How to Grow Your Business Online – with QVC legend Dexter Moscow

Lady Val Corbett hosted a fund-raising lunch for the Corbett Network’s work in helping ex-offenders create a new life. After the keynote speaker Dame Inga Beale talking about leadership times of great change, we had a workshop explaining how to be successful online.

Who better to guide us to getting our messages across now when we are not allowed to meet in person than someone who spent years perfecting selling from a screen via QVC. Dexter Moscow opened his workshop session with a reminder to us that we are more powerful than we think and we should so be proud of the power that we can bring to this new online environment. Having more confidence in what we do and what we can offer is a great starting point for promoting yourself online. Dexter seems to be a master of not only online promotion but also at teaching others.   He used to be a trainer of presenters on QVC TV and was also a presenter himself selling millions of goods and items. 

Dexter referred to today being Shakespeare’s birthday who said that all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players. Within this new working environment of today’s new reality, we are very much on a stage. We need to learn to do what he helped his QVC with, being more natural and more authentic when we are operating in an environment where effectively, we are selling to an invisible audience.   We can speak to people and we can see them but we have to adjust to compensate for not being present in the same room and reading the signals we might have seen more easily.

Dexter said that there are three key elements to master: 

  1. The actual technology 
  2. The content that we can create to make these video conferencing calls, or videos,  more effective. 
  3. The delivery mechanisms, the way that we can actually connect with people. 

Business is now very personal 

The key to being successful when presenting from a screen is to make an emotional connection. People buy emotionally. They decide, logically. So everything we do is through an emotional filter. 

But it isn’t about selling anymore, even when I was on QVC we didn’t talk about selling, we talked about influence and persuasion. So we need to be more influential in the way in which we connect with people. 

Remember any aspect of what you has to be based on understanding that you have been invited into some somebody’s home. This was the whole concept of QVC, and the whole concept of QVC was about telling stories. 

When you are making a pitch, don’t tell people what you do. Tell them what you have done for others. And that’s a story. When people can step into that personal experience, or that company’s experience, they are emotionally connected. So it’s not just about what you do, but what you do that has had an a positive impact on others, or that it resolved the problem for others. You are a writer, you’ve written a dozen books .. what benefit are they to people? That is the key.

Presenting on video, live or recorded, is key to business success now. As people increasingly take in and consume information on video, rather than text, this way has become the new norm. Video consumption has been rising by 100% every year, and 60% of younger people in the millennial or Gen Z groupings will consume video on a daily basis, as a preference.

3-Part Framework for testimonials 

because that’s what we’re talking about with testimonials or stories, and often when we see testimonial testimonials we we hear this or we see this. If this was a very lovely person to work with. 

You can tell story on your video format. Here’s how: 

  1. The problem that that person brought to me was … 
  2. What I did to resolve that problem was…
  3. And the result was …..

This formula was always successful at QVC.

1 Master the TECH – Take the time and trouble to get it right

  1. The first thing is to be aware that the camera is absolutely key. Because if you want to convey information, either in video or if you want in this environment. The quality of the camera is essential. No fuzziness or you lose credibility.
  2. The second element is good sound. You need a lapel microphone or good digital mic on your computer.
  3. Be steady. If you’re going to use an iPad or smart phone use a tripod.
  4. Make sure you have a good background view. You can use a virtual one but they are a bit disruptive when you move. Better to set up a good studio setting behind you and attend to all the details of what can be seen. Simple, clean and uncluttered is good.
  5. Whatever camera you use, the eyeline is absolutely key. Make sure you have a good view and your viewer has too,
  6. Have a good shot of you when you camera is off-line, like a good logo. There might be space for a key branding message.
  7. The last element of this equipment is lighting. Make sure you are not in harsh light or dark shade. Test out various options or buy a professional portable lamp.

2 Master the CONTENT – invest time in crafting this 

Plan: Don’t wing it for any Zoom or conference call.

