Even some of the most experienced sales reps get anxious when it’s time to answer a video call. It can be stressful to know you’ll have to answer all of your prospect or client’s questions on the spot. And you’ll have to be controlling the professionalism of your voice the entire time. It’s especially stressful if the call happens to be unexpected. The new hybrid work situation has introduced a brand new form of stress: Zoom anxiety.
What is Zoom Anxiety?
A recent article by Buffalo 7 defines Zoom anxiety as, “a physical feeling of distress caused by video calls,” not just Zoom. It can be awkward to talk on camera, especially if you’re in an environment where a child or pet could walk in at any moment and cause a distraction. And video chats can be notorious for tech-related problems that can throw off the flow of the meeting and cause frustration on both ends. The fact that this past year has been one of the roughest everyone in sales has ever faced doesn’t help. Quotas are only now becoming easier to make but there is little room for error. The pressure is still on, and the prospect may be able to see it in your face.
If you’re suffering from Zoom anxiety, you’re not alone. Buffalo 7 research finds that 73% of employees working from home are experiencing the feeling as well. 76% of respondents feel that meeting on video calls is worse than making phone calls. Another 48% say that video calls are even worse than presenting in person.
How to Overcome Your Zoom Fear
Making a sales presentation while battling Zoom anxiety can be a terrible experience. But there are some things that you can do to combat your fears.
Prepare for Tech Issues
You should always run through your sales presentations at least once before your meeting. Practicing your presentation with a friend, especially one who is more tech savvy than you, is crucial to combating Zoom anxiety. Give your presentation to them over the video call system you’ll be using. They can take notes while you present about how to make it flow better. Run throughs also give you the opportunity to tackle potential tech issues head-on if you run into them during your live Zoom call. Even if you don’t experience trouble, you should know how to handle common video call tech issues. You can reduce your Zoom anxiety by conquering:
- Audio problems
- Screen sharing and balancing documents
- Creating professional backgrounds
Pretend You’re Doing an In-Person Presentation
Video calls are supposed to be a replacement for in-person sales meetings. Another way to overcome your Zoom anxiety is to pretend that you’re conducting an in-person meeting. You don’t have to change your behavior just because you’re on a video call. Get a standing desk or pile up books so you can stand and move around a bit during the meeting. Use body language like speaking mildly with your hands if that’s what you normally do. Not only will these efforts to achieve normality calm you, they’ll also have a positive effect on your prospects, as well.
Overcome Your Zoom Anxiety
Keep in mind that you are not alone. Our research shows that 25% of sales professionals have experienced Zoom fatigue in the last year. Okay, fatigue is not the same as anxiety. But Zoom and other video tools are just that — tools. There's no substitute for being well prepared for every prospect or customer meeting. That means taking the time to research them and any outstanding issues before you get on a video or phone call. When you invest the time to educate yourself and prepare, you'll overcome your Zoom anxiety.
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