Video Prospecting Mistakes. Do You Sound Like a Telemarketer?

Lidia Vijga

Cold calling is dead. Email prospecting feels impersonal. What’s the hot new channel for sales prospecting? Video email. When done right, video prospecting allow sales reps to add a personal, human touch to prospect outreach. But without the proper strategy, video emails can end up hurting more than helping. In this article, I’ll cover the biggest video prospecting mistakes that sales reps make, and how to create authentic video emails that capture prospects’ attention.


  • Hook the prospect in the first 10 seconds of your video. Mention a mutual connection or compliment the prospect to grab their attention right away.
  • Avoid overly formal language in your videos. Keep it conversational to build rapport.
  • Build your personal brand on social media. Let prospects get to know you before they get a video.
  • Don’t read off a script. Outline key points and speak naturally on camera.
  • Personalize each video for the specific prospect. Don’t repeat the same generic message.
  • Analyze prospect video engagement data. See where prospects drop off and improve your videos.
  • Don’t try to be perfect on camera. Embrace imperfection and focus on authenticity.
  • Make the video about the prospect, not you. Focus on their needs and challenges.
  • End every video with a clear call-to-action. Tell prospects exactly what to do next.
  • Commit to video prospecting long-term. It takes time to master the video sales process.

Video prospecting mistake #1
Not grabbing the prospect's attention in the first 10 seconds

When video prospecting, it’s crucial to grab the prospect’s attention in the first 10 seconds. According to our data, 61% of video drop-offs happen at the 10 second mark.

The opening statement is by far the most important part of any prospecting video and it is the key to high sales engagement. Prospecting videos that fail to capture the prospect’s attention from the beginning experience very high bounce rates.

Your choice of words and how you deliver them are important factors to consider. Keep in mind that if prospects stop watching your video message within the first 10 seconds, there is something wrong with either what you’re saying, how you’re saying it or you may be targeting wrong buyer persona.

The goal of the opening statement is to spark curiosity.

Here’s the most common example of a video prospecting opening statement:

“Hello, My name is Kevin, and I work for XYZ Company.”

Your prospect can find this information in your email signature, so this opening statement not only wastes an opportunity to grab the prospect’s attention but also doesn’t provide any value or establish trust. You can introduce yourself later in the video but you need a good hook to grab prospect’s attention.

If you’ve had trouble with an opening statement, you’re not alone. Luckily, this video prospecting mistake is easily fixable. Follow these tips to create the best opening line for a prospecting video:

Name-drop a mutual connection.

By mentioning a mutual connection in your opening statement, you can turn a prospect into a “warm lead” by showing them that you have a mutual connection. Mentioning someone your prospect knows and trusts in your opening statement immediately boosts your credibility. If your product or service has helped that person in the past and had a real impact on their business, that’s even more powerful when crafting a tailored message!

Compliment the prospect.

We all crave acknowledgment for our accomplishments, so congratulate someone on a recent promotion or award. Check their LinkedIn profile to see if they went on a podcast or attended a conference. Complimenting a prospect is an excellent way to open up communication and show that you care.

Mention what you have in common with the prospect.

Before recording and sending videos, check your prospect’s LinkedIn profile and see if you went to the same school, worked at the same company, etc. By demonstrating in your video messaging that you have invested the time to get to know them, you show that you value their business and are committed to providing the best buying experience.

Start with a relevant unique insight.

A strong and thought-provoking opening line can help you capture the prospect’s attention and start a sales conversation. You can try sharing an insightful statistic or fact relevant to the prospect’s industry in your prospecting video.

Another way to start off on a strong note is by asking a provocative question that relates to your product or service offering. This video message can get the prospect thinking and shows that you have a thorough understanding of their business, the industry, or their pain points. However, it’s important to avoid generic statements or buzzwords as they may come across as cliches and turn off potential customers.

So make sure your opening statement is well though out. Connecting with a prospect over an asynchronous video technology is as close as you can get before going on a live video call with them.


Learn the most effective prospecting techniques to generate leads and increase sales as an insurance agent or broker.

