The Digital Handshake involves sending a video (of you) after a first sales call, so that the client can put a face to your name. The video can be a one-off or a canned video that you re-use. This video can be embedded in a web page or, for a more personal touch, delivered as a video email.
People who drive sales in the digital age all face the problem of building trust and rapport. In an ideal world, you would shake the client’s hand and look them in the eye to begin a new relationship. However, nowadays that is time and cost prohibitive.
I designed the Digital Handshake as a way to bridge that emotional gap. It’s a simple way to mimic a time prove sales tactic and it’s quickly becoming standard etiquette in the digital age.
Three quick steps:
(1) You record a video. (2) You upload said video to a hosting platform. (3) You send the hosted video to an individual or group of people.
For example, "Hi, I’m Will. I know it’s nice to put a face to the name. So here I am."
Cover the key points from your conversation briefly. It helps to write down the key points before you record your video. This way you stay on track.
Remind them about the time for you next call or meeting; or the next step for them to take.
Meet some of our members by watching their Digital Handshake's
If you're using a premium video email platforms, you’ll be able to do the Digital Handshake easier and faster. With some of the very best platforms, you will also be able to see viewer heatmaps and create call to action messages.
So there you have it! You now know about Digital Handshake, one of the techniques we teach our members how to use to drive sales. Every day I receive emails (and videos!) from clients who are implementing this technique with massive success.
I look forward to hearing your success story sometime soon!
Done correctly, the Digital Handshake can take a potential client from ‘luke warm’ to ‘red hot’, saving you countless hours of tedious follow-up. We’ve discovered many other ways these short engaging videos can be leveraged as part of the sales and customer services process—to create happier clients, who rave about you and your products/services.
The process of “selling” is undergoing a massive shift that has been brought on by the way today’s buyers consume and receive information.
Back in the day, to begin a new relationship, a rep for a vacation agency or a real estate agent would meet with potential new clients in person. They would read the client’s body language, adjust their sales pitch accordingly, and at the end of a successful meeting, the salesperson would accompany the client to the door with an old-fashioned handshake, knowing with a fair sense of certainty if they had a deal or not.
But most sales meetings nowadays don’t take place in person, but over the phone and via email.
It’s become a sticky wicket for sales pros trying to navigation this new and vastly more complex digital landscape. And with the opportunity to have face-to-face meetings decreasing rapidly, all of a sudden we don’t have an opportunity to fully leverage those hard-earned years invested in understanding our clients’ needs and providing a quality service.
This is the reason I invented the Digital Handshake, as a way set yourself apart from your competitors by bridging the gap. It consists of a short self-recorded video message to follow-up with a web lead, phone conversation, or email exchange.
One of the ways you can deliver the video messages you create to your clients is inside an email for easy viewing. You can also embed an email marketing system; or, even a website or blog page.
Our members have been using this ‘trust building’ and ‘quick close’ technique to take potential clients from ‘luke-warm’ to ‘red-hot’ since 2008, saving them countless hours of tedious follow-up. And based on the data that I analyzed from our members over the best part of a decade, this course explains how to craft the most effective Digital Handshake from your office or home.
The first thing to understand about the Digital Handshake is its simplicity. Our most successful members, embrace this simplicity using two main themes:
The moment you begin spending too much time on your video message, the spontaneity of the communication is lost. After all, you wouldn’t rehearse or repeat yourself in front of a client, would you?
In it’s leanest form, you really don’t need to say much more than:
“Hi [Your Client’s Name Here], I’m Will. We just spoke on the phone. I know it’s always nice to put a face to the name, so here I am [and wave to the camera]. It was a pleasure talking to you today. Let me know if you have any questions.”
Do that. And just that. And observe the difference. If your clients are humans (as opposed to aliens or zombies), using this one short video message, you’ll take leads from ‘luke-warm’ to ‘red-hot’ instantly.
You’ll likely get a response that reads something like this:
“Wow that’s so cool. I was hunting around, but you’re clearly the person I need to be working with. When can we next speak?”
And this is just the tip of the iceberg!
To practice, you can use your laptop’s built-in webcam if you must. But I recommend starting as you mean to go on. So do yourself a favor and buy the equipment we recommend in this course.
Logitech consistently produces the best video and sound for the dollar. Another perk of using the Logitech webcam is that it comes with a recording application that’s easy to use.
When you upgrade to a USB mic for pro sound and use a tripod to achieve the 3rd person-style camera perspective, you’ll have all the tools to create videos for website, blog posts, and screencasts as well.
The moment you spend money on a fancy DSLR camera or a teleprompter, the foundation of the Digital Handshake begins to erode. Equipment like a DSLR-camera is not only expensive, it’s complicated and time-consuming to use, only giving you “marginal gains,” when it comes to creating Digital Handshake.
