And then it comes back around if I would stop and then go, “Oh, sorry Marcus, I thought I was going one way and we’ll reset. We’ll keep it to more question, answer, question, answer.”

 

Will Barron:

The whole thing goes to shit and it doesn’t sound like a conversation and it doesn’t sound like something that’s interesting to listen to. I totally appreciate that. So I’m now mentally trying to pull myself back around to the question I was going to ask you that I’ve totally for forgot about.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Will, that’s the beauty of yes and, right? It’s like this improv technique that the best communicators use is they’re always moving forward. They’re allowing whatever was said to build upon the conversation. They don’t sweat the fact that they might have said it slightly the wrong way, or they may have aired it this way or didn’t come out just the right way. We continue to move forward, because we can self-correct as we go. And that’s the beauty of just looking forward and not looking back so much as communicators.

 

Using Videos to Humanise Yourself and Build Familiarity Very Early in the Sales Process · [29:35] 

 

Will Barron:

And it’s totally humanising, and hopefully that comes across on the podcast and everything else that we do. There’s something you mentioned here, which we’ll wrap up with, which I thought was really interesting. And that is other places we can use video email as a communication tool. The one thing you, you mentioned here, which I was like, this is really useful, and I might actually start implementing this myself was, before meeting, if I’m going to drive two hours to go and see this surgeon in hospital down in Sheffield here, which I did regularly, perhaps once or twice a week, was a customer of mine.

 

Will Barron:

It probably would be a smart move. I would always email them and I wouldn’t always get a reply back, but if I get them a video email, and I said, “Today, we’re going to talk about this, this and this, I’ve solved this problem for you or whatever it is.” I feel like I’d more like to get a response back and I’d be more likely to be told then and there that’s, “Oh, we’re going to meet late today or this is going to happen or whatever it is.”

 

Will Barron:

For me to implement this myself, so you have got this, hopefully, you’ve got this, a few hours ago. When the guests come on the show for the audience sales nation, I always drop a quick email with like three or four lines of the episode title, probably the first two, three questions that we’re going to start with. Just so we run smoothly in that first 30 seconds where I’m still kind of building with rapport with the audience, with the guest.

 

Will Barron:

That probably would make a lot more sense for a video podcast like this, for me to send you a quick video email, right? So you’re coming on the show two hours ago. I’d just go, “Hey, Marcus, look forward to chatting with you. We’ll run through this, this and this.” It would save me time, it’d be easier to do, and hopefully gives you just that little hint of if you haven’t watched a show, if you haven’t come shoot here before.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And can vibe your energy.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah, and it sets a scene, right? Just a little bit more.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

There is a lot of value to that. And lemme say to add to this. When I was with those pharmaceutical reps recently, I asked each person to start the workshop. I said, “Tell me why you’re in this field in the first place.” And one of the ladies in the room, she said, “My mom died of cancer, and so the reason why I’m in the oncology division of what we sell, is because although I might not cure cancer, I can be a part of the cure for cancer,” which was incredibly powerful.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And so my next question was, “Of the doctors that you currently have a relationship with, in other words, her customers, how many of them know that story about your mom?” And she said, “None of them know that story about my mom.” And of course, therefore my next question was, “If they knew that story about your mom, if you’re willing to open up and be a little bit vulnerable,” which to me is just means being honest, “If you’re willing to be honest and real with them, especially before they had met you, especially when you’re trying to set up that first call, that first visit in the office, and you were willing to tell them that about yourself, do you think more would welcome you with open arms?”

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And she said, “Yeah, I think way more would probably do that.” And so this is our chance to form that special relationship very early on in the sales process. And one of the things too, when you send that video that you could consider doing, and we call this Vanguarding. Vanguarding is getting in front of problems, right? Or addressing concerns before they become concerns.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And so in this case, you take somebody that’s a sales rep, like in your case with a surgeon, which is healthcare as well, right? You can say in that first introductory video, when you’re trying to just even set up the meeting, you can say, you might be asking yourself, are you any different than anybody I’ve been dealing with up to this point, Marcus, you’re just another sales rep?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

I want to tell you about why I do have my own story and why it might matter to you. And so now all of a sudden you’ve got my attention, because you said exactly what I was thinking, up another sales rep, just somebody else trying to just hassle me about this particular piece of equipment or this or that. But by coming right out and saying it now, we can demand that respect so much greater than we would if we didn’t address any of those human elements.

 

The 80% Video: How to Answer Common Customer Questions Using Pre-recorded Videos · [33:41] 

 

Will Barron:

Love it. So just a final thing to wrap up here, because I feel like there might be an uncovered insight that we haven’t touched on in the show. We’ve covered to a certain extent, a prospecting email, a pre-meeting email to set the tone, to add a bit more of a human conversation to the conversation in real life before it happens. Are there any other places that we can insert a video rather than even a phone call or video, even if it’s a video call rather than a normal call or an email, where people aren’t doing it and perhaps it’s even counterintuitive to do it?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Well, we’ve done a tonne of studies on this with our clients, right? Because we teach companies how to create a culture of video in-house. And that’s what we do. One of the things that we do at my company Impact and very good at it, most video companies just do video production. We actually do video training to teach them how to have a culture of video in house.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And what we’ve discovered over the course of the last three years of doing this, Will, is just basically seven types of videos that move the sales needle more than anything else. And when you integrate them intentionally into the sales process, it gets pretty magical. I don’t need to say what all of them are, because that would take a little bit of time, but I’ll just say one or two of the most effective ones.

