Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Tips for Handling Sales Training through Video Conferencing

Training employees through videos is nothing new. Chain stores like Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, and others have all made the most of customized training videos to prepare their employees for the required tasks

Training employees through videos is nothing new. Chain stores like Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, and others have all made the most of customized training videos to prepare their employees for the required tasks. But most of the time, these video training sessions revolve around tasks like stocking shelves, taking orders, and so on. Individual personalities as well as more complex tasks like making sales are not generally focused on. But through customized video conferencing, you can handle even nuanced tasks like making sales. Here are some tips to bear in mind.

Have a General Script On Hand

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology points out that virtual workplaces have allowed for businesses to hire people all across the world. But it can sometimes be chaotic making sure everyone is on the same page, particularly once you start adding in individualized training sessions. One of the first things you should consider doing is preparing a general sales script.

The sales script should target the most common type of customer your company serves in the most common situation. This will be a good enough starting point. You should send this to your employee in advance. After a couple days, schedule a video conferencing session through a service like Blue Jeans. Then have a run through. Have someone pretend to be a customer while you observe the response.

Watch for Trigger Words and Body Language

No employee will recite the script precisely the same without sounding like a set of memorized lines. It's all right for the employee to deviate from the script so long as they hit the trigger words. It may be helpful to create a separate list for yourself that hits the primary benefits your product offers or things you want to make sure that the consumer knows. So long as your employee hits these, everything should be fine.

Business Know How explains that most people take meaning primarily from non verbal body language. Popular studies indicate that only seven percent of a message comes from spoken words. So keep an eye on your employee's body language. Look in particular for nervous habits like

  • picking
  • fidgeting
  • sniffing or snorting
  • scratching
  • jiggling the knee
  • visibly chewing on the lip

When you point out these tics, don't be surprised if they worsen for a time. People tend to become even more nervous when they realize that others have caught them. But with practice and additional confidence, these will gradually work away. Since you are using video conferencing services like Blue Jeans, you can be flexible on the times when you observe your employee. It may be good to experiment with timing to see whether your employee feels more confident working in the morning or evening.

Also keep an eye out for verbal tics. While a certain number of ahs or uhms are common, your employees need to work past them. This will make them seem unprepared or hesitant or perhaps even dishonest. Retail Business: Entrepreneur's Step by Step Startup Guide warns that too many verbal tics can even go so far as to alienate an otherwise engaged customer.

Start Deviating from the Script

One of the other things that you need to do is start deviating from the script. These sessions probably will not last long. Ten minutes should be sufficient, even if you are giving fairly detailed responses. You can do most of this on your smart phone or tablet if you are using a video conferencing service like Blue Jeans. As your employee becomes more comfortable, you can start changing the circumstances to other types of customers who want different things. You can advance the training as fast or as slow as your employee needs. Because this is customized, you are not restricted to a set course. Some employees may do quite well handling angry customers while others may need more time.

If you find it difficult to provide enough variety, remember that you can bring in additional people to play the roles of potential customers. In fact, that is likely to be better. If just one person continues to play the role of customer, the employee may become overly comfortable and do better, not because he understands the skill set but because he knows that everything is fine. Having new people brought into the session will help keep him on his toes.

Video conferencing provides many benefits to businesses, and one of the lesser known ones is how you can use it to make the most of sales training for employees. You should start off by having a solid script. From there, you need to let your employee practice and take them through several practice runs. Make sure that they hit the trigger words, but keep an eye out for negative body language. As your employee starts to become more confident, start deviating from the script with customers who not always typical or who may even be difficult. Through these tips, you will help your employees become even better at sales than they already are.