Using Video As A Selling Tool

On-truck, online video can drive more sales


Phil Sasso is the president of Sasso Marketing (www.sassomarketing.com), a technical marketing agency specializing in tools and equipment. Subscribe to his free marketing tips at philsasso.com./blog.         Are videos really the next best thing to a hands-on demonstration? If so, how can I use video to generate more sales?   s tools and equipment continue to advance technologically and the cost of video continues to decrease, video is definitely a growing trend in tool and...


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Are videos really the next best thing to a hands-on demonstration? If so, how can I use video to generate more sales?

 

s tools and equipment continue to advance technologically and the cost of video continues to decrease, video is definitely a growing trend in tool and equipment marketing.

One-on-one demos and paper literature are not quite dead, yet. But, if you want to connect with customers, you need to be in tune with where things are going, not where they’ve been. Using video can definitely put you ahead of that curve.

Show and Sell

“Folks in their 20s and 30s … absolutely want to see interactive content [and] multimedia-type presentations as one of their first methods of learning,” says Mike DuBois, Publishing and Editorial Manager at Integrated Supply Network (ISN). “If we want to appeal to the people making buying decisions, then we have to give them information in the manner that they want to receive it.”

In your case, this means using video to supplement literature and, in some cases, to replace one-on-one demos. You could start as small as buying an inexpensive 7” portable DVD player. A quick Google search reveals player prices ranging from $60 - $150.

The more formats your player can play (like MPEG-4, MPG, and DivX), the better -- as you’ll see later. Be sure the player has external speakers, not just headset jacks, or you’ll need to buy a set of speakers too. But whatever you do, keep the volume to a manageable level. You don’t want to be shouting over your video to answer customer questions. Better too low than too loud.

Set your media player on a shelf at about eye-level. I realize that’s prime real estate in your truck, but I think you’ll find over time that these videos will sell enough product to be worthy of that position. Eventually, if video proves to work for you, you may find yourself mounting a larger video monitor in a predominant place on your truck. (Consider planning space for a 20” video monitor or larger with a nearby power inverter outlet if you’re buying a new truck anytime in the future.)

Using on-truck video is like being in two places at once. While you are writing up an order, your customers can be watching a training video you’re selling, or better yet, a video showing features and benefits of some of your newest or more technical tools.

 

Lights. Camera. Action!

You can produce your own video, says DuBois. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just put a video camera on a tripod and do a series of three to five-minute pitches.

Don’t have a video camera? Borrow one from a friend instead of buying one, until it proves profitable. Also, try to present to a live person when recording so you sound more relaxed and natural.

Video lets you do things you can’t do in a normal hands-on demo like show a product in-use on a vehicle. You might want to record a new video every month just to keep it fresh.

If video stardom isn’t your thing, or if you want more polished videos, look to your flag, WD or vendors for help. Many have DVDs and/or YouTube videos. Zamzar.com lets you type in a YouTube URL and download a video in over a dozen video file formats including MPEG-4, MOV and AVI. Look over these formats (http://bit.ly/zamzar-video) before buying a player so you know it’s compatible with at least one format. You can download converted files up to 100MB for free. Several levels of subscription service are available that allow you to convert files up to 1 GB -- but you shouldn’t need files that big.

DuBois also suggests you consider launching your own YouTube channel so customers can watch demos and longer training-type sales videos on their own schedule. It’s easy to set-up a channel (if you have a Gmail or Google account, you’re halfway there). You can also incorporate and post these videos onto your social media sites. (For more on using social media for your business, read the Sales Q&A March and April 2012 two-part series on social media.)

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