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Spotlight on Look Me In The Eye by Julie Hansen

For years you’ve heard me talk about making your sales calls feel like you’re having coffee with the prospect. NOW Julie Hansen has written a book to help make your virtual meeting feel JUST LIKE THAT.
Impossible? NOPE!
Julie hooked me with this one line “…be authentic in an artificial environment—which is what being in front of a camera is.”
In Look Me In the Eye, Julie Hansen reveals how actors, reporters, and other on-screen pros form personal connections with people through the screen – and how you can apply their secrets to build stronger relationships in business!
The inside sales universe needs to be leveraging all of the things we ALREADY KNOW HOW TO DO; that traditionally outside salespeople, if I’m completely blunt, suck at. Even if they don’t suck, they’re certainly not as practiced at the skills as masterful inside salespeople are.
Virtual salespeople need to expand their skills not rest on expertise that’s made them successful up to now. Your competition is working on being better at what you’re already good at… it’s time to amp up your game too!
Turning on your camera (and remembering to come OFF mute when you speak) is just the beginning.
Sure Chapter 4 is all about the technical feeling stuff (your camera, screens, sounds, background, lighting, wardrobe, etc…) the rest of the book is about YOU being your best self on camera.
Chapter 1 will have you work on using video to develop the five essential qualities of developing relationships:

  • Authenticity
  • Interest
  • Listening
  • Empathy
  • Trustworthiness

 In Chapter 2: What the Camera Sees, Julie says “The bottom line is this: Don’t let how you feel about being on camera get in the way of communicating freely with your customer.” (page 14) It made me think of all the PHONE salespeople who have said to me that they hate video. If that is you… work to change your relationship with the camera.

The best part of this book – for me at least – is the exercises Julie gives us to get better. I’m slowly working my way through them all!

Chapter 3 makes sure you start to think about the camera AS YOUR CUSTOMER – I’d never even considered that. Read through the tips and start to think about how you’re showing up for the camera… I mean your prospects and customers.

When you get to Chapter 5 (I already told you Chapter 4 is the technical stuff earlier – I didn’t skip it) you’ll be reading: There’s more to Eye Contact than meets the EYE. It involves techniques to break through the fourth wall and make sure you’re speaking directly to each person on the call!

  • Fast track your relationships
  • Improve credibility
  • Project confidence
  • Convey likability

“If you’re not looking at the camera, you’re not actively connecting with your customer.” ~ Julie Hansen (page 61)
If you’re not sure this book is for you – start there and read through page 68.  Those seven pages are what convinced me I need to work my way through every. single. exercise!
Of course, I think you’d do well to keep reading… and going back to the beginning.
A new way to read body language on video in Chapter 6 is 100% a MUST READ chapter for those of us who’ve primarily leveraged the phone and email in the past. While you do get to pat yourself on the back when you get to page 78 “when there is nobody to read” at how AWESOME you already are at this.
Chapter 7 continues on to learn more about (mis)interpreting on-screen behavior; to make sure you’re not over OR under-reacting. What was Key for me was the idea of “clusters of signals” (page 87) to determine the customer’s engagement level.
Another area inside sales professionals need to take note of is Leveraging Movement and Gestures, Chapter 8. I’ve always taught we need to use our body like we’re in person – those rules change when we need to stay inside the frame set by our cameras.
Julie even goes into specifics about video-friendly gestures and movement to convey specifics: action, descriptions, indicate change, separate ideas, welcome, emphasize, indicate surprise or delight, share gratitude or emotion. I’m so glad there are tips and exercises at the end of this chapter!
“Facial expressions are your emoticons on video.” (page 111) Chapter 9 is all about Using Expression to Super-Charge Your Relationships… it’s also an important lesson on the credibility created through continuity of words and expressions.
Enjoy the description(s) of Resting Business Face as you’re reading!
Chapter 10: Bringing Your Message to Life with Your Voice is another chapter that many inside salespeople will find SUPER familiar. Please don’t skip it, as the reminder that adding video doesn’t remove the need to pay attention to our tone, inflection, cadence, volume, and the beauty of the PAUSE!
I love the section on the difference between vocal energy and volume (although perhaps, I just needed the reminder myself).
Managing Attention and Creating Interaction in Virtual Meetings is the focus of Chapter 11 and perhaps the skill I see lacking in almost every meeting I attend. Without a purposeful intention to getting the other people engaged, you’ll forget.
Crafting GREAT questions in advance and planning when to ask them. “As the salesperson, it is your responsibility to create both the desire and the opportunity for your customers to interact with you.” (page 130). Sounds a lot like the UpYourTeleSales moto – communication, it’s your responsibility!
Staying Connected When Using Notes, Slides, or Screens – Chapter 12, has lots of tips. Many of them I still need to practice AND successfully incorporate into how I run my own video meetings. I may never have another video meeting without a producer after reading the chapter.
Chapter 13 wraps everything up with Ten Steps to Direct Your Own Video performance (AND master video meetings).
If you want to set yourself apart and compete in a hybrid world, I recommend you get your copy of Look Me In the Eye today!
Visually yours,

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