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!
Patrick is the CEO of SALES at Sales Dynamics.