 

Will Barron:

What’s not the most effective, what’s the most underutilised?

 

“If you go to any sales team and you say, “What percentage of the questions you get on a first sales call are essentially the same questions every single time?” Assuming it’s the same product or service, almost always you’re going to hear, about 80%. The question is why do we continue to allow ourselves to answer the exact same 80% of questions over and over again? It’s incredibly inefficient, it doesn’t make any sense. And so here’s what you want to do, you want to brainstorm as a team the top questions that you get in a sales call for your top products and services. Seven of the top questions for each major product or service that you sell. Then you create an individual video addressing each one to the seven, but then you do a mashup where now you’ve addressed all seven in one main video.” – Marcus Sheridan · [35:08] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Far and away, I believe, the most underutilised, unless they’re our clients, I don’t see really anybody doing it is what we call the 80% video. So the 80% video is this. If you go to any sales team and you say, “What percentage of the questions you get on a first sales call are essentially the same questions every single time?” Assuming it’s the same product or service.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Almost always you’re going to hear, about 80%. The question is why do we continue to allow ourselves to answer the exact same 80% of questions over and over again? It’s incredibly inefficient, it doesn’t make any sense. And so here’s what you want to do, is you want to brainstorm as a team, the top questions that you get in a sales call, in a sales call for your top products and services.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Now, you want to choose what we have found is seven for each. Seven of the top questions for each major product or service that you sell. Then you create an individual video addressing each one to the seven, but then you do a mashup where now you’ve addressed all seven in one main video. Now you might say, “Well, that video’s going to be longer than a few minutes, Marcus, isn’t that bad?”

 

“The dumbest stat in the history of the internet is that all videos should be less than 90 seconds. Let me tell you why that’s so stupid. Because there’s a big drop rate after 90 seconds, people say, “See, there’s a big drop rate.” Yeah, there’s also a huge drop rate after three seconds. Does that mean that all videos should be three seconds long? No.” – Marcus Sheridan · [36:11] 

 

Marcus Sheridan:

No, not at all. The dumbest stat in the history of the internet is that all videos should be less than 90 seconds. Let me tell you why that’s so stupid, because there’s a big drop rate after 90 seconds, people say, “See, there’s a big drop rate.” Yeah, there’s also a huge drop rate after three seconds. Does that mean that all videos should be three seconds long? No. What it means is this, there’s a certain percentage of people that are very serious and that are further down the funnel.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

When we create more extensive educationally based sales call based videos, what they are aligned for is the person that’s further down the funnel that doesn’t want to make a mistake when they make that purchase, because they’re all in already for the most part. In other words, they’re going to probably make that purchase.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And so the beauty behind that is, and you went to any salesperson you said, “What would happen if before every sales call the person not only knew the answer to those 80% of questions, you know they’re going to ask, but they had heard it from you, that they had seen it from you. And because of that, they felt like they knew your philosophy, your doctrine as a company, how would your sales appointments be different?” It would be fundamentally magical, and that’s why we need to learn to integrate those into the sales process before the initial sales calls.

 

How to Create a Unique FAQ Page and Address Common Buyer Concerns Using Video · [37:22]

 

Will Barron:

Love it. And we won’t go any further into this, because this is a rabbit hole that we could go on edge with content in general. But if you are selling to a specific sub segment of customers or accounts, or you’re doing account based selling or account based marketing, you could easily have series of videos, a pretty FAQ page, whatever it is that goes to your customers. And you’re not going to have other sales reps get involved with them.

 

Will Barron:

And immediately it would set you up as an expert in the field, an expert in the space and all this kind of stuff. And there seems… And you’d be doing a lot of marketers work for them, you might even just be rereading content or putting your spin on content that they’ve already done, but immediately you’re doubling down and emphasising on the hardware that they’re doing and making it more real for the buyer, right?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Well, that’s what all of this is about. And so it’s like, it makes it more real, it makes it easier, makes it more friction free, more seamless. I think though the key to this, Will, is when you set that appointment is not being passive, not using weak language, not saying, “Hey, if you get a chance, check out that video that I sent you.”

 

Marcus Sheridan:

It’s, “Hey, let’s make sure we have an amazing time together tomorrow. And so as to make sure that you don’t waste any of your time, I’ve created this video that’s going to address the major questions, worries, fears, issues that you’re probably thinking about right now.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And if you watch this video, what it means is our time together tomorrow’s going to be shorter. It’s going to prevent you from making any mistakes. And I promise it’s going to be well worth your time. Will you take the time to watch that before our appointment of tomorrow?” And almost everybody is gonna say, “Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.” Is everybody gonna do it? No, but many, many more will because of the way you went about the commitment.

