The massive onslaught of changes that have come with 2020 created unique challenges for those that make a living in sales. Most have been forced to move to a more virtual sales process. This new environment has reduced some otherwise confident, skilled, and charismatic salesperson to feeling fearful, hesitant, and unprepared.
Salespeople in this new environment must accept that the days of face-to-face meetings as a norm are gone. Most customers are going to want the majority, if not all, meetings to be conducted in a virtual meeting room. While this might seem like a drastic change in the minds of some business-to-business salespeople, many companies have been making purchases via conference calls, the internet, or online product demonstrations for decades. The fact is that virtual selling is not new and can be a very effective way to sell when you know what you are doing.
So, what can salespeople who did not sell online before do to “upskill” themselves to thrive in this new paradigm? Once a salesperson is in the right mindset, they need to know how to present themselves online. They need to set-up, dress-up, connect-up, prep-up, and follow-up for their virtual sales meetings.
- Set-up. Take the time to set-up your virtual office by checking your video, lighting, sound, background, etc. Invest in creating a pleasant experience for prospects when meeting online. You may need to purchase a light, headset, or upgrade your bandwidth to ensure you are not constantly apologizing for poor voice or video quality.
- Dress-Up. When conducting online meetings, you will want to differentiate yourself from your competitors by treating it as a professional meeting. Try not to attend your virtual meetings with bedhead and a wrinkly t-shirt. When appropriate you should dress up for an online meeting.
- Connect-Up. It is important for salespeople to make a connection with prospective customers. One way this can be done is by coming on camera so customers can make a visual connection. If possible, get them to come on camera as well. Smile when on camera to show the customer you are happy to be there with them. Remember that people have short attention spans, and can get distracted online, so salespeople must present themselves online with more energy than in a face-to-face meeting.
- Prep-Up. Be prepared for the online sales meeting with an agenda of the points to be discussed at the meeting. Don’t just talk about yourself, your company, product or service. Prepare good questions that will get them talking about their needs and how you can help them. When it’s your turn to speak be concise, communicate value, and accentuate the most important points of your product or service for your prospects to keep them engaged.
- Follow-up. Review action items at the end of the meeting with a specific time frame to follow-up by. Make sure to treat these time frames as appointments. This will show the new prospect that they can trust you to follow through on your commitments.
Use the best practices listed above to help you stand out, leave a lasting impression, and build your virtual presence when selling online. Enhance your virtual selling skills with these techniques to get ahead of the competition!