Many of us have already engaged in video conferencing, both internally and with clients.

In this article we will give you some tips to avoid looking pale on the other side of the camera. We are not talking about make-up, but about the familiar concept of ‘body language’. It concerns a number of obvious things we refrain from doing in case of personal contact, but tend not to be aware of in case of remote contact.

1. Managing multiple screens

  • Make sure you have the video conferencing app on the same screen as your camera. Otherwise it will seem like you are looking somewhere else and not listening to the conversation.
  • Personally, I have put a small post-it note next to the eye of the camera to remind me that this is where I need to look and not at myself in the video.

2. Respecting the personal bubble

  • We all have a bubble of personal space around us, including on video. So remember to keep your distance. When I’m very close to the camera, the other party will immediately see that I have a big nose, and I don’t want that. So don’t sit too close or too far from the camera.
  • You should also avoid too much empty space around you. It has to seem like you are sitting opposite each other at a table.
  • A good guideline is a fist’s width of space between your head and the top of the camera.

3. Using gestures

  • Do not interrupt and use gestures even more frequently than during face-to-face conversations.
  • Raise your hand if you want to say something.
  • If someone’s microphone is muted, signal that you cannot hear them.
  • Give a thumbs up (or nod) to indicate approval and to encourage the speaker to continue.
  • Turn around or put your hand in front of your mouth if you have to cough. Be sure to mute your microphone! Some programs have a hotkey to temporarily mute the microphone.

4. Controlling your body and hands

  • Take care your eyes do not travel from left to right over the screen as this makes it clear you are reading something else.
  • Avoid putting your hands in front of your mouth as this suggests you have nothing to say or you intend to keep quiet so as not to voice your disagreement.

5. Asking impactful questions

  • Make sure to ask questions on a regular basis.
  • Address the audience.
  • State the name of the person to whom you are addressing your comments if you are meeting with several people at once.
  • Confirm approval of what you are saying or offering.
  • … just like in a personal conversation, but even more clearly.

Other precautionary measures:

6. Preparing the location:

  • We do what we can, wherever we are. But we always do our utmost not to be disturbed or distracted.
  • If you are not at home alone, this works both ways. You do not want to be disturbed, but you should not disturb the others either.
  • Never sit with your back to a window as this automatically impacts the quality of the video call.

7. Checking your equipment:

  • Make sure you have a reliable and sufficiently fast Internet connection, a well-functioning camera and a properly working audio system. If you are not used to teleconferencing, be sure to go online five minutes early to test everything before the start of the meeting and to avoid delays for the other participants.
  • Headphones are useful but can make your head hurt after a few hours. You should preferably buy a HD webcam with built-in camera that can be put on top of your screen. The quality will be much better and the video meeting will feel more like a regular meeting to your contacts.

8. Minding your appearance:

  • Dress as usual for the occasion. Wear a suit and tie if that’s your habit. Many people tend to dress a bit more casually.
  • Keep in mind to dress your lower body as appropriately as your upper body. You don’t want people to see your favourite shorts under a fashionable white shirt if you stand up. This doesn’t mean you should not get some fresh air and sunshine from time to time.

9. Taking into account the emotional aspect:

  • Distance affects presence
  • Try to increase your presence by using gestures, asking questions etc.
  • Communicate in a more personal and direct manner
  • Authenticity is even more important in video conferencing
  • Share your experiences; everyone is in the same boat
  • Sharing enables you to build trust and deeper connections

Optimise your sales productivity and improve your commercial fitness with one short action per day.

1. Pimp your LinkedIn profile

Update your photo, summary, value proposition, skills set… and ask your best-known linked contacts for feedback

2. Clean up your mailbox and get rid of useless newsletters 

Sort out emails, unsubscribe to what is no longer relevant to you and delete ads. Respond to emails you forgot about, even if you received them a long time ago.

3. Set up your videoconferencing place 

Set up a quiet and comfortable space to work with colleagues remotely and sell from a distance in times of social distancing. Test you video and audio material for an optimal customer experience.  

4. Prepare ready-to-use answers to five key objections  

List the most frequent objections that you receive and address the top ones. Write down the best responses to these objections and practice with colleagues in the most natural way possible.

5. Create your cocktail party pitch

The more you talk, the more your speaking fee drops. Prepare your to-the-point personal experience pitch. Try it out so that you appear and sound authentic.

6. Work out your top 5 discovery questions

Think about powerful questions to improve the outcome of conversations. Memorise them for future customer interactions.

7. Find out what your best customers have in common

Create a customer profile for customers you like to do business with. Look for prospects that meet the same criteria and start interacting with them. Keep in mind the tips for selling in times of social distancing.

8. Identify who inspires your most important accounts

Group customers by activity sector and identify their key influencers. Get connected with them, read their most relevant posts and leave comments.

9. Engage in web and social media competitive intelligence

Analyse how your key competitors are navigating this period of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). Find out how they communicate, what is new and how customers react to their initiatives. Identify their strengths and weaknesses and share with colleagues.

10. Build customer success stories

Choose a couple of different industry verticals and build your “happy ending” customer stories. Start with the positive outcome, the original situation and the negative business impact it was generating. End with how they are using your products or services today and take next steps with that customer when relevant.


Pascal Persyn, CEO of Perpetos, and Prof. Dr. Deva Rangarajan (Director of Professional Selling, Ball State University) discuss how traditional commercial employees should adapt to the new, digital approach to sales.

The CEO of Perpetos sees COVID-19 as an opportunity. Traditional salespeople are now confronted with a new reality, the perfect opportunity to step outside their comfort zone. This will eventually accelerate the general transition to a new approach to sales for many commercial teams. When the current situation ends, a number of people will obviously switch back to more traditional methods. However, the advantages will speak for themselves. Both customers and salespeople will realise that multichannel communication can generate added value.

Perpetos will in the near future present a five-step strategy to facilitate the transition to this digital era:  

  1. Select active customers and/or customers who see the current situation as an opportunity for extra leverage
  2. Divide customers into groups based on similar reasons to buy a product or service
  3. Set priorities based on their willingness to buy spread over time
  4. Develop short campaigns that include multiple touchpoints  
  5. Make sure you are very well prepared by practicing with colleagues 

How can you teach salespeople new skills during a lockdown period?

This is a question that many ask themselves! Perpetos has been offering virtual training, e-learning and micro-learning in collaboration with Qstream and Showpad for quite some time now. These teaching methods are often used by international companies that make use of small commercial teams spread across the globe. Perpetos supports you and your company in this transition and in the creation of momentum during the restart.

Learn more on this topic:

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