You may already have been accustomed to selling virtually. However, there are many people who became instant virtual sellers when the pandemic hit. Today’s blog post is for those searching for some tips on virtual selling.
Tip: Do your Research and be Prepared
To start, you have to get the correct decision maker on the phone, project professionalism, build instant rapport and create a conversation to connect with your prospect in less than 30 seconds to schedule the initial meeting. Ready. Go.
Use data/lead services, social media, web search engines, and the company’s website to know who the decision makers and influencers are. Understand your prospects industry, their business and explore their social media. Anticipate what objections they may have and prepare responses ahead of time. You must be prepared because, selling virtual means you have less time to build rapport, but must create that instant connection with your prospect to schedule the next meeting.
Tip: Inspire Visually
Simply engaging the prospect is not enough, you really have to capture the attention of your entire audience. The majority of discovery calls/initial meetings consist of the salesperson asking questions and one prospect providing answers. Yawn. Remember when you learned that 65% of people are visual learners?
Display a short video! Perhaps a pictograph showing ROI? How about an interactive notepad where benefits of your product/solution are being listed visually, as they are identified? (Could be very helpful when you are trying to change the buyer’s current view of what’s possible or how to solve an issue.)
Why are your prospects staring at a computer screen of your initials? Or worse, they are multi-tasking and not paying attention! Giving them something to look at during the call will improve their experience and make you stand out.
Tip: Five People Max
Speaking of standing out, have you heard the saying, “Sometimes there are too many cooks in the kitchen”? That applies to virtual communication as well.
To maximize communication and engagement during a virtual call, only have 5 people at most.
Tip: Be the PhD of the Technology
There’s nothing that makes a prospect cringe more than the presenter experiencing technical difficulties! Be sure to master whatever technology everyone is using.
Transition between the slides, videos, graphs, and/or charts like a ninja. Know how to perform every feature of the meeting software you will be utilizing by practicing with a co-worker before your first meeting.
Tip: Respond to Questions
Did you know one of the top complaints your prospect has is the salesperson is not providing answers to their questions during virtual meetings?
Write the question down on a notepad as the prospect asks it, to ensure you don’t forget to respond OR you can verbally summarize the question after the prospect asks it, which gives you the pause needed to provide the answer. Either way, in order to build trust, it’s very important you are listening to hear the question and you respond with an answer.
Expert virtual sellers lead a collaborative discussion. Each buyer’s specific business issues will be understood, the root cause is known and solutions to solve their issues have been presented.
Tip: Behind the Scenes
Prior to the virtual meeting, write down the names of each of the 5 prospects attending. During the conversation, check off each person when you’ve engaged them in the conversation; when they’ve collaborated, been heard and feel like your solution can meet their needs. This type of activity also forces you to be a good listener, which is extremely important to your prospects – they want their issues to be heard and they would also like it if you stopped interrupting them.
Maintaining trust and managing the virtual selling process can be difficult at times. It’s important to be respectful of your prospects schedules and not go over your scheduled time allotment. It’s also important to leave yourself enough time to schedule a next step.
Tip: Short Summary & Next Step
If you know you have a tendency to talk too much, then set a timer on your phone or watch to notify you 5 minutes before the scheduled end time of your meeting. Use that 5 minutes at the end of each meeting to summarize the current call and schedule the next step before you hang up. Always. If there isn’t a next step in the calendar, there just might not be a next step or the sales process becomes much longer than it should be.
Microsoft has a wealth of tools to help you on your virtual selling journey! If you don’t yet have Office 365, see info on a free trial!