Video prospecting mistake #2
Sending video sales letters that are too formal

One of the biggest mistakes that business development representatives often make when using video for prospecting is sending video sales letters that are too formal. Every sales rep needs to remember that, although the video is a more personalized form of communication, it still acts as a first impression with potential clients.

Formal language can come across as stiff and insincere, hurting BDR’s chances of connecting with the prospect. A business development representative needs to find the balance between being too formal and too casual in their sales process. Keep it natural while also maintaining professionalism. With this approach, you’ll have a higher chance of catching the prospect’s attention and standing out from other BDRs.

Video prospecting mistake #3
Not building your personal brand on social media

Build your personal brand on social media when doing video outreach

When it comes to video prospecting and virtual selling on social media, establishing a personal brand is crucial for business development representatives. Without it, potential clients have no way of distinguishing you from the hundreds of other BDRs that reach out to them every month.

Building a personal brand involves creating a unique and recognizable image for yourself, whether that includes being very active in LinkedIn or Facebook groups or consistently posting high-quality content. It also gives potential clients an idea of your level of expertise in the field, as well as builds trust and credibility. Don’t forget to add an intro video to your LinkedIn profile!

Failing to establish a strong personal brand can result in getting lost in the sea of competition leading to missed sales opportunities. So avoid making this video prospecting mistake and invest the time and effort in developing your personal brand on social media and you’ll see the rewards pay off, in the long run, allowing you to generate a solid sales pipeline for account executives.

Video prospecting mistake #4
Reading from a script or presentation slides

Another common video prospecting mistake that business development representatives make when using video for prospecting is reading from a script or presentation slides. This can come across as inauthentic and robotic, causing the prospect to lose interest quickly. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare to record prospecting videos at all.

Instead of memorizing video messaging or reading the script, come up with a rough outline of key talking points and record a few videos beforehand so you feel more confident and natural on camera. Trying to imagine that you’re on a live video call with the prospect helps a lot! The beauty of a video message is that it allows our prospects to see and hear us. Remembering to be yourself will lead to higher sales engagement, shorter deal cycles and more revenue.

Video prospecting mistake #5
Repeating the same message in prospecting videos

Business development representatives need to tailor their prospecting messaging in a way that it speaks to their target audience. Many BDRs make the mistake of simply repeating the same information in different words when recording video prospecting cadences.

If your video messaging isn’t resonating with a prospect, paraphrasing the video message and sending it again won’t make any difference. This is assuming your original message is clear.

In situations like that, it may be necessary to shift your focus and present different value statements that address other needs and pain points. So don’t be afraid to try different video messages, AB test, and find the tailored message that resonates with your prospects. Your ability to adapt your video sales process will set you apart from other BDRs and help you book more in-person meetings and live video calls for your sales team.

Video prospecting mistake #6
Not using video analytics to full advantage

Access PDF analytics dashboard

Many business development representatives make the mistake of not fully leveraging the power of prospecting video analytics when sending videos. While it is nice to see if a prospect opened your prospecting video, using video analytics can provide a great deal of more valuable insights into your prospect’s engagement and behavior.

Do they watch your entire prospecting video? At what point do they stop watching? Are they rewatching certain presentation slides? Are they clicking on your CTA and then bailing? Are they sharing your prospecting video? This information can help you understand your prospects better, craft better follow-ups, and send them at the right time.

In addition, video analytics can track how well your prospecting videos are performing overall, allowing you to optimize and improve your video messaging.

DeckLinks provides industry-leading video analytics enabling BDRs better understand their prospects and send more effective video prospecting cadences.

Custom branding
Showcase your brand.
Video narrations
Easily video-narrate sales presentations or proposals when needed (otherwise video is optional). Redo slide if you made a mistake. Use built-in teleprompter to record longer videos.

Data rooms
Attach any supporting files and links. Make it easy for your prospects and clients to find the right information quickly.

Company profiles
Create company profiles with custom banners and info-packages tailored to different industries.
Contact details
Show your contact info easily accessible by your prospects and clients.
Custom CTAs
Add custom CTAs to drive prospects or clients to your calendar, sign up form, etc.
Engagement analytics
See how prospects and clients interact with your PDFs.

