Why you should NEVER trust YouTube
Company A makes complex robotic systems for large manufacturing plants. They invest in several product videos that show their products and their big, modern factory, and very clearly explain why their products are better than anything currently on the market. Company A has a relationship with a manufacturers association in Shanghai. A meeting is arranged, a trip is booked. The company’s best sales person travels to Shanghai. He connects his laptop to the projector in the conference room. He checks the wifi. Everything works fine.
He begins his presentation to a room full of potential Chinese customers, who sit stoically, reserving judgment. But he’s not worried. He knows that when they see the videos, they will nod. They will smile. And they will buy. Because the videos show and explain why Company A’s robotic systems are the exact solution they’ve been looking for.
Moving confidently through his PowerPoint slides, he’s feeling pretty good. He comes to the slide with one of the YouTube-embedded videos. He clicks on it. Nothing happens. Puzzled, he clicks again. Nothing. Frowning, he flips through his slides to find another embedded video. He clicks on that one. Nothing. He starts to sweat. There he is, facing a room full of Chinese prospects who would buy a lot of his company’s robotics if they could see them working and understand why they were a good solution, but the videos that will close the deal just will not play.
What he didn’t know is that China blocks YouTube. So any YouTube video embedded in a website or a PowerPoint presentation will not play for anyone in China.
The moral of the story is bigger, though, than don’t count on YouTube videos if you’re traveling to China. The moral is the old Boy Scout motto: be prepared. And be prepared generally means, don’t make assumptions:
- One assumption is that YouTube videos will play anywhere in the world. Not in China, they don’t.
- Another assumption is that YouTube will be up and running when you need it. While YouTube almost never crashes, every once in a while it's down for a couple hours. Are you 100% sure it’ll be up and running during your next important presentation?
- A third assumption is that the wifi in your prospect’s conference room will be strong enough to allow you to play your YouTube videos without stuttering. A stuttering video that just won’t play well is pretty irritating, and you certainly don’t want irritated prospects, do you?
It’s just a bad idea to give 100% trust to YouTube (or any other hosting site). Your videos absolutely should be on YouTube, but you shouldn’t trust YouTube when it’s crunch time – when you’re standing in front of your prospects, and it’s time to play your videos. Because every once in a while, YouTube doesn’t work.
What’s the solution? Always have the video you’re planning to play right there as a video file on your laptop or iPad. If you’re giving a PowerPoint presentation, don’t embed a YouTube video. Instead, use the video that’s on your laptop. And check to make sure the file will play. Because you don’t want to click on the file during a sales meeting and have your PC show this message: “Sorry, but Windows can’t play this file. Would you like to install Quicktime?”
So learn from the Boy Scouts. Walk into your sales meetings with 100% certainty that your videos will play, by having them right there on your laptop. Because the last situation you want to be in is standing in front of your prospects, fumbling with your laptop, trying to get your videos to play.