There is nothing new about selling virtually and remotely. However, we have always taken the route of meeting face to face with a potential customer, knowing the benefits of making the human connection.
Over the last few months, we have been thrown into the ‘deep end’, there has been no choice but to meet potential clients virtually. In times of uncertainty, where it may be even harder to move that sale opportunity online, it is critical that you differentiate yourself and be someone who adds value in every conversation.
It is critical to enhance your sales conversation skills, especially when you need to foster a true human connection over a video call.
Use these 6 tips to help you perfect your virtual sales meetings and pitch an interactive virtual sales presentation for success:
1: STAY VISIBLE AND ADD VALUE
What is the first thing you do when you are virtually introduced to someone in the corporate world? You are likely to look the person up on LinkedIn. People are doing the same thing when they get your email or phone call. When a prospect searches for you, what do you want them to see? Having an up to date social presence on LinkedIn will help you build trust and connect better with prospects and customers. Often, minor tweaks can make a big difference when people are researching you and the solutions you sell.
Once you have done a spring clean of your LinkedIn profile, stay visible. Engage with prospects, like and comment on posts that interest you. Share articles that you believe could add value to your connections. By engaging on LinkedIn, you are more likely to be seen by potential customers.
2: PRE-CALL PREPARATION
With so much uncertainty, clients are dealing with unprecedented challenges. They do not want time wasters nor to talk to someone who is unprepared. Having a pre-call plan is crucial to making successful sales calls, so before you dial in, plan for success.
Know what the objective of the call is, who you are going to be speaking to and anticipate any objections. Having a clearly defined objective for each sales call provides the purpose and encourages commitment from your prospect.
Here is a basic check list to help you get things ready:
# Send an agenda and any other documents that will be presented in advance. It is also a good idea to send these should screens become ‘disjointed’.
# Test Wi-Fi and video tools 15 minutes ahead of your meeting. Make sure your video frame is professional.
# Test your audio, speakers and microphone before the call. Make sure you mute other potential computer and phone notifications to eliminate distractions
Do not ‘over-prepare’ the call. The conversation should flow and be natural. You want the prospect to feel like they are part of a dialogue, not that they are being talked at.
3: HAVE A BACK UP PLAN.
Unfortunately, technology is not as trustworthy as we would like it to be. There is always a technical issue when we least expect it. Avoid awkward phone tag if the WIFI drops by letting them know what to do in an unexpected situation.
In your pre-call prep, be sure to mention to the prospect that you have a backup plan in case there are any technical difficulties. If the call gets dropped, be sure to let them know that you will be calling back or sending another conference link. This will help you look professional and keep the meeting moving without a long awkward break.
4: SET THE SCENE
Whist testing technology, take note of your surroundings. Is the space that you will be meeting private and free of distractions? Choose an area with a bare wall or background to preserve the professional environment. Be sure to double-check that others know not to disturb you. Dress professionally.
It is important to treat the virtual meeting as you would with a face to face meeting. This will help you and the prospect on the other end stay focused on the conversation at hand.
5: MAKE YOUR MARK
In a video presentation, your potential client may not be as generous with his/her time. It is easier to cut off a call when someone is talking to you remotely than it is if that same person was sitting in your office.
You must prepare ahead of time, stay focused and emphasise customer value in whatever time you do have. Regardless of the time you have, you need to ‘make your mark’, get as much information from the buyer as you can.
Here are a few tips to keep the conversation flowing:
# Research and plan your must-ask questions. Make sure they are written down and have them close enough to you to ensure you don’t miss asking them.
# Don’t start off with a big sales pitch. Ask questions focused on understanding the customers purpose, process and payoffs. Use open-ended questions and be prepared with follow-ups as well. Don’t be afraid to deviate from your list if the situation calls for it.
# Keep the customer talking by focusing the conversation on their needs and primary objectives. Make sure they know that the call is about them and how it will benefit them.
6: BE PRESENT, BE YOURSELF
Make the experience as comfortable as possible for the prospect and yourself. Minimize outside distractions and act naturally. The more comfortable you are, the more comfortable they will be.
Here’s a few easy suggestions:
# Turn off computer chats, emails and other notifications.
# Put your phone away so you are focused on the current conversation.
# Practice eye contact through video chat.
# Be aware of typing on your computer (they will notice and hear it)
# Distance yourself comfortably away from the camera to avoid hovering in the screen
“You Don’t Close a Sale, You Open a Relationship.”