The goal of the perfect Digital Handshake video is to add a personalized touch to your email or phone correspondence. A carefully-timed Digital Handshake enables you to teleport yourself into the recipients’ presence and engage them in your sales process like never before.
And when it comes to the actual context of what you say in that video recording, do not over-think it. Say what comes naturally—what you’d say in a parting handshake with the client to set the stage for the next step in your sales process.
As you get more comfortable, you can summarize the key points from your call as well.
For longer form videos, we recommend a scriptless scripting technique. But that’s not important right now. First, you have to establish the habit of doing the Digital Handshake daily.
Here are some examples of how our members use the CTA feature to increase conversions:
Oh and this shouldn’t be a surprise, but don’t even think about dolling up your videos with lights and green screens; or, by using any kind of editing software. These tools simply aren’t necessary. In the same way that the Queens’ English and pixel-perfect graphics would feel out-of-place in a regular email, the same is true for digital handshakes and many other types of video you can produce.
It’s only when you want to advance and start embedding videos in your website, blog posts, or for sceencasts that additional tools and editing software have a purpose. And even then, the power of low-key and unedited-style of video is not to be underestimated.
Similar to most sales nurturing techniques, there are varying degrees of investment you can make, when crafting your Digital Handshake. The amount we recommend is best determined based by the projected return-on-investment from your potential client. A digital handshake that may close on a long-negotiated deal should be much more thoughtful than one for a lead you’ve never met.
For important leads, we recommend recording Digital Handshakes on individual or one-off basis for ultimate personalization.
In these important handshakes, referring to the client by name and the specifics related to their purchasing decision makes a difference. You can also comment on the weather where they are…etc. Not unlike a customized email, the one-off handshake takes a bit more time and effort.
For the rest of those generic needs, implement “the evergreen approach.”
This entails recording one generic message and keeping it on file like a canned response to send out on-demand. Use broad words that encompass all your sales calls and don’t ostracize anyone.
You can expand to create video-based follow-up sequences with your Evergreen videos. Embed them in your website or blog. And even add them into actual canned responses sent via Gmail and Outlook: both email clients have a canned response feature built-in.
Both types of Digital Handshake videos have their place in the sales process. It’s up to you to determine which version is worthwhile and when. I go on to explain the automated Digital Handshake in more advanced courses.
A short personalized video makes people feel special.
In our data, we’ve found that individuals who create more than four one-off digital handshakes go on to smash sales quotas with video. This is a great stat!
So if you really want to fly, we recommend committing to following up EVERY first phone call with a personalized Digital Handshake.
You can hone your sharing skills by sending them to family and friends (or our video coaches). But the key is to establish the habit of creating videos. From there, you’ll improve quickly. As you approach your 4th video, you’ll start to feel comfortable on-camera. And before you know it, you’ll find it easier and faster to send a video than a regular email.
The first video may take you twenty minutes or more to record, upload, and send. But as you progress, the steps will become rote, and you’ll be able to go from start to finish in as little as two to three minutes.
There’s no doubt that video is the ultimate sales tool. And our style of webcam video makes video easy, affordable, and effective for sales pros and teams around the globe.
What equipment do I need? Is there software to install? Are there any common issues?
The majority of the information online talks about expensive and complicated equipment (e.g. DSLR cameras). But you can get near the same results in minutes not hours, at a fraction of the cost with the equipment mentioned above.
DSLR cameras and video editing software serve a purpose, but you don’t need to be using them for 80% of the videos you can produce to grow your business. If you do really need that fancy equipment, hire a college student for the day to film and edit the video for you.
First focus on mastering these tools. You’ll be surprised at the results you can achieve in less than five minutes, start to finish. And how empowering it feels to be able to create, record, and share videos so quickly and easily.
For me, when communicating a message of any substance, I find it’s so much easier to say it, than to try and type out a lengthy email; or, pick of the phone and end up in an hour long conversation with a client. Now, I just flick on my webcam, record my message, and send it to client. They’re always impressed at the personal service too!
See how the Logitech compares with your computers built-in webcam
Only use your built-in webcam for testing purposes, as its video and audio quality are sub-par (that includes you too, Mac users). Logitech webcams produce the best picture and sound quality for the money. We don’t get any affiliate commissions from recommending them. They’re just the best on the market.
Windows users: grab the C920 ($70). Mac users: grab the C615 ($50). The big difference maker? Logitech webcams have right-light technology which enables the webcam to create a clear picture, even in a dimly lit room.
Get a quick rundown of why the Blue Nessie is awesome!
While you can do a solid Digital Handhsake without a professional microphone, you’re going to quickly get addicted and the first upgrade you should make is to get a USB microphone.
For $70, you can get the Blue Nessie. Inside the Nessie, there’s a miniature audio engineer, who tunes your audio in real-time. This beast has a built-in pop filter and internal shockmount. The Nessie will deliver professionally finished sound, without the need for additional mixing or editing.
