Your virtual first impression can make or break your sale. In the first few seconds of a video call, prospective customers quickly make decisions about you and your company and how (or whether) they’re going to listen to you. To ensure you’re making a strong first impression, look no further than your television screen. Most of the stars you see had to audition on film or video to make it past the eyes of critical casting directors and onto your screen. By applying the 5 secrets from the stars, you can gain an important competitive edge in your video calls:
5 Secrets from the Stars for a Memorable First Impression
“We started every practice with that warm-up … We knew that sh*t like it was second nature. And that’s when magical stuff happens with acting: No mind, no body.” – Mark Ruffalo | Spotlight
No star would ever walk into an audition without knowing their lines or being warmed up. Once the camera is on, the professional actor knows that their every move is being evaluated – there is no time to ramp up! An actor’s preparation includes knowing the material backward and forwards, as well as preparing their instrument, i.e. their mind and body. Too many salespeople make the mistake of using their first few seconds of a video call to warm up on their customers. Make magical stuff happen and be fully warmed up and prepared before the camera even turns on.
“A lot of what acting is, is paying attention.” – Robert Redford | Director
Prepare, prepare, prepare … and then be prepared to let it all go and live in the moment. That’s the key to great acting and great selling. If you have something planned and your customer gives you a different signal, don’t just forge ahead on the same route! Actors rarely give the same performance each time because they are always reacting to new circumstances: someone’s tone, a look, a sound. Take a cue from Robert Redford and be prepared enough to let go and pay attention – you may be surprised what you’ll learn.
“If you have a particular read on it, go in with your point of view, because it doesn’t make sense trying to go in with somebody else’s point of view.” – Timothy Simons | Veep
Casting directors and prospects alike are looking for something that sets you apart! They are looking for that one person to ‘wow’ them and make their decision an easy one. Most salespeople give prospects very little to work with on a virtual call – often because they are simply uncomfortable being on video. In order to let your unique personality shine and have a unique point of view, you need to be confident on-camera. (Learn some ways to build confidence at the end of this article.)
Don’t assume you’ll get another chance:
“I think most actors take roles because they think they won’t get offered another one … or they’re worried that someone else will take it!” – Ricky Gervais | The Office
Like unsuccessful actors, many salespeople make the mistake of holding back until they have gauged the temperature of their audience. But when you only have moments to make a great first virtual impression, you can’t afford to be tentative! Take a risk, commit to the moment, and give it your best shot. For it may be your only shot. (Pro tip: improv is an excellent way to help you develop this skill. Click here for some improv tips you can use in sales.)
Believe your value:
“The way I audition now, I just treat it like a rehearsal. I treat it like I already have the role and I’m just going to rehearsal.” – Amy Schumer | Trainwreck
Casting directors want to believe that the next actor to walk through the door is the answer to their dreams and prospects want to believe the same – that you will help solve their problems and meet their goals. If you do not believe that you have something of value to offer, so too will your prospects.
Confidence is crucial in video sales. Know your worth and treat every video call like you’ve already been offered the part – don’t apologize for taking up a customer’s time and do not excessively thank them for it either. You can be respectful and courteous without groveling.
First impressions are last impressions! Learn more about how to build your confidence on video and make a powerful virtual first impression every time here.