Virtual selling is here. Are you ready? Are you nervous? Have you already mastered how to do it well, or are you still in the trial and error period? Well, have no fear, my next set of videos is going to be giving you practical and actionable tips to be most productive and efficient in your selling efforts.
Let’s Start with a Question
Over these last weeks, I have had so many people say to me, “What do I need to do differently to succeed in this virtual environment?”
My answer: Nothing and everything!
I’m not trying to be difficult with that answer, but there are things that we’ve been doing that still are very relevant and that we should keep doing. There are also things that maybe need a complete overhaul or just a few tweaks or amplifications.
What Doesn’t Need to Change?
We’ll start with what shouldn’t change. First, we shouldn’t change our strategy or our mindset around selling. If we believe that our job is to be a guide or a leader to help our buyers or prospects work through an information exchange to confidently make a decision or take action, that remains true. Buyers often need someone to help them decipher what’s important and what’s not; what should they be focusing on, and what are the priorities that are going to drive your buyer’s confident decision. That does not change. We are still a guide and a leader.
What else we shouldn’t change is keeping a What’s in it for Them mindset in everything we say, do, and share. We must connect everything to what this mean for them, how’s it’s relevant, and how it connects to their Problems, Opportunities, Wants, or Needs. That doesn’t change no matter how we’re communicating with them.
What DOES Need to Change?
So, what does need to change for more successful virtual sales conversations? It boils down to the sales process, which is the What and How of guiding people from the time they first come into our world to converting them to doing business with us and that initial onboarding. Does that need to change based on how you need to communicate with them now?
Maybe you need a complete overhaul to your process, or maybe there are just a few little things that need to be adjusted to use different technology or communication tools.
There’s More to Come!
We’re going to break this into different tips for before the conversation, during the conversation, and following the conversation. Today’s tip on before the conversation focuses on what you need to do to help buyers before the conversation to be ready to engage productively.
For decades it’s been a best practice to confirm the logistics of an upcoming meeting – the date, the time, who’s calling who, where you’re meeting, etc. What’s different now is we need to set expectations on the experience for that buyer.
We need to let them know what to expect because if they are wondering that during the conversation, if they’re concerned or maybe just curious about how this process, that is energy that’s diverted away from them focusing on what’s most important, which are Problems, Opportunities, Wants, or Needs and how can we help them with that.
Setting the Stage
So, we want to set the stage with them ahead of time and maybe give them a section in the email or the message, whether that’s auto-generated or something that we send out that says, “here’s what you can expect.”
Let them know, is it audio? Is it video? Do they have a choice? Let them know if it’s going to be recorded. Let them know if there’s something they should prepare in advance. Let them know if there’s something they should have in hand. Should they have a pen and paper because they might want to take notes?
Let them know the flow or the format of your interaction. Often with virtual conversations, buyers are thinking, “Oh, I’m a viewer now and I’m going to be presented to.” but if that’s not what you’re doing, and I hope you’re not, then you need to let them know, “We’re going to have a Q&A on these sorts of topics and at the end of it, here’s the decision that we’ll collectively make.”
We’re letting them know that this is still a conversation. It’s not a presentation. And again, what experience they can expect.
Also let them know if the conversation will be recorded. Let them know if there’s an app they need to download in advance to or if they should they sign on a few minutes early to make sure that all the technology works. And what if the technology doesn’t work? What’s the backup?
Also, who should be involved in this conversation? If it goes virtual, sometimes people just want it to be one-on-one, or they think that other people can be brought in later. But if you know that you need the influencers and the decision-makers all there now, set that expectation. Explain that the format will allow for everyone to be involved and so, “please have your spouse, your teammate, your boss, whoever, available for this interaction.”
So, that’s what needs to be done to help them be prepared to have the right experience and the right expectations for that conversation.
In the next video, I’m going to share what you need to do and maybe some of the adjustments that you need to be prepared to take as you’re getting ready for that conversation as well.
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