Video has pervaded our lives in an aggressive way.
We knew it was out there...lurking as the next platform for communication. But now we're using it live for all of our meetings and conversations, messing with our brain, driving us insane.
But there's good news! We're seeing the value of video having positive impacts on our selling pursuits - the most popular being in its use for prospecting. What could be better than a cold generic phone call, email or social media reach out? One that shows your face, delivered in a personalized and valuable way.
Given the circumstances, there's also another application of video that's not just about our selling pursuits - it's about the pursuits of our buyers, too!
"Consensus Selling" is hard.
"Consensus Selling" remotely is harder.
"Consensus Buying" remotely is even harder!
Imagine being someone in a buying organization interested in mobilizing change within their company.
As a buyer pre-Covid, for anything of substance, that buyer would need to gain consensus in their organization to spend the pre-determined budget. It was easier back then - being in an office. Informal discussions in the hallways, by the coffee machine, before or after meetings, etc.
Now, buyers are remote. There's no chance meetings. There's no popping into someone's office to have an informal discussion. Everything is scheduled - unless it's on Slack. But even Slack is just words.
Traditional Proposal Delivery: Pros & Cons
Historically, we've had limited options for proposal delivery. In the remote selling & buying era, those options have become more pronounced.
A) Deliver the proposal "live" during a call:
This is the way I was originally taught. We should "never just send over a proposal. Any price or plan must be delivered and explained "live" in-person." In today's world, that would require a video call.
- You deliver "context' along with the proposal...so it's not just words on pages, but the prospect is able to understand how best to consume and understand it.
- It adds friction to the process. When we buy, we're trying to predict our experience. Our brains are wired to desire to get-to-the-answers as quickly as possible. It's why eCommerce works so well...all the answers available, in one place, consumable when desired. This slows the process for the buyer, providing more opportunities for other options or priorities to derail your opportunity.
- The delivered "context" is only for the recipient of the "context" on that call. In a consensus sale, that buyer now needs to share the proposal, but does she now also need to schedule calls internally to explain the context? It begins the telephone game of consensus buying, where the value and message get muddled over time.
B) Send the proposal, cross fingers, say a little prayer, stare at your email inbox & phone wait for feedback:
This is the approach most often taken, and may or may not include a future-scheduled-appointment to review it after it has already been sent.
- This approach is the ultimate in ease and friction removal for the buyer. They can consume the information on their own schedule, skip right to the sections they care about, and gloss over the things that don't apply. During a "live" delivery, they have to sit through the pitch again...and wait for the price and actualization information they're really most interested in.
- It's a fast path to their needed answers, too. In the decision making process, the faster we can get to "what's the price", "what's this going to look like in our world", "what will I need to do to prepare our organization", the more likely it is to actually happen. When we have to wait to get our internal picture configured, other priorities sneak their way in.
- There is no "context' for the words on the pages. The buyer often doesn't know how best to consume the proposal, and is left to figure it out on their own, which is inherently more work. Decisions sometimes get made based on an inaccurate perception of the words they're reading. And, with no "context", their consensus-building efforts become harder, too, as the message they deliver internally may not be the right one.
Modern Proposal Delivery - Video!
In what I've found to be an incredible use of video - combine the options above into the ultimate delivery mechanism...video!
Here's how it works...
1) Finalize your proposal and prepare it for delivery.
2) Using video technology, RECORD a split screen with your proposal on one side, and you on the other. Walk the prospect through the proposal at a high level, ideally in a 2-4 minute video, providing the context.
3) Send the proposal with the accompanying video.
- This approach provides "context" to the proposal while also providing the tool the buyer can use to build consensus in their organization. It removes homework from the journey, ensures the message isn't convoluted along the way, and gives personality to it, too.
- I haven't come across any yet.
In the times that I've tried this, I've seen the proposal and the accompanying video speeding sales cycles and increasing win rates. Using technology that allows me to see when individuals are interacting with my emails, I can see that, in some cases, the proposal & video is being shared 10+ times! It's also allowed me to better set expectations, and inject my personality into the consensus building process.
It's a win for everyone...and here's a video explaining it further, along with an actual demonstration of what it looks like.
Try it! Inject a little video into your proposal delivery process, and then head to Amazon to buy yourself a bigger wallet. You're gonna need it!
If you like this, share it - within your organization or on your social channels.