Whether they are face-to-face or virtual, productive sales conversations are not a sideline sport. This episode of virtual selling, concrete results will help YOU make it a participative sport!
Buyers Want to Get on the Court
Think about the last sporting event you watched…the key word is watched.
I watched the Milwaukee Bucks basketball game with my husband last week. As the game got intense, I watched Jon’s leg fidget. I saw him making motions with his hands (like to make a basket), and heard his audibles, “No!” “Get on that, get on that…” and “Look before passing!”
As an amateur basketball player himself for many years, it was hard for him to just SIT and watch. He wanted to play!
It’s the same with our buyers, the sale is about them and they want to play.
Collaboration Is King
In our sales conversations, buyers don’t want to be idle observers of a “pitch” or “presentation.” Or if they do, it’s because they are playing sideline judge and putting all the responsibility for their outcome of your time together on YOU.
Nope, in selling efforts, collaboration is king. Which means that including and involving the buyer through all parts of the conversation makes it a good experience AND a productive effort for everyone involved.
After earning the right to explain your solution to prospective buyers –- how do we involve them and collaborate during virtual sales conversations?
While there are many things we could do, here are the 4 that are most valuable, viable, and easy to implement.
Involve Their Minds
Keep the buyer mentally engaged by ensuring everything you discuss is relevant to THEM! Connect any information you explain or share: What they told you earlier and what it means for them. This transforms the conversion from fact or data to “And here’s what this means for you.”
Involve Their Hands
Even in a virtual environment, get them to “touch” your solution or the process of getting your solution! If you’re selling a service, ask your buyers to take note of something, or click something on the screen or keypad, or to pick up a piece of paper, or to circle or underline something on a piece of paper.
If you’re demo’ing an online component – get their hands doing the clicking, adding their name to a screen, or navigating in some way. It’s definitely more interesting for them then watching you “play.”
Involve Their Mouths
This is the audible participation. Though we know that asking questions early in the sale is important – it’s just as important to continue to learn about the buyer AND for them to clarify their own situation during the discussion on your solution.
Continue to ask additional questions to get them clarifying or discovering specifics they may have never thought of. Or if more than one person is involved, ask questions they may never have discussed and help them come to an understanding on amongst themselves.
Use plenty of feedback questions and shoot for a 50/50 talk-listen ratio. Ask open ended questions such as: What do you think?
- How does this idea feel to you?
- How does this sound?
- How does this compare to what you’ve been doing?
- How does this align with xxxx?
- What questions do you have?
- What can I make clearer or more understandable?
Take the blame if they don’t understand something instead of them feeling stupid by asking something like, “Does this make sense?”
Involve Their Hearts
And last but not least, involve their hearts – Don’t forget the emotions!
Stories, anecdotes, analogies, and questions on feelings are all important. Tie these back to what you learned in your investigation about the risks or fears they want to eliminate AND the rewards and benefits that may motivate them to make a decision to work with you!
It’s Like You Were Together
And there you have it – easy ways to virtually involve your buyer throughout your conversations. When done well, they won’t even realize they weren’t in a cozy, safe room with you.
Inclusion throughout the conversation keeps them engaged and collaborative and stops them from passively observing a “show,” “game,” or “event” where they wish they were involved but instead are sidelined.
Keep an eye out for our next episode where I share strategies for working through objections in a virtual conversation.