As businesses navigate a hopeful return to “normal” workdays, many people are still far from “business as usual.” Technology allows us to work from a distance and virtual sales are now a big part of this. This involves more than doing the same things that you did before while sitting in front of a screen. Many businesses are turning more to visual presentations and video meetings in order to sell their service or product. The question becomes this: how can you best engage your clients without in-person interaction?
Video calls give you face-to-face exposure
By now people are very familiar with using tools such as Zoom and Google Meet to interact digitally with their customer base. But how does selling differ when we are on a screen versus in person? First, you may have to work a little harder to create a connection with the person on the opposite screen. Second, you may be competing for attention – email, phones, kids, and other distractions that may not be present in an office meeting can work against you. Preparation is key.
Create an agenda
When your contact knows what talking points to expect, they have time to think of relevant questions and gather any resources that might be helpful. Once a person feels involved, they are more likely to engage in conversation.
Depending on the topic of your meeting, you can vary the type of agenda you send. Short list of items? Consider whether a quick voice text outlining what you’d like to cover would engage your audience. There are other ways to get your point across than a bulleted word doc (although sometimes that can be a productive method too).
Get your computer in order
If you’ll be sharing your screen or your environment during your meeting, make sure you are comfortable with this. Turn off message alerts and close non-relevant browser windows and tabs. Are you using a custom background for your virtual meeting? Make sure it’s working correctly.
Speaking of backgrounds, if you have one that is interesting or unexpected, feel free to use that as an icebreaker before you dive into your presentation.
Need a few more video meeting hints? Read Tips for Successful Video Conferences.
Your visual presentation is more important now than ever
If you are presenting slides or graphics as part of your pitch, take a good hard look at how those are working for you. When slides go up as you share your screen, participants often disengage and start multitasking. Your slides/videos/graphics need to be effective and engaging so that the focus remains on your message. We all remember sitting through a presentation where the speaker simply reads every word on the slide – usually causing incredible boredom. Needless to say, this is not a great presentation tactic. Slides should be concise and include talking points. not paragraphs. This leaves room for you to give more information or the customer to ask questions – helping to keep the focus on you.
Graphics can really help to focus the message in a presentation. Is there a visual that might enhance what you are saying? Photos, charts, icons, infographics, and other graphic tools can add value and authenticity to your presentation. Are you verbally presenting information that is a little hard to digest? Think about all the ways you can present that data – if there is a graphic representation that would help your contact understand the main point more easily, then you should be using it. Just be careful that you aren’t using something to fill space that isn’t needed – you don’t want a distraction.
Communicate the value of what you are selling
Why should the customer buy from you right now? Spending time to craft your value statements will boost the performance of your sales team. If you use a presentation deck, make sure you are editing with a clear point of view and avoid unneeded extras. The attention span of people in a virtual world is lower compared to physical meetings. The visual presentation should support what you are saying vocally and vice-versa.
How do storytelling and data analysis work together?
With so many salespeople now turned into virtual sellers, there is a greater need for a strategic way to connect with customers online. Communicating the value of your product or service in a way that speaks to your potential customer is imperative – but how? Find a balance between showing data-driven insights and telling your story.
Telling your story is the way that you begin to connect with your potential clients. By using experiences they can relate to, your product or service begins to resonate on a deeper level. Brand messaging is a very powerful tool.
Data visualization is often an important part of communicating value and hovers between analysis and visual storytelling. For many companies, collecting data is an integral part of their business. The trick is learning what information your clients need or want to know and how to present it in an easily understandable way.
The better you are at conveying your points visually—whether in a dashboard or a slide deck—the better you can leverage that information.
Keep “non-virtual” steps in mind
Never underestimate the power of a printed follow-up. Receiving a printed piece invites a different interaction than an email. Take the time to send a quick note of appreciation for being given the opportunity to talk with your contact. In the end, no matter how big their company, it is still made up of people – and people thrive on connection. Utilizing different formats for your communication can help keep you top-of-mind with your potential customers.
Selling virtually requires confidence
What do you need in order to confidently communicate the value of your product or service? If your sales team has professional marketing tools at their disposal, they will feel more confident in what they are selling. Sales teams that embrace virtual selling and make the most of it will be well placed for business success now and in the future.
Not sure what tools will help you show the value of your business effectively and efficiently? Contact us for a consultation – we’re ready to help you with your virtual selling challenges.