How to Sell in a Virtual World
The current social environment has challenged the traditional face-to-face way of selling. For us as sellers, a different approach is now required since selling in a virtual environment is drastically different.
But believe it or not, 2020 has also given us more opportunities. Flexibility, responsiveness, more time saved by not travelling to appointments and the possibility of being virtually anywhere at almost any time are just some of the benefits!
Do you want to know how to be proactive and effective when selling in a virtual world? Then do not miss the following 5 tips for selling online!
1. Be better prepared:
If you want to maximize your possibilities of success, spend more time preparing each stage of the process (before, during and after the meeting). Lighting must be good, so it’s worth investing in a ring light for your Zoom sessions. If you are working from home, invest in a quality set of wireless headphones too. They will block out noise and afford you the opportunity to listen to your prospect actively, so you don’t miss a beat. Dress accordingly and use a virtual background if your surroundings are not conducive to making that right impression.
2. Master technology:
The preparation also includes doing a tech check ahead of time and making sure that there is no issue with the video, the audio and the presentation. Everything must be perfect! Imagine how frustrating it would be for your buyer if the first ten minutes of the call are wasted with tech issues. Not the right way to start your relationship with them! Practice makes perfect and the more presentations you prepare for and complete, the more comfortable you will be with the technology!
3. Set clear expectations beforehand:
Although this year has made us all a bit more tech-savvy or at least more used to online meetings, there is no harm in preparing your buyer for the call. Will you share your screen? Will they be expected to switch on their camera? How long will the meeting be? Will you be sharing your slides? Answer those questions by email in advance and attach the presentation as well. Your buyer will be able to have a look at the content before the meeting and prepare their questions.
You should send through an agenda to keep the conversation on track and ask is there anything else they would like to add or discuss. Above all, have a clear objective of what you would like to achieve from the meeting, and plan to get clear next steps from the buyer.
Building rapport has always been the most critical step in sales. However, it has now become a bit more complicated than it used to be during regular face to face interactions. Although you won’t have that initial informal chat with coffee before the meeting, you could allocate space and time for relationship-building and personal discussion during the call.
Listen to their concerns and take care of that virtual first impression. Remember that it is not just about your sales pitch and your objectives, but about their needs and how you can satisfy them, challenge them or enlighten them. Listen to understand your buyer, don’t just listen to respond. Body language will be harder to read virtually so make every effort to indicate that you are listening by nodding, smiling and maintaining eye contact. Reiterating what you heard them say and mirroring their body language will help build that essential rapport.
5. Follow up:
How can you be proactive and keep your buyer engaged while socially distanced? The answer is simple: have a follow-up plan! After the video call, always send a brief outline of the discussion by email and summarise what was agreed and outline the next steps. Be available to answer any questions that may arise and offer to give them a call after an agreed period of time.
The telephone is still a very effective communication tool in sales, do not underestimate it! Use a combination of the different channels to get in touch with the buyer and arrange a second meeting if needed. If your buyer feels that you really care and genuinely want to help them… You are halfway there!
All in all, we need to adapt not only to the new reality of selling virtually but also to our buyers’ more and ever-changing needs. Enjoy this opportunity to show resilience, adaptability and a positive attitude towards this!
Do you want to know more? Have a look at our post about the 3 reasons why salespeople lose deals!
The 'phoney' way of selling
When you are in Sales every day is a learning day, you are always looking to hone your craft, refine your approach, improve your chances of success in every stage of the sales process, even if its just by a teeny tiny 1%.
But the fastest way to accelerate that learning is to put yourself in the buyers shoes.
Recently, I had to search for a solution to resolve an issue I had with diverting my (PBX) office telephone number to an answering service when busy or out of hours. (My broadband and phonelines share analog lines on the Virgin Network).
Simple! You would think so right?
I put the call out to my network to recommend people in the telephony industry that might be able to advise or offer a solution for my situation.
Result: I got two recommendations and followed up with the first one straight away.
Phone guy 1: We had a brief call and arranged to visit me on site. He arrived on site and was friendly, personable and began to assess the situation. I explained to him that I did not want to have to replace my phone system if at all possible. After careful consideration he offered to solve my problem by replacing my current telephony system with his solution and he would bill me for calls going forward and broadband would remain as is and he would prepare a quote.