If you want to get a message across, craft it first. Create an agenda just as you might for for a physical corporate meeting. It helps steer and to know where you are going.  Share the agenda. The advantage there is that people will know what you’re going to say, they can communicate with you more effectively and that keeps you on track.

If the meeting is not live then get your message across on video. That is what is expected now. Add sub-titles so that people can view/listen and read. People often watch in crowded spaces or while traveling and have the sound down but read the words.

Keep up your understand for how people like to receive information. Some like to hear and enjoy podcasts others like to read and scroll down the text. Give all the options.

Keep it short: The perceived wisdom is that each video should be no more than about two minutes. Certainly a story within a video should be no more than two minutes.  Once you have their attention, people are watching videos longer, but they do have to be compelling.  The average slot on QVC was about 12, minutes, and those 12 minutes were three individual four minute slots of repetition. So the massage was about four minutes.

Good Opening: You have to start with an engagement. How do you engage people? By telling a story. Even sharing a good joke makes it less stuffy.

Be passionate about what you do. Be excited. Let that come through in your voice.

 

The two minute story – there are three elements to an emotional storytelling environment. 

  1. There’s the incident (which is the overarching element of the story) 15-30 seconds
  2. The action (what did you actually do to address the overarching. It could be a problem addressed, which is recommended then people can step into that experience, because then they know how that’s resolved. What you actually did is the majority of that storytelling aspect). Remember: Don’t tell people what you do tell them what you’ve done for others. 
  3. The benefit. (What was the quantifiable result of you solving that problem for them). About seven to 10 words and therefore about 15 seconds. What was the result of your interventions. 

3 – Master the DELIVERY – Use the four cornerstones of an effective presentation 

This is a framework that we used all continually on QVC where we had to influence or persuade people to do something that is the hardest thing in the world to do … pick up that phone and come online and order.  The quality of what we did was always marked by how much we sold.

  1. Firstly, what right do you have to talk about what you’re talking about. Describe who we are so we establish credibility.  How long we’ve been in our particular sector or, again, the information that we’ve given to others that has been helpful. 
  2. The second element is the companies that you’ve worked with, or the departments that you’ve helped. So it personal credibility then company credibility. Who have you been involved with that gives you further credibility. 
  3. The third element is the difference between emotion to logic. Emotion is the way in which  you connect with people, but you still have to offer some logic. Offer 3-4 key facts about what you do and how you do it. And that can involve the numbers as well, that can be the turnover increased, or the effect that you had on an individual to improve their lives. Stories and data.
  4. The fourth element is the most important. WIFM   What’s in it for me?  Think from their perspective. That should be your mindset. When you are communicating with people, your agenda is important but it should also combine what they want out of it.

Successful selling comes from having a strong belief in what you are providing, that it has value for other people.  You have to appreciate the value that you’re giving. Then once you can start  asking questions to elicit a response, you know if you are talking to the right audience and whether what you have will be beneficial and resolve their problems. If what you have is of genuine value then there is no need to be  afraid or ashamed. If you have good material then be proud.

During your online presentation, you can offer something that is an invitation so that people can experience your expertise and the quality of what you do. But don’t make it free. People are less likely to respect things when they are given away.

Final Tips

  • Have fun with what you’re doing, because if you are excited about it, they will be too and they will relax
  • Share your message throughout all  social media because people want to have problems addressed and this is the moment this is the age of face to face communication
  • Look at the camera directly – that is where to make eye contact
  • If you are working live (TV or Facebook)  never talk to millions, just one person
  • Engage your target audience so that they are prepared to listen. Grab them in those first 30 seconds with a great quote, fact, joke or topical story. Keep them engaged by asking questions
  • Enlighten them – either by confirming something they already know but had not thought about before, or did not realise that they did not know
  • Entertain them – whatever the subject be approachable and have fun. Remember this is an entertainment channel
  • Excite – Be excited yourself. Let that come out in your voice. Bring in your passion, be sincere, authentic .. if you are, people will buy your ideas, or products.
  • Do not make a video unless you are aware of the problem that exists and how you are solving it
  • Think about the experience that they are having that you know you can help with