In today’s SaaS world, thousands of software demos take place daily via the web.

Monitor with camera viewGoToMeeting, WebEx,, and other online meeting tools have proliferated. These tools save time, minimize travel, and enable salespeople to give more sales presentations.

That’s all good.

However, many salespeople are failing to capitalize on a simple tool that will help them close more sales.

That tool is their web camera.

If the sales rep clicks on his camera so a prospective customer can see him giving the demonstration, the prospect’s experience improves immediately. Every time I persuade a salesperson to try it, he receives positive feedback from his prospects!

Gain a competitive advantage

If the competitor doesn’t turn on the camera, and your sales rep does, a competitive advantage is gained. People like to buy from people. When they can look the salesperson in the eye and see her facial features as she speaks, she will transition from a voice on the phone to a person. She humanizes the software demo.

Turning on the camera isn’t as powerful as meeting in-person. (There’s a reason our President flies around the world in Air Force One!). Yet, it’s certainly better than being a disembodied voice on the phone. Let your competition be a “voice on the phone” while your sales rep is the person they can hear and see.

Little things make a big difference

It’s often a series of little things over time that make a big difference and win the sale. Clicking the camera on is one of those little things. But don’t just click and go. Give consideration to lighting, background, and personal appearance.

Adjust the lighting so people can clearly see the sales rep. Lighting that’s too bright or too dim, or causes a reflection from eyeglasses or a picture frame, for example, can be distracting.

Carefully consider the background; a white wall or a bookshelf looks better than a cubicle wall with notes pinned on it! One salesperson I observed put his tradeshow booth in the background, so the experience was similar to meeting prospects on the tradeshow floor. Another made sure the viewer could read the titles of the books on the shelf behind him; all were relevant, business-related topics. His prospects saw they were speaking with someone who stayed on top of industry issues.

To illustrate the importance of paying attention to appearance, take a lesson from history. In 1960, the first televised presidential debate was between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. Polls after the debate showed that people preferred JFK. Nixon needed a shave, and Kennedy made sure he had a deep tan for the televised debate. Nixon looked shifty, while Kennedy looked healthy and confident. So, don’t be Nixon, be JFK.

Create some humor

You can use the camera to create a humor moment as well. If people laugh or chuckle during the demonstration, they have a better experience. For example, upon turning on her camera, one salesperson quips, “You can see me, but I can’t see you.” She said that prospects always chuckle and respond with a comment like, “It’s a good thing!”

Executive Summary

Have your salespeople click their cameras on during their next software demo and help them close more sales. Adding a face to the disembodied voice (plus facial expressions and hand gestures) humanizes the presenter. And people prefer to buy from people.

Be sure to give a favorable impression by looking your best, adjusting the lighting, and ensuring that your background supports your value proposition.

Try it and let me know how it works!

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