Feedback and Reactions
Collect feedback from prospects and clients. Feedback and reactions are not publicly visible.
Share PDFs
Share any existing PDF presentations and documents.
Live links
Share with a single link. Update files even after sharing your link. Get notified when your PDF is viewed. Turn off access anytime.

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4x Sales Content Engagement

Record and share Video PDF presentations and proposals and WOW your prospects and clients with the most personal customer experience. Access engagement analytics. Learn more.

Video prospecting mistake #7
Being a perfectionist in the video sales process

Don't be a perfectionist when using video technology for prospecting

Too many business development representatives put unnecessary pressure on themselves to record a perfect prospecting video but this thinking can be counter-productive. In sales, authenticity and personal connection with the customer are key drivers of success.

When BDRs focus too much on video outreach perfection, they lose sight of what truly matters in their interactions with potential clients. The prospect is far more likely to connect with a BDR who is genuine, relatable, and not afraid to show their flaws. By embracing imperfection and being authentic, BDRs can build trust with the prospect and increase their chances of booking in-person meetings and video calls.

Video prospecting mistake #8
Not focusing on the prospect in your prospecting videos

The purpose of the prospecting video is to pique the interest of your prospect and start a sales conversation. Many business development representatives make the mistake of losing sight of this and instead focus on themselves, their product, or their company. Video messages like that oftentimes fail to resonate with prospects and provide very little reason for them to continue watching the video or engaging with the BDR.

On the other hand, when BDRs focus their attention on the prospect and make their video message about them, they have a greater chance of catching their interest and starting a productive conversation. Remember, the prospect is the star! Focus on them, record a personal message and you’ll be much more successful in your prospecting efforts.

Video prospecting mistake #9
Not having a clear call to action in the prospecting video

Video messaging has to provide a clear call to action for prospects

One of the biggest mistakes business development representatives make is forgetting to include a clear call to action at the end of their prospecting videos. Without this crucial element, potential customers may not know what they are supposed to do next. This can lead to a slow sales cycle and missed sales opportunities.

BDRs always need to make sure to include a clear call to action in their prospecting videos. Whether it’s inviting prospects to book in-person meetings, video calls, sign up for a free trial, or simply asking them to reach out for more information, always give them a specific next step that will help you move them faster through the sales pipeline.

Creating a great buying experience for your prospects is key to shorter deal cycles, and adding a clear call to action in your prospecting video can help with that.

Video prospecting mistake #10
Giving up too early on virtual selling

Many business development representatives stick with prospecting methods they are familiar with, such as cold calling or cold emailing. However, incorporating virtual selling into your sales process can greatly increase your close rates and help you crush prospecting targets and quotas.

Unfortunately, many BDRs give up on video prospecting too quickly after briefly trying video messaging expecting immediate results. While video prospecting channel is one of the most effective prospecting methods out there, just like with other prospecting methods it takes time to learn the video sales process, and figure out your style and video messages that resonate with your prospects.

Be sure to read our comprehensive guide on video sales that will help you and your sales team close deals fast.

HubSpot recently has done an experiment where five corporate business development representatives were using different types of cold prospecting tactics over 45 days.

The sales team observed the BDRs activities to determine if video prospecting is:

  1. Effective at engaging prospective customers
  2. Efficient at converting leads into sales opportunities
  3. How effective is video prospecting compared to traditional prospecting methods like cold calls, cold emails and voicemails

Here are the results of the video prospecting experiment:

Video prospecting example results (HubSpot)
HubSpot video prospecting experiment results
Call, Voicemail, Email prospecting6,619
Video prospecting265
Meetings from Call, Voicemail, Email prospecting96
Meetings from Video prospecting16
% conversion to a meeting from Call, Voicemail, Email prospecting1.45%
% conversion to a meeting from Video prospecting6.04%

The HubSpot experiment found that video prospecting channel generated four times more sales opportunities than cold emailing, cold calling, and leaving voicemails. So don’t shy away from investing the time and effort into recording videos for prospecting. This video technology may take some practice, but it will pay off, in the long run, helping your BDR team build a solid sales pipeline for account executives.