The quote never came....
Phone Guy 2:
Same as above, but this guy's approach was to diagnose the problem (my current state). Assess my current infrastructure. He checked how many lines I had. Called my service provide to make sure.
He asked me what I wanted to achieve (my future state) Then said you can do one of two things. What would you like to do. Bottom line he solved my problem on the spot and charged me a call out fee for same.
How do these two approaches compare:
Phone guy 1 was selling his solution, Phone guy 2 was solving a problem.
Don't be phone guy 1, be phone guy 2 all day long....
PS. If you need more from your current system, I recommend Tony from Netcore....he's in the business of serving not selling.
Have you ever lost a deal that was about to be closed?
If so, are you still wondering why? Although there are several sales failure causes, these are the 3 top reasons that could be affecting your deals:
1. Did you follow up?
According to a recent survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, 17% of salespeople fail to follow up. This mistake is the third most significant reason that makes sellers lose the deal. Another study shows how 40% of all leads go unresponded, which in sales, is a sin. Are your marketing and sales teams putting in the effort to generate prospects for you? Then the least you can do is have a system that you will follow up.
2. Did you listen?
Active and perceptive listening is a must in sales. Did you know that 18% of salespeople lose their sales deals because they fail to listen to the prospects’ needs?
A good rule of thumb, whether it’s face-to-face or on the phone, is to speak only 20% of the time and listen 80%. The reason why this rule is so important is that your primary objective should be to uncover your customers' business challenges and priorities. Otherwise, how could you offer a solution that alleviates their problems? So, pay close attention and work on identifying what your prospects’ needs are. You will need that information to be successful!
3. Did you follow your client’s buying process?
A staggering 26% of the times sales are not closed is because the salespeople failed to follow the client’s buying process. What a pity, right? Especially since this is the last step of a sometimes long and hard job.
We, as salespeople, all have our own way of selling our product or service and follow specific steps. However, that doesn’t mean that our buyers are in the same stage of the process. Do not take for granted that they are ready and willing to buy. Instead, try to understand what their buying process is, and how they evaluate, analyse and make decisions.
It is crucial to find out what’s important to them, who’s involved in the decisions, who the influencers are, and who ultimately has the final say. Ask upfront, and you will be much more likely to satisfy their needs and help them make the right decision.
Although each salesperson is different and each product and industry has its challenges, these are the three common mistakes in the sales world. Now that you are able to identify them you could prevent your next deals from failing.
In conclusion, if you want to drive your sales, and consequently, your growth and profits, you must bear these golden rules in mind. Remember to adapt them to your own style while keeping your distinct personality.
If you would like to learn more, develop your sales team or unlock your sales potential get in touch and schedule an initial phone consultation with me on +353 87 2805518 or email: email@example.com
#Sales #BusinessDevelopment #Prospecting #FollowUp #SalesDeals
My 3 words for 2020
It's the first Monday in January.
Start of a new year, hey a new decade even!
Have you decided on what your goals or resolutions are going to be for the year ahead?
If not, maybe this will help you frame them.
I came across a post yesterday on Anthony Iannarino's blog that suggested via Chris Rogan that you should pick 3 words for the year to keep you on track.
The idea is that you only pick 3, not 1 not 4, just 3 words that act as a theme for the decisions and actions that will guide you for the year. The words should be positive and meaningful to you. Think of them as three pillars that will be the foundation of what you want to concentrate on for the year.
My 3 words are Win. Platform. Intent.
1. Win - as in "win the day". This is something that Tim Ferriss suggests that by having a good morning routine this will set you up for winning the day. This might be a combination of writing, exercise, reading, gratitude, meditation that you build a daily routine around and gives you an energetic bounce to your day.
2. Platform - Your personal brand is so important these days. I want to develop my brand and engage consistently on LinkedIn and other platforms through blogs and videos.
3. Intent - This for me is about having purpose and focussing on the goals that I want to achieve and avoiding 'drift'.
The idea is that once you have these 3 words that you have something to reflect on for the year, then you break them into SMART goals to make them more tangible.
Price Negotiation 101
How do you handle it when your
Patrick is the CEO of SALES at Sales Dynamics.