Essentials for Successful Selling in a Virtual World:
The world has changed. Over time, we’ve increasingly moved into the virtual world for more and more aspects of business – from meetings to interviews to sales pitches. This process has been accelerated by the realities of our current situation, with the Covid pandemic making us all work from home and telecommute. This has meant we’ve all had to adapt to our increasingly online ways of doing business, including the process of selling in a virtual world.
What are the best methods for selling in a virtual world? What has changed? What has stayed the same? We’ll answer those questions and more in this vlog, as we look at the best practices for virtual selling.
Even in our new online world, building relationships with potential clients is important. Though things are more difficult now – there’s no going to lunch or going out to golf or anything – there are still ways to make it work.
Most importantly, you need to be deliberate about setting up times for personal discussion and connection, in contrast to purely business-oriented meetings. However, you also can’t put too much pressure on these potential relationships. Though you might have the inclination to, you can’t make everything about business. Cultivate those relationships naturally to potentially reap the future benefits.
Another tip for building rapport is to, before a meeting, you can record a short video of yourself as an introduction and also mention a few key points of discussion. You can then send that video out to whoever you’re meeting with as a way to break the ice.
Know What You’re Talking About
As with most things you do for sales and business in general, you should always know what you’re talking about, to the finest detail. A deep knowledge base will impress your clients and prove that you care. Well before you’re even in any meeting, you should know the ins and outs of your client’s business.
On top of that, knowing what you’re talking about also means the eventual virtual meeting will go more smoothly. Nobody wants to be on a Zoom call forever, no matter how much rapport you’ve built. If you know what questions to ask and what to listen for, you can make sure your virtual meeting will go by smoothly.
Make Your Case & Storytelling
Just like any meeting in the real world, you want to be able to make the case for whatever you’re selling with the proper data, charts, or whatever else you might need. However, you need to make sure that what you’re showing to a client is simple, bold, and compelling. Nobody wants to be bogged down with information-dense, visually noisy figures or charts, especially over a Zoom call. You can have the hard data on your side of things, but what you’re presenting should be punchy and simple.
More than that, though, you need to be able to tell a story to your client, a story about where you can take them. Tell them why your business relationship will help and where it could go in the future. We all find good stories compelling – make sure yours is, too.
Know The Tech
Nobody wants to deal with tech issues, especially considering that a potential client might have already gone to a handful of Zoom calls already. Make sure that everything is set up and ready to go well before you begin.
It’s also important to set the ground rules clearly for whoever you’re meeting with. On what platform will the meeting take place? Zoom? Skype? What will your presentation take the form of? Will you screen share? How long will everything take? You need to be able to answer all of these questions and more before you even begin.
Of course, there will always be issues that are completely out of your control. Something might happen to the other participants in your meeting, maybe there are unfixable internet problems that day, so you should plan around that. A good tip is to take about 20% out of your original presentation, so you can present the pertinent information in a more condensed timeframe.
This may seem obvious, but it’s always something to think about. You need to be professional, even if you’re conducting these virtual sales meetings from your house.
First of all, you should make sure the scene you set up for your call looks good. No piles of clothes on the ground, no stray boxes in the background, no messy sinks just in frame. None of that. On top of that, good lighting can help immensely. Make sure your calls are well lit without any harsh shadows on your face, and make sure you stand out from your background. And, speaking of, it’s important to make sure your background looks reasonably professional, or is at least neutral.
After The Meeting
Finally, your work isn’t done even when you’ve successfully gotten through your meeting. A handwritten thank-you note can go a long way, as can a small gift or even a relevant article. Anything that helps you appear more attention and more memorable is good.