When combined with the Logitech webcam, you’ll have the equipment you need to produce professional quality videos for almost any purpose.
To put your viewers at ease and also tackle the challenge of getting the Logitech webcam up to eye level, consider the Manfrotto MKC3-H01.
Both the Logitech webcam’s we recommend come with tripod mounts built-in. You can connect the webcam quickly and securely to the top of the tripod.
Of course, if you don’t want to get the tripod, you can hang your webcam on a flower vase or a bookshelf. It’s not nearly as stable, but it does the trick.
Don’t think a webcam, a tripod, and a USB microphone make a difference? Check out this video where I show exact side-by-side examples of the difference these small gadgets make in your video production. You’ll see me go from business professional to zombie town (using your computer’s built-in webcam) and back again all in the span of 2:00 minutes.
In this section, I cover how to record a video using the Logitech webcam software.
The tutorial above is for Logitech C910 and C920 (Windows). The C615 (Mac) has less features, but the fundamentals are the same.
THE 4 STEPS TO RECORD
Set the resolution to 360p for video email; use 1080p, if you’ll be editing the video for your website or blog.
In the Logitech webcam software:
USB microphones, including the Blue Nessie are mischievous. They often set themselves as speaker as well as a recording device. Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sounds > Manage Audio Devices. And then under the Playback tab, right-click and disable the microphone as a speaker.
If using the Blue Nessie, check to see if the base is flashing. If it is, it’s muted. On the base at the front, there’s a red button touch it and the base will stop flashing. You’re now ready to record.
Incorporate that into your “performance on-camera.” Like with a traditional in-person handshake, it’s the [off-the-cuff] personalized feel of the Digital Handshake that makes it special.
Think about it, when you shake someone’s hand. If they’re slick you don’t trust them. If it’s a natural – spur of the moment gesture, BOOM “Good First-Impression Achieved.”
If you are really anxious about them seeing you click the mouse to end the recording, subtly place your finger on your mouse, so you can tap it at the end of your handshake, without breaking eye contact with the camera. It takes a bit of practice, but it can be done.
So you’ve recorded your short Digital Handshake message! And you’ve got a video file sitting on your computer’s desktop. But video files are too large to attach to emails, and there’s a slue of other issues and drawbacks with this method.
So in order to show that video to your clients, you need at minimum a place to host it.
Log into your chosen video hosting platform and click the Upload button.
Whether you intend to use YouTube or a premium platform like the one we’ve built, the upload process is similar.
PRO TIP: ALWAYS RECORD VIDEOS LOCALLY
Some video platforms offer web-based video recorders. On the surface, this seems like a time-saving feature, and it is, but it’s highly problematic. For one, it creates a significant reduction in picture quality and audio fidelity. Two, even the tiniest interruption in your WiFi connection, can ruin your video. The list goes on.
I want to share a quick tip that I learned the hard way, several years ago. It’s about priming your clients for video email. And it’s one of the primary reasons why people fail miserably when starting to use video email. Get this right and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration. And you’ll close a lot more deals as a result.
Have you ever tried to paint a wall without applying a priming coat first? Whether you “forgot” or just weren’t aware, the result is still the same. The paint is patchy and often peels. In other words, it doesn’t stick.When you send video email, it’s the same principle holds true. And making your video emails stick is key!
You’ll be pleased to know that priming clients for video email isn’t rocket science. All you need to do is let them know you’ll be sending them one. You can do this by telling them at the end of a phone call or sending them a regular email. And you only have to do it one time. Once you’ve primed them once, you can send them video email’s that day and in the future.
BUT, don't go overboard... just as with the paint analogy, you don’t want to go too heavy. View priming and video as another communication tool in your toolbox. Getting your message across is about selecting the right tool to use at the right time.
More and more sales professionals are starting to fire up their webcam to close deals, recognizing that video isn’t just for the folks in their marketing department anymore. And the ones that surmount the learning curve are laughing all the way to the bank. The last member I worked with (Justin) reported a 15% increase in his closing ratios, from a one evergreen video.
But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that you can’t skip straight to Go. The learning curve is real. And in the beginning everyone sucks. They freeze when that little red light comes on. Others start to ramble and do multiple takes only to end up with nothing.
While there’s always room for improvement, with a little preparation you can skip the headaches and frustration and get up to snuff fast. It’s possible! And I’m going to tell you EXACTLY how to do it right now.
Think back to when you learned how to ride a bike. Did you have a useful destination in mind? For example, riding to the corner shop to buy cheap cider? You didn’t, did you!? If you did, do you think you’d of made it to the corner store?
The answer is “Not likely. At least not alive!"