 

Will Barron:

And as I just pointed on this even more, this goes on to… It could go on to onboarding or with me, I’d do a lot of training in theatres with the surgeons. You could wrap up a lot of the bullshit that I’d go for every time anyone bought anything. This could be done for the nursing staff, the purchasing team, or all of then amalgamated into kind of one useful, real, even if it’s a mini website or mini kind of hub that you are involved with ties it all together.

 

Marcus’ Advise to His Younger Self on How to Become Better at Selling · [39:37]

 

Will Barron:

So yeah, well, it’s probably a conversation for another time kind of getting further down the funnel and the pipeline with customer success and all that side of things. But with that Marcus mate, I’m conscious time, so I’ve got one final question that I ask everyone that comes on the show. That is, if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self, what’s one piece of advice, you’d give him to help him become better at selling?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

I would’ve said early on to become obsessed with the art of the question and everything that it entails, because I truly the great divide between the greatest communicators, which the greatest communicators are the greatest salespeople in this world, right? Whether you’re quote selling or not. And that is many people see the world in the form of how they answer, right? By giving the answer. But there’s a few, very few that see the world in the form of a question. And those that see the world in the form of a question, they are the elite teachers, they’re the elite salespeople. And they’re the ones that influence the masses.

 

Become Better at Selling by Seeing the World in the Form of Questions Instead of Answers · [40:28] 

 

Will Barron:

What does it mean to see the world from that opposing view? What does that look like practically for a salesperson? How would someone know if they already have that?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Can I give you a really fast example?

 

Will Barron:

Of course you can.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And there’s a million ways I could do this, here’s one that recently happened to me, because this is every facet of my life. At the end of many talks, you might have a period of FAQ, right? Where they’re asking you questions. And so recently I gave this talk to a bunch of automotive salespeople.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And when I was done, one of them said, “Marcus, this was so interesting, I’ve been really into it. So here’s my situation, Marcus, what do you think I should do next? When I get back to the office, what do you think I should do first?” And 99 out of 100 speakers are going to tell that person right in that moment exactly what they should do, because they want to look smart and they want to sound smart, and they want their authority to be seen.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

But instead, in that moment, the way that my brain works, the way that I teach others to eventually see the world is I said to him, we’ll say his name was Will. I said, “Will, I’ve been watching you throughout this talk that I’ve been giving. I can tell you’ve been paying attention, you’ve been taking notes. My impression is that you’ve probably been getting impressions as to what you should do next. So before I tell you what you should do, and I will tell you, what do you think you should do first?”

 

Marcus Sheridan:

And he said, “Well, here’s what I think I should do.” And he went down a small little list. And I said, “Will, that’s exactly what I would’ve said.” And then everybody gave Will the round of applause, because now Will discovered it for himself and I didn’t have to force feed on him. Now that’s the principle of ownership, he owns it because he discovered it. And that’s the divide between most communicators.

 

Are the High-performing Salespeople Also Good Coaches? · [42:11] 

 

Will Barron:

Again, a conversation for number of times perhaps, and you can answer this kind of a yes or no, but typically, do you find high performing sales people from what you just said there are good coaches?

 

Marcus Sheridan:

I do think many of them can be good coaches, but I think many of them aren’t good coaches oftentimes, because they’re so just aggressive and they hold people accountable, but not many of them are great with taking their coaching clients and transitioning them to be self-reliant. And it’s most-

 

Will Barron:

And don’t mean necessarily get a, “Coach.” I mean, what you did there was essentially coach that individual to help themselves, right? I feel like if we could and I don’t know anything about coaching.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Most don’t do it like that.

 

Will Barron:

I feel if we could do that with a customer of, a customer comes with their problem and we can turn it on its head and allow them to be the hero themselves, rather than us be in the hero, that there would be kind of like profound benefits from that.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

You’re exactly right. And most do not catch that vision that way, frankly speaking.

 

Parting Thoughts · [43:23] 

 

Will Barron:

Good. Well, it’s something for me to have a think about and see how we can build some content on that. With that Marcus, thanks for joining us on the show mate. I want you to before we wrap up, tell us what we can find out more about you and then anything you are up to, because you’re obviously covering a lot of ground with your speaking, and the training and the teaching that you’re doing.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

Well, my book has done very, very well. They Ask You Answer, was the named the number one marketing book by Mashable in 2017. I actually have a revised version coming out now too. And so check that out, They Ask You Answer, it’s on all the bookstores and you can find me at [email protected] If you have a question of anything I’ve said today, again, [email protected] is my email, or just check me out at marcussheridan.com.

 

Will Barron:

Good stuff. Well, I’ll link to all of that. And if anything else that we talked about in this episode of the show over at salesman.org. Well, Marcus, I want to thank you for your time, insights. I want to thank you. And I always go at my way to mention this at the end of the show, when it does come up for using data and collecting data on some of this, because that’s important to how I kind of want to push the sales industry in our audience into that direction. So I appreciate that mate. And with that, I want to thank you for joining us on the show.

 

Marcus Sheridan:

My pleasure.

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