The Importance Of Video For Industrial Distributors

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then what is a video worth? How do you incorporate videos into your business to aid with sales? Here some places to start.

This article was part of Industrial Distribution's March/April print issue in the segment, "A Guide to the Modern Sales Organization." The full issue can be viewed here.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then what is a video worth? How do you incorporate videos into your business to aid with sales? Here some places to start, courtesy of Johnstone Supply Regional Sales Manager Darrell Sterling.

Customer Testimonials

Sales people are always trying to convince new potential customers that their services and products are better than their competitors’. The problem, of course, is that every sales person is making the same claim that their company is the best. I have found it is more powerful to show a potential customer a video of one of their peers singing your company’s praises. 

You should have a number of videos of various customers discussing either the products that you sell or the services that you provide. You can have videos attached to your home page or links embedded in your email. I would also suggest starting a YouTube account and referring your customers to that site.

New Products

A great way to introduce your customers to a new product line is to send them a link to your video presentation of the product. It is important to not just show the corporate video supplied by the manufacturer, because if that is all that is shown, your customers will not view anyone local as an expert with this new product. You should also produce a video using your own personnel demonstrating the benefits of the new product. The combination of both local and national videos will provide a wonderful one-two training punch. 

Technical Training

It is very important to have technical training available for viewing. Imagine your customer calling your help desk describing a technical problem they are experiencing with a piece of equipment they purchased from you and your being able to send them a link to video that shows them how to troubleshoot and fix the problem. It sure beats reading them a solution from a manual. It is becoming quite common for field technicians to carry tablets, so it would be even more valuable for the technician to watch the video on his tablet while they are working on the unit. 

Educational Videos

If you are providing valuable training for your customers, you should make sure that you video your classes so your customers can replay them whenever they want. Your customers, after attending the class, may decide that it would be wise to share what they have learned with their staff. Thanks to your video, they can roll out the training to their employees. You may also have a number of customers who wanted to attend the training but were unable to, but thanks to your video they can watch and learn whenever it is more convenient. 

Facility Video Tour

I would recommend a customer-friendly video tour of your operations, taking the customer behind the scenes and giving them a first-hand look at everything that is involved in getting the customer their products. I would show the shipping and receiving departments, a tour of the warehouse, a view of the accounting office, and finally, a trip inside the office of the manager, who should thank everyone for viewing the video tour and for their business.  

The more videos you produce, the more transparent your company will become, allowing your customer to feel a tighter bond with your business because they will have gained a deeper understanding of what you do and how you do it. 

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to video is they simply don’t make them, thinking that they would need to hire a professional or the production of a video would take too much time and editing. I purchased a digital high-resolution camera that also takes excellent video for under $250. I would also recommend purchasing a tripod so that the video you take is stable and clear. I have taken a number of videos with this inexpensive set up and it has worked fine and been well-received. 

Your competitors more than likely aren’t showing video testimonials and training videos. If you want to separate yourself from the rest, you have to be willing to do what others won’t. Videos are slowing becoming more mainstream, so now is a great time for you to bring your customers visual proof of why you are the best. Your sales people will now have video proof to back what was once just a hollow statement.

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