When you were learning to ride a bike, you thin-sliced. Your first goal was simply to go in a straight line and not fall down. Once you achieve that goal, you practiced turning and then riding in circles. Then and only then did you’re awareness of your surroundings start to set in. And as you practiced more, you started to think about riding to a destination.
Maybe it wasn’t the corner store. Perhaps a friend’s house or the park. Regardless of where you were heading, it eventually became possible because you thin-sliced or baby-stepped your way to success.
If I could give new video users one piece of advice, it would be: “Forget about trying to make a real video in the beginning!” First, go through the motions and get down the technical steps. If you’re using the workflow I designed specifically for sales professionals, it will look like this:
At this point, if you completed the exercise outlined above, you’ve invested little more than a few minutes each day and given a few friends (and yourself) a laugh in the process. Whether you’re aware of it or not, the technical steps to make a video have become rote as well. Congratulations!
You’re likely be impressed at how easy and natural it feels to make videos. Even if they’re videos comprised of gibberish. When this happens, it’s time to start thinking about crafting videos to achieve specific goals. For that, use the scriptless scripting technique outline, which I talk about next.
There’s only one way I know to create compelling videos quickly and easily…and that’s to ad lib. I’ve tried it all: putting a script up in Word on my computer, taping bullet points in front of the camera, and memorizing my script in advance. I’ve even tried using professional teleprompter; and I can tell you there’s a reason why even Hollywood actors winning Golden Globe Awards stumble when using those things.
But think about it for a second. The reality is, you know what to say. You do it every day, on the telephone and in meetings. It comes naturally to you as part of a conversation.
The issue? The person you are talking to is not present. So you need to create an outline to keep you on track.
4-PART SCRIPTLESS-SCRIPTING METHOD
(Tell them what they will learn by watching the video in the first 10 seconds.)
In this video, I’m going to tell you three reasons why you should be using the Digital Handshake.
It’s the same every time, “In this video, I’m going to tell you # reasons why you should______ .”
(The main points you want to cover.)
Note: All I need to remember is Easy, Fast, and Effective. I can ad lib around those points, as I know why video is easy, fast, and effective.
(Quickly summarize your main points.)
So there you have it folks, you now know why video is Easy, Fast and Effective.Note: All I’m doing is restating the main points from the message.
(The next step you want them to take.)
Sign up for jiveSYSTEMS. And start closing more deals by with the Digital Handshake today.
By the way your scriptless scripting system helped me so much! That's how I found your website, I was struggling recording a video and memorizing a script but banged it in 5 minutes using your formula.
This scriptless scripting technique is powerful. For creating videos (and for communicating in-person.) This is because it’s built around producing an outcome. The summary section also increases comprehension and retention. And the call to action makes the logical next step super smooth and easy!
A simple technique you can use to put your viewer at ease, while also increasing your powers of persuasion is to frame yourself in the left or right third of the shot.
The difference is subtle, but also stark once you become aware of it.
The screenshot on the left (below) is from a video email I sent in 2013, and the one on the right is from a couple of weeks ago. I invite you to consider, which video email looks more professional and appealing? The difference between them is more than a good hairdresser)...
The technique of positioning yourself in the right or left third of the shot (like in the second example above) is called “Rule of Thirds." It's a standard practice used by photographers and videographers (hence why they call it a "rule.") And it's often the intangible reason people make comments like "I love that photo" and "That was such a great piece of cinematography."
Another difference is that in the screenshot on the left, I'm using a white backdrop. Whereas, in the screenshot on the right, I'm not. I've realized the white backdrop was making my video email messages boring, whilst destroying the personable feel I was aiming for -- screaming I'm trying to sell you something!
You'll notice in the screenshot of the right, I've ditched the white backdrop and am now inviting the viewer to see me in my office. Giving my video email messages the personable feel I'm aiming for. Eliminating the white backdrop makes the process of following up phone calls with video email messages both easier and faster too.
In real life, you'd feel awkward if stood directly in front of you, 6-inches from your face, and started talking to you. So don't do it to your clients in your video email messages.
3 Rules To Follow
The result: you'll make your video email messages more personable and persuasive.
I want to share a tip with you about Posture. It’s specifically about how to correct your posture before recording a video. And it doubles up as a great way to correct your posture, when working at a computer throughout the day.
The particular method helps recalibrate your body’s understanding of where your natural posture resides.
In essence, your posture reflects your state of mind.
I could delve into this topic in great detail, but that’s the nuts and bolts of it.
Whether trying to stay in the center of the frame or over-compensating for chair or table height, I often see people making fatal posture mistakes on video (which are then immortalized as they’re watched over and over and over again).
So not unlike taking a professional headshot, you’ll want to stick to time-tested positions.
Here are several common errors that I see quite frequently:
These posture mistakes can make even the most prolific salesmen come off as amateur and unreliable. But thankfully, there are some easy fixes.
Recalibrate Your Posture
Feel free to repeat several times throughout the day.