How to get started with video prospecting

DeckLinks is a video sales platform that makes it easy for sales and marketing teams to turn any PDF presentation into interactive prospecting video PDF. It comes with industry-leading video analytics to help BDRs understand their potential customers better. You can upload any PDF, record narration over it, and send the video PDF using trackable links, all without downloading anything, needing a Chrome extension or worrying about video hosting! If you already have product demo videos or screen recordings, you can embed them right into your video PDF as well.

Custom branding
Showcase your brand.
Video narrations
Easily video-narrate sales presentations or proposals when needed (otherwise video is optional). Redo slide if you made a mistake. Use built-in teleprompter to record longer videos.

Data rooms
Attach any supporting files and links. Make it easy for your prospects and clients to find the right information quickly.

Company profiles
Create company profiles with custom banners and info-packages tailored to different industries.
Contact details
Show your contact info easily accessible by your prospects and clients.
Custom CTAs
Add custom CTAs to drive prospects or clients to your calendar, sign up form, etc.
Engagement analytics
See how prospects and clients interact with your PDFs.

Feedback and Reactions
Collect feedback from prospects and clients. Feedback and reactions are not publicly visible.
Share PDFs
Share any existing PDF presentations and documents.
Live links
Share with a single link. Update files even after sharing your link. Get notified when your PDF is viewed. Turn off access anytime.

DeckLinks icon

Reduce back and forth by over 50%

Create personalized client portals. Share the latest sales collateral with a single live-link. Ensure prospects and clients have easy access to the most up-to-date sales content. Learn more.

With DeckLinks, you don’t need any experience in video editing to make a high-quality prospecting video PDF quickly and easily. Plus, your prospects will always know the next steps with our built-in call-to-action buttons. And because DeckLinks integrates with popular CRMs, sending videos is effortless right inside your CRM.

Try DeckLinks for FREE.


Integrating video prospecting into your cold outreach process can greatly improve your odds of success and help book more meetings.


What are the biggest mistakes sales teams make when video prospecting?

Sending generic video messages without personalizing each video for the prospect is one of the biggest mistakes. Videos should highlight the prospect’s needs using a conversational, not robotic tone.

Video prospecting allows you to send a more personal message than a cold call. Prospects can view your video on their own schedules, while cold calls interrupt people’s days. Videos also help you build relationships better than phone calls alone.

Sales reps should focus on creating customized, one-to-one video messages for each prospect instead of blasting the same generic video. Personalize each video with the prospect’s name, company, and relevant pain points.

Video allows you to connect with prospects remotely and build more trust and rapport than emails or social media alone. Video gives you more ways to personalize messages and demonstrate your product or service as well.

Marketing can provide sales with video templates and best practices for personalization. They can also assist with tracking video engagement data to see what resonates most with prospects.

Hyper-personalized videos feel like you are having a real conversation with the prospect. This captures attention better than a generic message and helps build a relationship.

Prospects can consume video messages on their own time, moving deals along faster. The ability for video to build trust and rapport remotely also helps progress sales cycles quicker than phone calls.

Keep videos short, customize them with prospects’ names and companies, highlight their pain points, and come across as authentic and human. Test different video styles and tones and track engagement data.

Prioritize higher-value prospects in target accounts first. Identify prospects with pain points your product solves. Focus on prospects actively in-market for solutions.

Video prospecting saves time and money compared to in-person meetings. It also allows sales reps to prospect remotely on their own schedules. Prospects can view messages on their time.

They should speak conversationally, ask engaging questions, and focus the content around the prospect’s pains and needs vs scripted sales pitches.

Lidia Vijga
Lidia Vijga

About the Author

Lidia Vijga is a seasoned professional with nearly 10 years of first-hand experience in B2B sales and B2B marketing. She has a proven track record of driving growth for companies across various industries. Throughout her career, Lidia has led numerous successful sales campaigns and implemented innovative marketing strategies that have significantly increased revenue and reduced customer acquisition cost for her clients. Lidia regularly shares her insights and experiences on LinkedIn, webinars, and public speaking engagements. Lidia believes in the power of personal qualities such as kindness, empathy, and the willingness to understand others. She is committed to empowering client-facing teams with tools that enhance their talent instead of automating it, and she firmly believes that teams that show their human side grow companies much faster.

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