Here at B2B Marketing, we have been selling and delivering results virtually for over 15 years. Who would have thought that we were preparing for selling in the COVID-19 age all that time? About 3 years into the business, we made the strategic decision to go 100% virtual and never invest in an office. That was based on our desire to hire and retain the best employees from anywhere in the USA and also be able to be free of the bounds of an office while still being efficient.
Today it’s a MUST to sell virtually and we are going to share a few of the tips we have learned over these 15 years. In summary, the two vital things you have to do differently than in-person selling is to create TRUST and deliver more VALUE very upfront in the sales process. When you are in person, body language and being attentive, listening, can take you a long way. That won’t work too well virtually. Video helps and we will give you some tips to get really good at that.
The TOP 10 Virtual Selling Tips we have learned are:
Value in an online early sales meeting is created more by having done “above-and-beyond” research into your prospect’s business needs and being ready to share hard-hitting insight into their market as it relates to what you are selling. It’s no longer as much about creating rapport, it’s about catching their attention that you have prepared well and may be able to help solve their issue.
Trust that you can help them and will be a reliable supplier is critical and starts right up front with the first phone call. Common ground has to grow from a shared vision of the solution you are offering which has little to do with your interpersonal skills. Your ability to communicate with each member of a group differently based on their roles will be critical.
Professionalism, the little things become ten times more important than ever before. Making mistakes like setting the meeting for the wrong time zone, or being 4 minutes late can be early deal killers. We use detailed checklists to ensure everything is ready for a virtual meeting. No detail is left to chance.
Learn to recognize voices and use names quickly in the meeting. We are all trained to get names of participants and get them right, early in the meeting. With that, you have to learn the voices that go with the names so you can frequently call participants by name throughout the meeting. This is one of the “old brain” selling techniques used by Asher Strategies, our partner for sales.
Create frequent “attention grabbers” to bring people back to the meeting. You have to assume that participants, even the principle, will drift off during your meeting. Build your presentation so that there are frequent “callbacks” into the meeting and the topic at hand. Ask questions by name, state “this is important’, build in places to change your voice level, get excited, be animated.
The use of video in sales meetings has become ESSENTIAL. An initial 10-minute phone call is fine to get the first contact started, but the first meaningful meeting has to be a video call with you in your best business attire, putting forth your best effort. If you can get them to also use video, it’s a huge win. Now you can get more attention from them and they can see you, adding to the trust right away.
John Asher at Asher Strategies talks a lot about how you reach the “old brain” or emotional brain. This is where decisions are made in meetings, whether virtual or in-person.
- Get them thinking me, me, me
- Apply simple, easy to grasp messages
- A clear distinction from your competition
- Use vivid images
PowerPoint or live presentations are still effective and necessary. You have to really make them EASY to follow, shorter, interactive, and Interesting. Stepping it up in this area will pay big dividends in maintaining attention and creating trust.
Be tech-friendly, communicate like your customer wants to. With all the various virtual meeting systems out there, the virtual salesperson needs to know them all.
Love your work! If you don’t, selling virtually will show this even more starkly and separate you out from the competition in a negative way. The positive attitude your voice portrays now is vital to your success.
Here are a few ways to make yourself be the PRO in your video meetings. Another great blog on this topic of “looking good” in meetings is “Six tips for looking great in a Zoom meeting“.
- Know how to work the interface. Be versatile. Teams, GTM, Zoom, Adobe, Google, etc
- Zoom Lights that attached to your laptop or via a stand
- Separate video location with a plain or formal background. Don’t have your viewers trying to figure out what that thing is on your shelf the whole meeting
- Laptop stand so that your camera is at “eye-level”
- Use a checklist, here is ours