Speaking from experience, over the past year – it has become harder and harder to get hold of key decision makers when cold calling. If you have a very expensive database of direct dials you may be more successful but most unexpected external calls are now forwarded straight to voicemail.

Once you even get hold of somebody – the new challenge is then to create a call for action – either a meeting, quote or conference call. Your suggestion is usually shut down by an exasperated prospect reminding you that they are in contract with somebody else for two years.

Businesses need to recognise this shift and look at the statistics. Over 80% of decision makers at small- to medium-size companies rely on word of mouth when making buying decisions or contracting for services. About 85% of decision makers looking to buy product for their companies start their hunt with a referral. These same decision makers network with their peers at other companies over 60% of the time before they even make contact with a sales rep.

In other words, sales has become more of a relationship business than ever – isn’t it time that companies shifted their budgets to support this more?

What businesses should do is identify their happy customers and offer them an incentive to  gab about their services and what amazing customer service they receive. This can be in the form of case studies, press quotes or video. Potential prospects will see your happy customer commit to a video interview and feel that they must be SO happy that they would commit to filming a video for their supplier. Videos should be short, snappy and very minimalist in terms of the message you want to get across.

This is how not to do a customer testimonal video! Poor audio – long shots, no visual excitement at all….(sorry Kyle)

Here are some brilliant customer testimonial videos from a range of businesses to help get you inspired.

Hubspot

Slack – This one is SO watchable!

Citrix

Don’t be afraid to inject personality no matter how “stiff” your industry traditionally is – as mentioned before, sales has become more relationship based than ever. People crave to see a bit of personality and people enjoying their work. Likewise, people are attracted to attractive shots! That budget you had reserved for your cold calling squad would be better spent creating beautiful visuals to make your business look even more creative and professional.

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